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Guide to CERB/EI for Members

On April 23, 2020, the TTC announced temporary layoffs of TTC employees due to sharply reduced ridership and revenue resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic. ATU Local 113 members have begun receiving layoff notices, the first round of which came into effect on Sunday, May 24.

ATU Local 113 members are justly concerned about their income during the layoff period. The following guide will explain what government benefits are available, how to apply, how much they will pay and how long they will last.

WHAT GOVERNMENT BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE TO LAID OFF EMPLOYEES?

There is a new Federal benefit for workers affected by COVID 19. On March 25, the Government of Canada announced the Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). CERB provides temporary income support to workers whose income has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

In order to be eligible, a worker must have lost their income due to COVID-19, or can not earn an income because they are sick or quarantined. Also eligible are workers who are have recently exhausted their Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, those caring for someone with COVID-19, or those who have had to stop working in order to care for children who are either sick, or home from school and daycare.

There are only a few other qualifications:

  • You must have earned a total income from employment or self-employment of at least $5,000 for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day on which you make an application.
  • You may not earn more than $1,000 for a period of at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period of your claim or $1000 in total during the four week period covered by each subsequent claim.
  • You must not have quit your job voluntarily (though voluntary layoffs or furloughs may qualify).

HOW SHOULD I APPLY?

You can apply for CERB online either through Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency.

To begin the application process, you will be asked to answer a few simple questions. The answers you provide will help direct you to the service option that best fits your situation.

If you cannot apply online, you can apply by phone at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

WHEN SHOULD I APPLY?

Applications are for a specific four-week eligibility period. If your situation continues, you can re-apply for another 4-week period, up to a maximum of 4 periods (or 16 weeks in total).

Eligibility period Start and end date
1 March 15, 2020 to April 11, 2020
2 April 12, 2020 to May 9, 2020
3 May 10, 2020 to June 6, 2020
4 June 7, 2020 to July 4, 2020
5 July 5, 2020 to August 1, 2020
6 August 2, 2020 to August 29, 2020
7 August 30, 2020 to September 26, 2020

 

Whether you apply online or by phone, the CRA has set up specific days when you can apply:

 

For the May 10 to June 6 eligibility period:

If you were born in the month of Apply for CERB on Your first day to apply
January, February or March Mondays May 11
April, May, or June Tuesdays May 12
July, August, or September Wednesdays May 13
October, November, or December Thursdays May 14
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Not applicable
 

For the June 7 to July 4 eligibility period:

If you were born in the month of Apply for CERB on Your first day to apply
January, February or March Mondays June 8
April, May, or June Tuesdays June 9
July, August, or September Wednesdays June 10
October, November, or December Thursdays June 11
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

 

HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. No tax will be deducted at source, but the money will be taxable when you submit your return for 2020.

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE PAYMENT?

There is no waiting period so you should receive your Benefit within 10 days of applying.

Payments will be made through direct deposit or by cheque; however direct deposit is faster.

Your payments will be retroactive to the date you became eligible.

SHOULD I APPLY FOR EI or CERB?

The Canadian government has designed the CERB to work with EI, though you cannot receive them both at the same time.

As soon as you stop work, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Those who have been laid off since March 15 can no longer apply for EI, though you can receive EI benefits once the CERB program ends.

If you became eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits prior to March 15th, you will continue to receive these benefits until the end of your benefit period. You cannot switch to CERB.

If you became eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your Employment Insurance claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

For other Employment Insurance benefits, including maternity, parental, and caregiving, you should continue to apply as you normally would.