Canada begins asking ineligible CERB recipients to repay

Notices of Redetermination are being issued by the government

Canada begins asking ineligible CERB recipients to repay

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has begun issuing Notices of Redetermination (NoRs) to individuals who received the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) but are not eligible for it so they can repay them. The announcement came as Canada's unemployment rate hits a historic low of 5.2%, with the jobs loss amid the pandemic already recovered.

"The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) are working together to ensure that those who received COVID-19 individual benefits were eligible for them," said the government in a media release.

It follows the ESDC's issuance of Notices of Debt in November 2021 to CERB recipients who received an advance payment of $2,000 in 2020 but "did not remain on CERB long enough to fully reconcile that payment by applying for subsequent payment periods."

According to the CRA, those who receive the NoRs but still believe they are still eligible for the payments may contact the agency to validate their claim.

The CRA and ESDC have call agents on standby who are ready to work with individuals on a case-to-case basis, according to the government.

"The Government of Canada will also work with all impacted individuals to ensure any questions they may have are answered," the announcement read.

"We recognise that receiving this type of correspondence can be stressful and we remain committed to supporting Canadians. Individuals are encouraged to follow the directions they receive in any correspondence from the Government of Canada."

Read more: CERB is OVER: What does this mean for employers?

Canada's CERB was launched at the height of the pandemic for employed and self-employed Canadians whose livelihoods were directly affected by COVID-19.

It is an attestation-based approach that assisted eight million workers and their families so they can remain afloat amid the global crisis by granting them $2,000 for four-week period.

According to the government, there will be no penalties for individuals who applied for the benefit in good faith, but they need to repay the emergency benefits that there were not eligible for.

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