Funding for Job Losses due to COVID-19

If you are unemployed due to COVID-19, there are funding options open to you should you need them. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all funding opportunities currently available.

For complete information on the Government of Canada COVID-19 economic response plan, go to: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

IMPORTANT: The information provided below is subject to change. Please refer to the provided links for current details regarding available funding and eligibility.

Employment Insurance (EI)

Students on a work term - including International Students living and working in Canada - may be entitled to receive Employment Insurance payment for the balance of the term you were hired for. The number of hours required appears to be based upon the regional unemployment rate. For Edmonton, the number of required hours is currently 630 hours.

You may be entitled to EI regular benefits if you:

  • Were employed in insurable employment;
  • Lost your job through no fault of your own;
  • Have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks;
  • Have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter;
  • Are ready, willing and capable of working each day;
  • Are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them).

For complete EI information and application instructions, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/eligibility.html

If you are quarantined or ill, you may be eligible to apply for these EI benefits: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

If you are not eligible for EI, you may qualify for the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB). If you have lost income because of COVID-19, this may be an option to provide temporary income support of up to $500 per week to a maximum of 16 weeks.

This 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;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.

The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.

The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven't stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.

More information can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#new_canada_emergency_response_benefit

Canada Student Loans - Support for students and recent graduates

Effective March 30, there is a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Student loan borrowers do not need to apply for the repayment pause

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#canada_student_loans

Last Update: April 3, 2020