Ottawa is extending the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) by one more month and revamping the employment insurance program to allow more people to receive financial assistance during COVID-19.
The new benefit changes will cost $37 billion.
There will be more flexibility on the work hours required for EI, making it easier for people to qualify for a one-year period.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough made the announcement this afternoon.
“We’re doing our very best to support all Canadian workers and leave no one behind,” Qualtrough said.
CERB, which has already paid out more than $69 billion to more than 8.6 million recipients, will now be in place until Sept. 27, extending the program from six months to 28 weeks.
CERB pays people $2,000 a month.
Canadians who were already eligible for EI will transition to that program when CERB winds down, while those who don’t qualify can apply for new “recovery” benefits.