April 24, 2020
Manitoba will be joining Ontario in ensuring that provincial Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) clients who are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will have more money in their pockets and continue to receive needed health benefits, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.
“Individuals on EIA who qualify for the CERB will continue to receive the benefits they need to get through this difficult time,” said Stefanson. “This complements actions our government has already taken to support our most vulnerable citizens including investments made as part of our Manitoba Protection Plan. Our government will continue to support our most vulnerable citizens as we fight this pandemic together.”
The federal CERB benefit will be treated as earned income under EIA. As a result, EIA clients who receive the CERB benefit will receive more than they would on EIA alone. They will also continue to receive prescription drug, dental and optical benefits regardless of whether they are still eligible for provincial social assistance. For example, by treating the CERB as earned income, a couple with two children will receive $2,270 per month under both programs while still qualifying for needed health benefits.
In addition, individuals with disabilities who are new applicants to EIA will receive the same enhanced earnings exemption as existing clients. This change will make it easier for people with disabilities whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 to receive EIA benefits in addition to the CERB.
Families will also be able to keep the increased Canada Child Benefit and GST rebate without any impact to their EIA benefits, the minister noted.
The province will work with clients to help them navigate the federal process and explain how it will affect their EIA benefits. This will include helping them resume receiving support from EIA once the CERB benefits end.
The Manitoba government is taking all steps necessary to protect the health and safety of residents and reduce the spread of COVID-19. The EIA program continues to work with clients by telephone, email, fax, and online to provide support while helping to limit the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing.
The EIA program has also extended coverage for health or medical needs, volunteer benefits and employment and training supports until further notice.
Earlier this week, the Ontario minister of children, community and social services announced that his government would be treating the CERB as earned income for clients in the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support programs.
A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at: