How Do You Pay Back COVID-19 Benefit Payments?

COVID 19 continues to impact the world, changing the way people run their lives and disrupting the flow of business. As a result, people are continually looking for support to get through this time of  crisis. Governments all over the world stepped in to offer relief to their citizens by offering them a benefits package at the height of lockdowns to help them survive at a time when some could not go to their jobs.

Most of the lockdowns are over and countries like Canada and the U.S. are on a recovery path. There was a deadline set for recipients to submit this proof, and if you missed this deadline or received an overpayment, you will have to pay back the CERB benefit payments you received. This post will tell you how to do that.


Eligibility of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit

The government of Canada created a monetary strategy to protect its citizens from the life-threatening effects of COVID 19. Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gave upkeep to working residents whose lives were affected by COVID-19. All eligible Canadians received $500 per week for four months. However, one stipulation was that residents had to prove their incomes were affected by the pandemic.

Who Was Eligible for Relief Payments?

Workers in Canada qualified for CERB payments almost automatically. Here are some of the detailed means in which one qualified for relief.

  • Any person who has been living and working in Canada for at least 15 years
  • Persons whose jobs were interrupted by the pandemic
  • Anyone eligible for work insurance illness benefits. On the other hand, if you had depleted medical insurance given by your employment or drained the employment insurance paybacks between Dec 2019 and October 3, 2020, you qualified to receive CERB.

How Do You Make Your CERB Repayment?

There are many ways to repay CERB benefit payments. You can submit payment through your bank, by mail, or online.  If you need to return a payment to the CRA, go to If you are unable to make the payment in full, contact the CRA to request a payment arrangement. This has been added to give Canadians more time and more flexibility.

To Set Up a Payment Arrangement

Call the CRA’s TeleArrangement service at 1-866-256-1147 to set up a payment arrangement. You will need to provide information such as your date of birth, your social insurance number, and the amount you entered on line 15000 from your last return for which you received a notice of assessment. The TeleArrangement service is available Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern time. If you owe money to the CRA they will work with you to help you pay your debt.

How Much Time Do You Have?

The CERB benefits are counted as taxable income, so you will receive a T4A or T4E tax slip in the mail showing the total amount of payment(s) you received in 2020. Residents were encouraged to repay any overpayments by December 31, 2020 but that was not the actual deadline. If you received  a COVID-19 benefit overpayment, your account will be adjusted when the payment is made.

How Do You Calculate Tax on CERB?

It’s essential to know CERB payments are taxable. The law demands you submit a report regarding CERB totals you received while filing your income taxes. The precise total of tax payable is determined by the amount you received from the government during the pandemic.

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