Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, April 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

CERB payments docked to account for April advance

Canadians receiving less than expected

Canadians who have been receiving funds through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) could have less cash lining their pockets this month connected to over payments made by the government back in April.

In a June 18 email obtained by Black Press Media, the federal government stated that because of this advance people will not be receiving payment when their next report is completed.

RELATED: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

Abbotsford resident Emily Brown told Black Press Media in April she had only been out of work for three and a half weeks when she received two payments from CERB. The first, deposited on April 7, was for $1,500 and the next, deposited on April 8, was for $2,000.

The emergency benefit was implemented to replace EI for workers who lost their jobs or self-employed people who had lost their income as a result of COVID-19, after federal ministers said the EI system was overwhelmed. It is meant to provide $2,000 per month, paid out in weekly sums of $500.

READ ALSO: 7.3M Canadians have received CERB, as wage subsidy pays salaries for another 1.7M

The latest email is causing confusion for recipients who report receiving far less than expected this month.

“This $2,000 was an advance of four weeks of the CERB, which was issued in order to get money in your pocket as quickly as possible,” reads the June 18 email. “Because of this advance, you will not receive a payment when you complete your next report. This is equivalent to the first two-week period of the advance.”

Recently CERB was extended by another eight weeks, with the maximum amount payable being $12,000 over 24 weeks or $2,000 per month up to six months.

People accessing CERB are asked to continue completing reports, which show their eligibility for all weeks of the CERB, including the four weeks of benefit covered by the advanced payment.

Canada’s Department of Finance was not immediately available for comment.

– With files from Ashley Wadhwani and Katya Slepian.


 

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