Backgrounder: Canada Emergency Response Benefit Advance Payment

Backgrounder

Many Canadians who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) through Service Canada before June 14, 2020 received an advance payment of $2000 within a few days of applying. This was an advance of four weeks of the CERB, which was issued in order to get money into the pockets of Canadians as quickly as possible. Those who applied on or after June 14, 2020 did not receive an advance payment of $2,000.

To reconcile this advance payment, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) applied this advance against other payment periods in June, July and August of 2020. Recipients saw an interruption in payments in order to apply the money paid to weeks of eligibility. However, if recipients of the advance payment were not entitled to or did not collect CERB payments for at least 20 weeks, some or all of the advance payment remains as an outstanding balance owing.

In the coming weeks, Service Canada will be sending messages to Canadians who still have an outstanding balance of money owed from the advance payment, informing them that they have an overpayment and highlighting that they will be receiving additional details in the next few weeks outlining their appeal rights and the process for repayment.

Canadians who have an existing balance of money owed from the advance payments will be sent a Notice of Debt and Decision Letter officially notifying them of the amounts owed.

  • A Notice of Debt (NoD) is issued by ESDC for all Employment Insurance overpayments. This is the first notice of the overpayment provided to the debtor, and outlines the reason for the debt, occurrence date, the amount, and payment options.
  • Decision letters are issued to benefit recipients following a review of their application. This letter provides details of the overpayment and an opportunity for the recipient to provide additional information. Additionally, it provides information on appeal rights.
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