Politics

CRA says CERB payments will be deposited by the weekend

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says claimants can expect to see their Canada emergency response benefits deposited before the weekend, after many people online reported not receiving their payments earlier this week as expected.

Recipients express frustration, worry on social media after payments didn't arrive as expected

Some people who rely on the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) are anxious because the money hasn't been deposited as quickly as it was in past months. (Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says claimants can expect to see their Canada emergency response benefits (CERB) deposited before the weekend, after many people online reported not receiving their payments earlier this week as expected.

Many who rely on the $2,000 monthly benefit to cover food, rent and bills have been expressing anxiety and frustration on social media over being forced to wait longer to see the money deposited in their accounts. Many also have said they haven't been able to get clear answers from the CRA about the delays.

A spokesman for the CRA said the agency was being "overly cautious" in making sure payments are going to eligible recipients because of recent cyber attacks. The agency said the payments are expected to be deposited later today or Friday.

The CRA shut down its online services last month after confirming it had been hit by two cyberattacks that compromised thousands of accounts linked to its services.

Services connected to My Account, My Business Account and Represent a Client on the CRA website were disabled temporarily as an additional safety measure.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blamed processing "hiccups" for the fact that many Canadians were reporting delays in receiving their CERB payments.

"We're working through some of the challenges because there was an extension. There might be a couple little hiccups, but we have said from the beginning we'd be there for Canadians and we will continue to be there for them," he told VOCM News in St. John's.

The CRA said that there were in fact no glitches or hiccups. Many CERB claimants applied for the monthly benefit Monday and were expecting the deposit within one or two days, as has been the delivery pattern in past months. 

"The Canada Revenue Agency understands how important the CERB is to Canadians during this time and we want to assure applicants that they will receive the payments that they are entitled to," said spokesperson Etienne Biram in an email.

"As part of its ongoing commitment to quality client service, the CRA aims to have CERB payments made by direct deposit issued within three to five business days of an application being received, and within 10 business days for payments by cheque. This is in line with our timeliness service standards for processing payments. The CRA expects that the vast majority of payments will be issued within this time frame."

CERB extended

Last month, the federal government announced it was extending the CERB by one more month and revamping employment insurance (EI)  to allow more people to receive financial assistance during the pandemic.

Those changes, aimed at helping Canadians through the transition as the economy gradually reopens, is expected to cost $37 billion.

The changes include making the EI system more flexible on the number of work hours required for a claim, making it easier for people to qualify for a one-year period.

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