Have you received a letter related to COVID-19 benefits? Don’t worry, we are here to help!

May 11, 2022

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is standing by to assist Canadians who may have received correspondence indicating that they will now have to repay some or all of the COVID-19 individual benefits that they received during the pandemic. As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada used an attestation-based process to provide urgently-needed income support to millions of Canadians. This relied on individuals determining if they were eligible for benefits based on established criteria. It was expected that some individuals would later be found to be ineligible and be required to repay some or all of the benefits provided. The CRA and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) are working together to ensure that those who received COVID-19 benefits were, in fact, entitled to them.

Transitioning into repayment

Those who received COVID-19 benefits may have received nudge letters to remind them of what the eligibility criteria were. They may also have received letters requesting supporting documentation for their benefits application or, in some cases, they may have received a denial letter informing them they were not eligible for the benefit payment(s) that they received.

The CRA and ESDC are now issuing Notices of Redetermination (NoRs - CRA) or Notices of Debt (NoDs-ESDC) related to the COVID-19 individual benefits. These letters inform Canadians of debts or credits that have been established on their CRA accounts. This correspondence started to go out in November of 2021 from Service Canada and will start to be issued on May 10th, 2022 from the CRA.  These activities will continue for the next few years as the government continues its eligibility reviews of the COVID-19 benefits for individuals. The notices will provide information on repayment options.

The CRA is committed to supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic

The CRA understands that some individuals may find it challenging to repay debts related to COVID-19 benefit overypayments. The CRA has expanded provisions to help Canadians during these difficult times including flexible or deferred payment options.   The CRA wants to assure Canadians who are still in a financially precarious position that the CRA will consider their unique situations with empathy and that we are here to help in any way we can.

Canadians are encouraged to follow the directions they receive in any correspondence from the Agency without delay. The CRA has detailed information available on the Canada.ca website for those who want to resolve their debt or explore payment options. People can also contact the CRA by phone to discuss options with an agent.

If you have questions about the correspondence you receive, you should call the telephone number provided in the letter.  Additional information is also available at this webpage:  What to expect when the Canada Revenue Agency contacts you.

Find out more

The CRA collects all debts related to ineligibility or overpayment of COVID-19 benefits. This includes benefits issued by Service Canada.

Arrange to pay your debt

Immediately repaying a debt related to benefits overpayments might allow you to claim deductions from payments on your T1 Income tax return. If you can’t make a payment in full, please call the CRA for assistance.

If you cannot pay in full now, we will work with you on a payment arrangement. A payment arrangement is an agreement between a taxpayer and the CRA to pay debt over a period of time. The CRA will work with you to determine the payment amount and the length of the payment arrangement based on your ability to pay.

These are some tools to help you determine what you may be able to afford to pay on a regular basis:

If you wish to set up a payment arrangement, you must call our agents.

Unable to pay

If you are unable to pay your debt right now or unable to pay it at all, you should call the CRA to discuss your situation. We understand that these may be challenging times and are here to assist you.

Make a payment on your other CRA debt

The CRA collects all sorts of debts: tax, customs, GST/HST, etc. Paying debt in full helps taxpayers avoid paying interest on amounts owed. There are different options available for you to pay your CRA debt:

They can also confirm that their payment has been received. The CRA considers payments to have been made on the day it is either processed by a Canadian financial institution or received by the CRA:

Finally, we want every Canadian to know that we are empathetic to their situation and we want to help them if they are facing hardships due to the pandemic.

Need More Information?



Contact us to discuss payment of your CRA debt from within Canada or the United States

Telephone number (CRA):                                  1-833-253-7615
Telephone number (Service Canada)               1-866-864-5823

Monday to Friday 7 am to 8 pm (ET)

Closed on public holidays.

Call from outside Canada and the United States

The CRA accepts collect calls by automated response. You can contact their service provider or operator to initiate the collect call.

Telephone number:              613-221-3002

Monday to Friday                7 am to 8 pm (ET)

Closed on public holidays.

You can also request an individual tax debt call (Tax debt only). They should fill out this simple form and an agent will call them within minutes to discuss their individual tax debt. This service is available from 7 am to 7:45 pm (ET).

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