Report 6—Canada Emergency Response Benefit
At a GlanceReport 6—Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Why we did this audit
- This benefit is important because of its significant cost and because of its intent to assist workers affected by the pandemic.
- A benefit with reduced pre-payment controls requires well-designed post-payment controls to ensure that only eligible applicants received financial support.
- The organizations considered and analyzed key areas in the initial design and ongoing adjustment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
- Despite challenging circumstances, an emergency benefit to support workers who lost income due to COVID‑19 pandemic was designed quickly.
- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) took the approach of relying on personal attestations and automated pre-payment controls so that the CERB would be issued quickly to eligible workers who lost income because of the COVID‑19 pandemic.
- Given the information available to CRA, it could have introduced a control related to suspicious applications at the launch of the benefit.
Key facts and figures
- On 18 March 2020, as part of its wide-ranging economic response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, the federal government announced 2 new benefits to provide income support for workers.
- CERB was intended to help affected workers meet their financial obligations, allow workers to stay home to help stop further spread of the virus, and reduce the disease’s toll on individuals and the health care system.
- Employment and Social Development Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency should finalize and implement their plans for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit post-payment verification work.
- Employment and Social Development Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency should conduct a formal assessment of the delivery of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit in order to apply the findings to the design and delivery of future government emergency response and recovery benefits.
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|Completion date||11 March 2021|
|Tabling date||25 March 2021|