Canada Emergency Response Benefit Advance Payment

| 12/1/2021

The Federal Government has announced the repayment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) required for those recipients who were not eligible to receive the aid. Crowe MacKay‚Äôs tax advisors summarize the repayment process and what to expect if you are impacted by this.

If you have questions regarding the CERB repayment or require assistance please contact your trusted Crowe MacKay advisor.

If you applied for the CERB before June 14, 2020

For those who applied for the CERB before June 14, 2020, they would have received a payment of $2,000 as an advance of four weeks of CERB payments. Those who applied on or after June 14, 2020, did not receive an advance payment of $2,000.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) reconciled this advance payment by applying it against other payment periods in June, July, and August of 2020. Recipients saw an interruption in payments in order to apply the money previously paid to weeks of their 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 have an outstanding balance of money owed from the advance payment. The message will notify them that they have an overpayment, highlighting that they will be receiving additional details in the next few weeks outlining their appeal rights and the process for repayment. 

Notice of Debt and Decision Letter

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

  • The ESDC issues Notices of Debt for all Employment Insurance overpayments. This is the first notice Canadian debtors receive of overpayments, which outlines the reason for the debt, occurrence date, the amount, and payment options.
  • For the benefit of recipients, decision letters are issued following a review of their application. The letter provides details of the overpayment and an opportunity for the recipient to provide additional information pertinent to their situation. It also provides the recipient information on their appeal rights.


This article has been published for general information. You should always contact your trusted advisor for specific guidance pertaining to your individual needs. This publication is not a substitute for obtaining personalized advice.

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