There is a flood of questions and concerns around the people that received 2 payments for $2,000 this week. 

Was this intentional or a mistake by the Government of Canada? 

Let's review the facts. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is a $2,000 benefit for every 4 weeks up to the maximum $8,000 in total. The periods are:

  • March 15 – April 11
  • April 12 - May 8
  • May 9 – June 5
  • June 6 – July 3

The two $2,000 payments can be what you are entitled to. The first payment could be retroactive for March 15 – April 11 and the second payment for April 12 – May 8. 

However, let's keep in mind that the payment maximum is $8,000. So if you received more than you should have, one of two things will most likely happen. Either your last payment over the 16 weeks may not be paid or the overpayment will be expected to be paid back during your 2020 tax filing.  

What if you know it was a mistake? What if you know you are not entitled to the CERB?

The biggest thing to remember with the Government of Canada is that they do and can make mistakes but they always find those mistakes later. And it is up to the Taxpayer to payback or makes whole the situation. If you have been paid by mistake or you know that you should have not received a benefit it will be caught during your tax filing 2020. The CERB and EI are both taxable income and therefore overpayment will be found at that time and be expected to be paid back.

The best advice is to fully understand your situation and fully understand what you are entitled to. If there are overpayments, tuck that money aside until after the phone lines die down or until all your payments are received over the coming months so you can determine if there was an overpayment.