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The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was created by the Government of Canada to support Canadians who are without work during the Covid-19. One of the more difficult eligibility criteria for the CERB is the requirement that self-employed contractors have absolutely no work for the majority of the eligibility period in order to receive support. We want to better understand what this means for those who lost most of their work in the live arts during Covid-19 and need support, but who would like to continue earning income under whatever work that they are able to continue through the crisis.

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Professional musician, lost most of my income but not all...CERB doesn't make sense!

I'm a full time professional musician.  I make my living teaching and gigging.  The gigs are of course all cancelled. Much of the teaching I do is with large community bands, and so that has also stopped.   However, I've been able to transition some one on one students to online lessons.  The income I make from that is far less than $2000/mo, however making any money disqualifies me from CERB.  Had I known that, I would have been better off not attempting to salvage any income.  We're actually losing by trying to adapt to the situation and help ourselves slightly.   Beyond my own case, it absolutely does not make sense that someone collecting CERB isn't allowed to earn any money to top it up.  It discourages people from working if they can.  What if I need $2200 to pay my bills for the month, but I can only find enough work to make $200?  With CERB, I can't take that job because I'll lose $2000.  It's absolutely crazy!  If you're on regular EI you're allowed to work! (https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/while-receiving.html) They already have a system worked out that makes some sense. Why should freelancers have it so much harder than regular workers? 

Self-employed artists must diversify

I am a self-employed musician and singer-songwriter, and I also teach music part-time. Due to COVID-19, I lost many of my live gigs - which results in 70% of my income. However, I am still able to do some teaching online (though even that has been cut down somewhat). And I'm also doing some live-streaming concerts, which results in some "virtual tip jar" contributions from viewers. So far, it still isn't adding up to near what I used to make prior to COVID-19. But for my own dignity, I need to keep striving to find ways to earn money with my music through this time. Still, it would be helpful if people in my position were eligible for at least some of the income that the CERB is offering. Please consider this. Thank you.

CERB-self employed contractors

I am a professional opera singer who earns 90% of his income through performing. I urge the federal government to allow self employed contractors to earn some of their income and still apply for the CERB. I teach 10% of the time and I cannot quit and receive the benefit under the current rules. I wish to keep earning, however I cannot pay my mortgage or my bills on 10% of my yearly income. Please consider a allowing for some earned income and perhaps clawing back a bit of the CERB in return.  

What about students of the arts? And other students?

Hello, I am a university student studying music in Toronto. I do not qualify for the CERB for 2 reasons, although I am in desperate need of some financial assistance. Because I have been in school, I have only been able to work part-time for the last 2 years, and I have not earned the minimum of $5,000 in the last 12 months as listed for one of the eligibility criteria. I normally teach music lessons as well as play frequent gigs, but because of the covid-19 closures I am no longer able to play gigs, resulting in a loss of income. I am still currently teaching music lessons, now online, although the payments are not enough to pay for rent and groceries. Since school is finishing up this month, I was planning on working throughout the summer, mostly by playing more gigs, and now I will be unable to do this. I wonder how many other students are having the trouble of not being able to show that they earned the minimum of $5,000 in the previous year because they have been focusing on their studies, and who now will find it extremely difficult to find work in the summer months when students need to work to survive.