Canadians can now report suspected fraudulent CERB recipients through the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.
The Agency has launched a “Leads Program” section on there website, where people are able report fraudulent claims. As of last week it has been expanded to include the following:
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB),
- the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and
- the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) funds
“If you suspect a potential misuse of the COVID-19 emergency benefits and programs, the National Leads Centre is currently accepting leads on these programs,” the agency’s website now reads.
As of June 1, the federal government had processed over 15 million applications for CERB, which included eight million unique applicants.
In total, around $42 billion in benefits has been paid out to Canadians.
Previously, reports emerged that CRA staff processing aid applications were told to move ahead with payments despite individuals not meeting criteria, even when there was suspected fraud.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged this by stating that the government chose to favour speed in processing aid payments, and that the CRA would “clean up after the fact.”
“Our focus was getting help out to people when they needed it, as quickly as possible and cleaning it up afterwards,” Trudeau said during several addresses last month.
When it comes to Canadians who have claimed the CERB, many may have mistakenly “double dipped” and received two payments when they were only entitled to one.
Those individuals are being asked to return or repay the CERB benefit online or by mail.
The Leads Program is now accepting false claim reports for the CERB, CESB or CEWS, and ask that they should include as many details to enhance the report as possible.
They have also added on their website that “It’s not necessary to provide all the information below in your submission, simply tell us as much as you can.”
Some questions asked include details about the individual’s work and schooling situation, employer and eligibility.