The Canada Revenue Agency says people who applied for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) this month should receive their money today – and it apologizes for the confused messages some applicants could have received agents from the collector’s call center.
In a statement to CBC, the CRA said claimants who applied between Monday and Wednesday this week should see funds deposited directly into their accounts by tonight.
Hundreds of posters from the “Canadians on the $ 2,000 / month CERB Support Group” Facebook group indicated that payments had been made to many accounts early in the morning.
People who applied after Wednesday, September 2 may not receive their payments today, but they should receive them within three to five business days, the agency said.
The delays stem in part from a security breach. Last month, the CRA temporarily shut down its online services after the agency confirmed it was hit by two cyber attacks that compromised thousands of accounts linked to its services.
While the violations were quickly contained, services related to My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a Client on the CRA website were disabled as an added security measure – slowing the response of the agency for CERB issues.
“Although the CRA has recently implemented a number of measures to ensure that a person is properly authenticated, payments are still on track to be made according to the service standard. We will continue to be there to support Canadians throughout this pandemic, ”a spokesperson said in a statement.
A number of recipients have contacted the CBC in recent days to tell them they have yet to receive their CERB – a benefit that has become a lifeline for millions of unemployed Canadians due to the pandemic.
Last month, more than four million Canadians were still receiving CERB, although economic life is slowly returning to normal in parts of the country. That’s down from the peak of more than eight million claimants at the height of pandemic closures.
For many requesters, a written message that some agents recited to callers looking for updates on their CERB payments created more confusion.
Some CBC readers said they were told that payments would not be released until September 11 for those receiving the money by direct deposit, or September 18 for those still receiving paper checks.
In fact, the CRA says that meant callers looking for the missing money shouldn’t call again to inquire about their payments up to those dates. The CRA argues that most people should receive their funds within the standard three to five day service window.
“It is possible that the taxpayers who received this information interpreted it to mean that their payments would be delayed until then. The CRA regrets that this information has caused confusion or undue stress for Canadians who called, ”said the spokesperson.
Last month, the federal government announced that it was extending CERB until the end of September and that it was revamping Employment Insurance (EI) rules to allow more people to receive financial assistance during the pandemic.
These changes are expected to cost $ 37 billion.
The changes include making the EI system more flexible in the number of hours of work required for a claim, which would make it easier for people to qualify for a one-year period.
Video: Struggling PNE calls on federal government for financial assistance (Global News)
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