New Data Shows Thousands Of Canada’s Highest Earners Applied For The CERB
Earlier this year, the federal government launched the CERB in Canada, otherwise known as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
The purpose of the benefit was to help Canadians who were financially struggling during the pandemic and to support anybody who was losing income as a result of it.
New data shared by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), via the Canadian Press, has provided an insight into exactly who was claiming the funds between March and October.
It shows that hundreds of thousands of high-earners applied for the CERB, including those who earned six digits in 2019.
According to the data, thousands of people who filed a claim for the COVID-19 benefit earned more than $210,000 last year.
Who was the CERB created for?
The benefit was launched by the federal government back in March, to provide support to those who were being financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The taxable benefit provided eligible Canadians with $2,000 per month, for up to four months.
It was aimed at workers who had lost their income as a result of the pandemic, those who were sick or quarantining and those who had to stay at home for related reasons.
This included parents staying at home because of school and daycare closures.
Canadians who didn’t qualify for Employment Insurance (EI), such as contract workers and self-employed individuals, were also eligible for the benefit.
The money was available to anybody who made at least $5,000 in the last 12 months. There was no maximum amount of money a claimant could have made the previous year.
Who applied for it?
According to data from the CRA, as published by the Canadian Press, the money was primarily claimed by those who earned less than $47,630 in 2019.
However, high-income earners applied for the CERB, too.
Per the Canadian Press’ report, at least 114,620 people who earned between $100,000 and $200,000 applied for the COVID-19 funding.
In addition, 14,070 people who earned over $210,000 last year also applied for the money.
Data shared by the Government of Canada shows that 8.9 million Canadians applied for CERB payments between March 15 and October 3, 2020.
The total number of applications received during the same period was a whopping 27.56 million.
Who will have to pay it back?
While a lot of money has been paid out by the government as part of the CERB, a significant amount has been paid back already.
Earlier this month, the CRA told Narcity that over 920,000 voluntary repayments had been received via the government’s “My Account” service.
This included payments from people who may have accidentally applied twice, those who later realized they weren’t eligible for the money and those who returned to work sooner than expected.
It’s also worth noting that the CERB is taxable, and the tax return depends on how much money an individual makes across the rest of the year.
One bank is even urging Canadians to prepare for tax time by saving up to 20% of their COVID-19 benefits every time they come in.