1. Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
  2. Support
  3. Worker Emergency Bridge Fund

COVID-19: Worker Emergency Bridge Fund

The Worker Emergency Bridge is a one-time payment of $1,000 for Nova Scotians who are laid off or out of work because of COVID-19, who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance, and earn between $5,000 and $34,000.

If you were laid off or out of work on or after 16 March 2020 because of COVID-19 and you aren’t eligible for Employment Insurance, you may be eligible for the Worker Emergency Bridge.

The Worker Emergency Bridge is a one-time $1,000 payment to help you meet your basic needs as soon as possible. It can be combined with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The payment counts as taxable income and you’ll need to include it on your 2020 tax return.


You may qualify for the Worker Emergency Bridge if you:

  • are a permanent Nova Scotia resident
  • are 18 or older
  • were employed and laid off, or self-employed and lost all revenue because of COVID-19 on or after 16 March 2020
  • earned between $5,000 and $34,000
  • have applied (or plan to apply) for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

You do not qualify if you’re:

  • receiving Employment Insurance benefits
  • eligible for Employment Insurance benefits – check your eligibility if you’re not sure
  • receiving Income Assistance
  • receiving any income or benefit (like salary, sick leave, disability insurance or workers’ compensation) because you lost your income for reasons other than COVID-19
  • incarcerated in a federal or provincial institution

The Worker Emergency Benefit is for each worker who qualifies – if you and your spouse both qualify, you’ll both receive it.

Before you apply

When you apply, you’ll need to provide documentation about your income and your employment.

If you were employed and laid off

You’ll need a copy of your Record of Employment (ROE). You should have received it from your employer. You can also view it online through your My Service Canada Account.

Your Record of Employment needs to show:

  • an issue date of 16 March 2020 or later
  • Box 11: your last work day must be 16 March or the last shift you worked before 16 March
  • Box 15A: hours must be less than what’s needed to qualify for Employment Insurance
    • if you live in Halifax Regional Municipality (except west of Sheet Harbour): must be less than 700 hours
    • if you live in Cape Breton, Antigonish County, Halifax County west of Sheet Harbour or Guysborough County: must be less than 420 hours
    • if you live in the rest of the province: must be less than 630 hours
    • You can check the number of hours needed to qualify for Employment Insurance in your area on the Service Canada website.
  • Box 15B: amount must be greater than $5,000 and less than $34,000
  • Box 16: must show code A (laid off) – if you were fired or you quit, you’re not eligible for this program

If you’re self-employed

If self employment income is your primary source of income, you’ll need to provide:

  • your Social Insurance Number
  • your CRA business number, if you have one
  • a copy of your 2018 or 2019 tax return (T1, T2, T4002 or T2125) that shows you earned at least $5,000 and less than $34,000 – if you started your business in 2019, provide a copy of your 2019 tax return (if submitted) or your most recent GST/HST remittance

How to apply

  1. Make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria.
  2. Gather the supporting documentation you need for your application.
  3. Call 1-800-863-6582 to speak with a Canadian Red Cross agent. Agents are available 7 days a week (including holidays), 8am to 8pm.

When you call, you must consent to your personal information being shared and disclosed with Nova Scotia Provincial Government departments, agents and service providers in accordance with the access and privacy provisions of the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Nova Scotia Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act. Such uses may include determining eligibility for the program funding and ensuring compliance with funding agreement terms. Note that if you receive any assistance that you didn’t qualify for, the Government of Nova Scotia may claim it from you.

What happens next

When you speak with a Canadian Red Cross agent to register for the program, they’ll let you know whether your application is proceeding to the next step, or if it needs further review.

If your application is proceeding, or if it passes the review, you’ll receive an email within a couple of days. The email will include a link to an application form. You must complete the form to finish submitting your application.

If your application is approved, you’ll receive an e-transfer of $1,000 within a couple of days.

If we determine that you’re not eligible, the Red Cross will contact you to let you know.