The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is sending out letters to verify if those who received pandemic aid were eligible for help, and they are warning of a potential need for repayment.
This marks the second time that the CRA is mailing Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) recipients as part of a process to verify the eligibility of the millions of Canadians who received the $500-a-week benefit.
The CRA sent out more than 441,000 letters to CERB recipients near the end of 2020, asking them to verify they met eligibility rules for the payments.
Thousands more of those will be going out next week, this time targeting recipients who may have earned more than the $1,000 a month the Liberal Government allowed beginning in mid-April 2020.
The agency said that people receiving the letter have tax information that suggests they earned too much income during the periods in which they were receiving aid.
The CRA will work on a flexible repayment plan for anyone who has to give back some money without interest but warns that won’t be the case for those who don’t respond to the government message.
During the initial roll, the federal government only asked applicants to attest if they were eligible and opted for a few upfront validation checks to speed up payments during lockdowns over March and April 2020, when three million jobs were lost.
In the end, the CERB doled out $81.64 billion to 8.9 million recipients.