Gabriel Dumont Institue

Navigating EI and CERB during COVID-19

With employment being affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has announced many new supports for Canadians. The following resources are to assist in navigating the new programs and supports available.

COVID-19 Emergency Benefit Programs (summary)

Updated April 28, 2020




Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months.


The CERB is now available if you earned $1,000 (before taxes) or less during an eligibility period. If this applies to your situation, you may be eligible to apply for a previous period, starting March 15, 2020. Click here for more information.



The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.

When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.

When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.


The CERB is being jointly delivered by Service Canada and 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. See the website for more information.


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is accessible through CRA My Account or over the phone with an automated phone service. 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. For more information click here.



Employment Insurance (EI)

For those currently receiving EI benefits and who expect them to continue, you should not apply for CERB. If your EI benefits cease before October 3, 2020, then you can apply for CERB when those benefits run out, if you are unable to work because of COVID-19.


All Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, would be able to receive the CERB


Those who have applied for EI and their applications have not been processed do not have to reapply.


Those who are eligible for regular EI and sickness benefits can still access those benefits if they’re still unemployed after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.


Employment Insurance and Pension applications can be made online.



Support for Students and Recent Graduates

The federal government has put a number of programs and supports in place to help students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. These include enhanced student financial assistance for fall 2020, the Canada Student Service Grant, and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, Find out more here.





Saskatchewan residents who have been ordered to self-isolate and are not eligible for the federal supports can apply for the province’s self-isolation support program, which provides recipients with $900 over two weeks. The program will mainly benefit self-employed workers.



Métis Nation


Métis-specific emergency response

*Full program details and instructions available on the MN-S website

On March 31, 2020 the Métis Nation Saskatchewan announced $2.88 million for immediate emergency COVID-19 relief measures for childcare, housing, and PPE. Below is a summary.


MN–S Emergency Housing Support Program

  • The MN-S recognizes that many people are being stretched financially and emotionally by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The MN-S Housing Support Program has been put in place to help those struggling to make ends meet.
  • MNS has provided emergency funds to each region to assist households in meeting household expenses during COVID-19 pandemic crisis. These funds are meant to supplement, not to replace income.
  • Please note: the Regions are responsible for determining the eligibility and dollar amounts based on need for each request as funding is limited.
  • Download the application for emergency relief funds here and submit the completed application to your regional office.
  • Contact your Regional rep to register for emergency funds / 1-833-343-8391


MN–S Childcare Support

  • One-time $500 per child to a maximum of $2,500
  • Children must be under 10; registered MN–S citizens; resident of SK for the past 6 months
  • An MN–S daycare for first responders and emergency workers will also be available
  • Full criteria and online applications are available on the MN–S website.
  • You can access the application here. Submit the completed application to
  • Contact Lisa Fleming at or 1-833-343-8391


MN–S Personal Protective Equipment Program

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may include hand sanitizer, masks, disinfectant cleaning supplies, gloves, clinical thermometers
  • Available to registered and self-identifying Métis
  • MN–S will access and distribute supplies and Regions will identify at-risk Métis
  • Identify need to your Regional representative / 1-833-343-8391



For further information phone the MN–S toll-free number at 1-833-343-8391.



Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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