Government programs collections limitation period

A collections limitation period is the time in which the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can collect on an Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) debt.

The limitation period varies depending on the program. For programs with a limitation period, the limitation period can be restarted or extended when certain events occur.

Student / Apprentice Loans

Canada Student Loans, Canada Apprentice Loans, and the Saskatchewan provincial portion of student loans have a 6 year limitation periodFootnote 1 Footnote 2 . The limitation period starts the day the loan comes into effect. The actions below can extend or restart the limitation period:

  • a voluntary payment
  • a written acknowledgment of debt
  • an insolvency event (for example, bankruptcy)
  • stay of proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA)
Employment insurance

Employment insurance limitation period is 6 years and starts the day the overpayment happens. The actions below can extend the limitation period:

  • an appeal (and will be extended for the length of time of the appeal)
  • a court order to make payments

The Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security program do not have a limitation period.

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