Review finds at least 120 CRA employees claimed COVID benefits while employed

By The Canadian Press

The Canada Revenue Agency says 120 people have been fired for claiming a federal COVID-19 benefit while employed there.

The CRA is reviewing approximately 600 cases in which current employees received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit — or CERB — during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The benefit was worth $2,000 a month to Canadians whose jobs were lost or downgraded as a result of public-health restrictions.

The CRA said in July that it had let 20 employees go as a result of its CERB investigation, but it now says that number is up to 120.

Claims for CERB were found to be legitimate in 30 cases, such as for employees who had temporary or student contracts.

The tax agency says it refers cases with suspected criminal activity to police, and in August, a former CRA employee was arrested and charged with fraud for allegedly collecting nearly $20,000 in government benefits during COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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