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How do I know if I need to repay CERB or EI benefits?

If one of the following scenarios applies to you, then you need to return or repay the CERB overpayment to the department you received it from (CRA or Service Canada):

For example, you applied for the 4-week eligibility period of May 10 to June 6, 2020 and did not expect to return to work or earn income for that 4-week period. If you were re-hired and/or received back pay during that period, you need to repay the CERB for the period of May 10 to June 6, 2020 .

If you earned $1,000 or less (before tax) for at least 14 consecutive days during your first 4-week eligibility period, you don't need to repay the CERB.

However, if you earned or expect to earn more than $1,000 (before tax) during any subsequent eligibility period, you will need to repay the full $2,000 for that period.

If you mistakenly applied for and received the CERB from Employment Insurance/Service Canada and the CRA for the same eligibility period, you need to return or repay the overpayment to the CRA.

Yes. The CRA will compare your employer’s payroll records with the information on your CERB claim to ensure you repay those amounts if you have returned to work and became ineligible for CERB.

While the CRA recognizes that you may have made an honest mistake when applying for the CERB, or that your employment status or earned income may have changed unexpectedly, you must pay back any overpayment received.

If you are unable to return or repay the CERB right away, you can contact the CRA to make arrangements to repay any amounts owing.

Related Information

What is the difference between CERB and CRB?

How can I protect myself from a CRA audit?

COVID-19: Tax Info Centre


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