Federal COVID-19 benefits could be deposited within 3 to 5 days of applying, Trudeau says

Federal COVID-19 benefits could be deposited within 3 to 5 days of applying, Trudeau says

Canadians can begin applying for emergency income support benefits Monday, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is also working on ways to help people who aren’t covered by the programs brought in so far, including students.

The Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) will give people who lose their source of income due to COVID-19 about $2,000 a month for 16 weeks.

Canadians who are eligible for employment insurance (EI) can apply for that coverage, and will receive CERB benefits for four months before the EI benefits kick in.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre is holding a news conference at 1:30 p.m. ET to comment on the government’s response to COVID-19 and CBCNews.ca is carrying it live.

The public can start signing up for CERB as of 6 a.m. ET Monday, but Canadians are being asked to apply based on their birth month to avoid overloading the portal.

Applicants born in January through March can apply on April 6, the first day the portal opens. Those born April through June can apply April 7, those born in July through September on April 8 and Canadians with birth months October through December can sign up on April 9.

Trudeau said Canadians can expect to receive payments within three to five days via direct deposit, or within 10 days by mail.

Trudeau also conceded that there are gaps in the program, including for students. To be eligible, applicants must have been working and lost all income.

“This is an issue that we are very, very aware of, from modifications to the Canada summer job program, to looking at direct support for students,” he said.

“We know that we need to do more for people as they come out of university and look for projects and ways of securing income this summer. That is something that we are very closely engaged and should have more to say in the coming days.”

With the challenges of bringing temporary foreign workers who come to Canada to work on farms, Trudeau suggested students and others could help fill some of those roles.

New supplies set to arrive Monday

On Saturday, Trudeau announced that “millions” of surgical masks and other supplies are due to arrive in Canada Monday on a chartered cargo plane from China. 

His announcement came as Minnesota-based manufacturing company 3M revealed that because of U.S. President Donald Trump invoking the Defense Production Act — which allows Washington to boost industrial production of critically needed goods — the company is under orders not to send American-made N95 masks to other countries, including Canada. 

The prime minister said Saturday that he would not be seeking retaliatory measures or “measures that are punitive” against the United States.

 “We know that it is in both of our interests to continue to work collaboratively and co-operatively,” Trudeau said, adding that he would soon be speaking with Trump again.

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