Update as of April 15, 2020

The CPA has been actively working with various federal government departments to advocate for changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to allow recipients to earn a modest income and still qualify for the benefit.

On April 15, 2020, the Prime Minister announced that modifications to the CERB will be implemented to expand who the benefit applies to, and to allow for some income to be earned. The details announced today include that:

  • The CERB will be expanded so that those earning $1,000.00 or less per month will now qualify;
  • The CERB will be extended to seasonal workers who have exhausted their regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and can’t work due to COVID-19; and
  • The CERB will apply to those who have had their EI benefits run out.

A few additional details on the expansion of the CERB are available here.

The CPA is reassured to see the Government implement these necessary changes to ensure physiotherapists who are still able to provide some care remain eligible for this crucial financial support. Our advocacy team will continue to champion any further necessary modifications to the CERB and other financial programs within Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The CPA will continue to actively monitor updates as they are provided by the Government and will share updates on changes as they are announced.

To learn more about the current Government of Canada economic response measures: https://physiotherapy.ca/federal-government-emergency-response-benefits-more-details-released.

The CPA has been in active discussions with a number of federal government ministries to help them understand the complexity of the economic impacts on physiotherapists, as well as demonstrate the critical role physiotherapists play in treating patients through physical distancing. 

On April 6, 2020, the Prime Minister announced that modifications to the CERB will be implemented to ensure that people do not fall through the cracks. The CPA is relieved to hear the government acknowledge that changes are needed. Our advocacy team will continue to champion these modifications and provide the physiotherapy perspective in discussions with the government as they make changes to this benefit. The CPA is actively monitoring the situation and will share updates on changes as they are announced.

The CPA’s Position

As physiotherapists turn to technology to deliver care and treatment that patients need during the COVID-19 outbreak, they should not be penalized by being excluded from government supports. We are asking the government to include a modest income allowance within the CERB. 


The CPA is working diligently to advocate for modifications to the CERB to ensure that physiotherapists are supported by this measure, including active discussions through Organizations for Health Action (HEAL), Extended Health Professions Coalition (EHPC), the Office of the Minister of Small Business, the Office of the Minister of Finance, and Employment and Social Development Canada. 

We will continue to advocate on this issue and provide updates as they become available.