Residents can sign up for Canada Emergency Response Benefit starting this week

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided more details today about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which is meant to directly help Canadians who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was reported earlier that the CERB will provide $2000 a month over four months for workers who are out of a job or not getting income as a direct result of COVID-19.

Starting tomorrow — Monday, April 6 — residents can sign up online to receive this benefit at canada.ca.

Those who choose the direct deposit option can expect their first payment within three to five days, while those who request their benefit by mail will get it within ten days, according to Trudeau.

When asked about residents who are still employed but might choose to stay home and receive the CERB, Trudeau said the government is still looking into ways to ensure essential workers can choose the best option for them.

“We recognize that anytime we’re doing big measures like this, there will be gaps, there will be challenges in implementation and unforeseen consequences,” Trudeau said.

“And that is why we are working very carefully to ensure that people who are working in essential industries — people who perhaps are facing choices about whether they continue to work or whether they receive the CERB — are able to make the right decision not just for them, but for our community and our country. We’ll have more to say in the coming days.”

Asked about whether or not the Canada Revenue Agency website will be able to handle the high number of CERB applications that will start rolling in tomorrow, the Prime Minister said they’re working hard to ensure their systems are robust enough to handle the unprecedented demand.

“There have been discussions around different ways of ensuring the system is not overloaded, and we will continue to keep Canadians apprised of that.”

More information about the CERB can be found on the federal government’s website.

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