The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says the “vast majority” of those waiting for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) deposits received their payments on Friday, after a number of Canadians across the country reported delays.
In a statement to Global News on Saturday, the CRA said applicants will receive their payments “within the standard 3-5 business days for direct deposit and 10 business days for cheques.”
The agency said direct deposits for CERB applications made between Monday and Wednesday of this week were delivered on Friday.
“Applicants that applied after Wednesday, September 2, may not have received their payments yet, but they should receive it within the 3-5 business day service standard,” the statement reads.
The CRA did not provide a reason for the delays.
The statement comes after many Canadians reported their CERB payments were delayed this week.
On both Thursday and Friday, the term CERB was trending on Twitter, with Canadians across the country complaining of delays.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the payment delays during an interview with St. John’s, N.L., radio station VOCM on Thursday.
“We’re working through some of the challenges,” he said. “Because there was an extension, there might be a couple (of) little hiccups, but we have said from the beginning we’d be there for Canadians and we will continue to be there for them.”
The CERB benefit was launched in April after the novel coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on Canada’s economy, shuttering businesses and leaving millions unemployed.
The benefit provides $2,000 every four weeks to eligible recipients.
More than 8.6 million Canadians have applied for the benefit and more than $71 billion in payments have been distributed as of Aug. 23.
However, in July, the federal government announced it would be transitioning recipients from the CERB to the existing Employment Insurance (EI) program.
The federal government has said it is tweaking the current EI program to expand eligibility.
The last scheduled CERB pay period is set to end on Sept. 26.
–With files from Global News’ Kerri Breen and Erica Alini
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