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The CRA Is Sending Letters To Some CERB Recipients To Check If They Were Actually Eligible

Check your mail.

Contributing Writer
The CRA Is Sending Letters To Some CERB Recipients To Check If They Were Actually Eligible

If you received Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments at some point, make sure to check your mail during the next little while because you may have gotten a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Currently, the CRA is sending out letters to some CERB recipients to verify their eligibility by asking for additional information to support their application for the benefit.

Because the government used an "attestation-based approach" to the CERB application to ensure Canadians received their benefits quickly, the CRA may not have verified an individual's application immediately, but is now beginning to.

"The current phase is limited to individuals who are believed to have earned more than $1,000 during the periods in which they claimed CERB," the CRA confirmed with Narcity.

But don't stress if you get a letter — it doesn't mean you are considered ineligible for CERB. "The letter simply means that the CRA does not have the necessary information to verify that they were eligible for the benefit." So, they just want to make sure you didn't make over $1,000 during the application period, which would have made you ineligible for the benefit.

The CRA's letter requests the following documents:

  • Bank statements showing your income
  • Pay stubs
  • Letter from your employer confirming income and when it was earned
  • Amended T4 with the reduced amounts of income

If you have trouble obtaining any of this information, you can contact the CRA for help.

"CERB recipientswho are unable to verify their eligibility for the CERB will need to repay the CERB payments they received. Canadians who applied for the CERB in good faith, and are later required to pay money back, will not be charged with penalties or interest."

As for what happens if those who want to try and get away with not paying the money back, be wary. "If you do not pay your debt or refuse to cooperate, the CRA may take legal action which could result in serious financial or legal consequences for you."

You'll know before the CRA starts to take legal action, though. Beforehand, a verbal legal warning by phone must be attempted along with a written legal warning letter.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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