July 18th, 2024

Legal action coming to recover COVID benefit overpayments: CRA

By The Canadian Press on June 27, 2024.

The Canada Revenue Agency says it is ramping up efforts to claw back overpayments of pandemic-related benefits. The Canada Revenue Agency sign outside the National Headquarters at the Connaught Building in Ottawa is seen on Monday, March 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – The Canada Revenue Agency says it is ramping up efforts to recover overpayments of pandemic-related benefits.

Starting in July, the agency will begin issuing legal warnings and could take legal measures to recover overpayments of all COVID-19 programs including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.

It says it will only be taking legal action against those who have not responded or co-operated and who have been determined to have the financial capacity to pay.

The agency says it remains committed to supporting Canadians who are not able to repay their debt and encourages those individuals to contact them to figure out a plan.

The rollout of the pandemic relief payments saw billions of dollars doled out to individuals and businesses on a pay-now-ask-questions-later basis.

In May 2022, the agency began efforts to recover payments deemed ineligible by sending out letters encouraging voluntary payments and has since also issued collection letters and made efforts to reach people by phone.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 27, 2024.

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