The federal government has confirmed that thousands of Canadians will be let off CERB repayments following confusion related to eligibility for self-employed people.

In an announcement on Tuesday, February 9, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news.

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As long as you meet the other eligibility criteria, you will not have to return those CERB payments. Justin Trudeau

Repayments will be scrapped for self-employed Canadians who applied for the benefit based on their gross income, rather than their net income.

Those who will be let off repayments must have met all other eligibility requirements, though.

This applies to all applicants, regardless of whether their funding came from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Service Canada.

Anybody who falls into this category but has already repaid their CERB will get their money returned.

The government previously acknowledged that the CERB’s eligibility criteria was confusing, but had refused to scrap repayments for those who had accidentally applied for it incorrectly.

As many as 441,000 people were contacted about repaying the COVID-19 benefit back in 2020.

For months, leading politicians like NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party leader Annamie Paul have been calling on the Liberal Government to scrap CERB repayments during the pandemic.

Speaking in December, Paul said that asking confused Canadians to repay thousands of dollars during COVID-19 would be “heartless, unreasonable and unfair.”

“Now isn’t the time to ask them to repay a good faith mistake,” she added.

This also comes one week after a class-action lawsuit was proposed against the federal government in relation to the repayments.

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The federal government said people still owe some or all of the $2,000 CERB payments.

Some Canadians who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) during the pandemic are reportedly going to get notices that they still have to pay back the money.

According to The Canadian Press, people who owe money will get a notice from Service Canada that outlines how much they owe, the process to repay it and how they can appeal the decision.

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