Applying for CERB – Start with a CRA My Account

Apr 02, 2020

Posted by
April van Ert
Director, Communications & Stakeholder Engagement


In order to apply for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), expected to launch April 6, you must first have an online account with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), called CRA My Account. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) recommends that all REALTORS® who intend to apply for CERB and who do not yet have a CRA My Account create one immediately, even if you’re not yet sure if you will qualify.

Signing up for CRA My Account

You must have a CRA My Account to apply for CERB. It can take up to ten days to receive a security code from CRA once you have applied for an account. Delays in setting up this account mean you will have to wait to apply for CERB. If you have a My Service Canada Account, you do not need to register for a CRA My Account.

How do I create a CRA My Account?

Click here to learn how to apply for a CRA My Account. You will need to have the following information available to complete the online application.

  • your social insurance number,
  • your date of birth,
  • your current postal code or ZIP code, and
  • an amount you entered on your income tax and benefit return, so have your return on hand (the line requested will vary and it could be from the current tax year or the previous one).

Remember, once you complete the application, you will have to wait to receive your security code in the mail, which could take up to ten days. You won’t have access to your account or be able to apply for CERB until you have received the security code.

I don’t even know if I will qualify for CERB. Should I still get a CRA My Account?

Yes. BCREA will provide details more details on qualifying for CERB and other financial supports in the coming days. By signing up for CRA My Account immediately, you are ensuring quicker access to emergency relief funding.

How will I know if I will qualify for CERB?

Self-employed individuals will qualify for CERB but BCREA is still working to provide clarity on two issues:

1. Whether REALTORS® who are self-employed but also have other jobs qualify for CERB. If not, then Employment Insurance may be an option.

2. Whether REALTORS® who have incorporated as Personal Real Estate Corporations (PREC) and receive a wage from their PREC can apply. In this case, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may apply instead of CERB.

For more information on CERB, go to

To subscribe to receive BCREA publications, or to update your email address or current subscriptions, click here.

What we do

Popular tags within Practice Tips

Popular posts from BCREA

  • Housing Market Update – November 2023
    Nov 16, 2023
  • Mortgage Rate Forecast
    Sep 21, 2023