The child allowance would have cost $ 1.1 billion more without the CERB

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OTTAWA — The Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) estimates that the Canada Child Benefit program would cost $1.1 billion more than expected in fiscal years 2021 to 2024 if pandemic-related benefits are not had not been paid to the families who benefit from it and whether the employment insurance program had not been interrupted due to COVID-19.

A new PBO report, released Wednesday, looks at the impact the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the three Canada Recovery Benefits (CRBs) have had on the Canada Child Benefit program ( ACE).

Among the observations noted in the report, the PBO points out that families who suffered a reduction in their child allowance were not dumped since they were able to collect benefits related to the pandemic.

The CERB paid $74.1 billion in financial assistance to 8.9 million claimants who lost their jobs or suffered loss of income due to the pandemic between March 15 and October 3, 2020.

During the first months of the pandemic, some parents were surprised to find that their CCB amount had been reduced after they received emergency assistance benefits.

This situation is explained by the fact that CERB payments and other benefits were included in the calculation of income to determine the amount paid in child allowance. As income increases, the benefit decreases.

“As a result, some of the families who received both CCB and emergency benefits, may have seen their CCB benefits decrease from the previous year, as the emergency benefits may have -be overcompensated for loss of income”, can we read in the report of the independent auditor.

« It’s important to note that families whose CCB payments were ‘reduced’ did not see their situation deteriorate because they received pandemic-related benefits, » it adds. we further.

Ultimately, if emergency benefits were excluded from the calculation of family income, there would be an increase in CCB payments for all recipients of these benefits.

This article was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta Fellowships and The Canadian Press for News.

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