Information on CERB and Social Assistance

The Government of Canada recently announced the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit, known as CERB due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Community members who have recently been laid off due to the pandemic or whose Employment Insurance has ended are asked to apply for CERB before trying to apply for Social Assistance.  The CERB payments are more financially beneficial than receiving Social Assistance benefits.  If for any reason you are not eligible for CERB, then you will be able to apply for Social Assistance.


The CERB is available to workers who meet all the following conditions:

  • Live in Canada & are least 15 years of age
  • Stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sick benefits
  • Have not voluntarily quit your job
  • Had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior of the date of your application


On April 15, 2020 the government of Canada made changes to the eligibility rules to:

  • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB
  • Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19
  • Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.


Community members receiving Social Assistance are NOT ELIGIBLE for CERB.


For more information on how to apply, visit the Government of Canada website: