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Federal government out $4.5 billion in COVID-19 overpayments

Failing to verify if Canadians were qualified for federal COVID-19 payments before paying money out has cost about $4.5 billion.

Canada’s Auditor General says that is from overpayments to ineligible recipients and that the Canada Revenue Agency is falling short on verifying eligibility now.

Her report suggests in trying to get emergency funding, like CERB payments out quickly, the government relied on attestations from applicants and did few pre-payment checks before sending money.

In addition, the report also says the feds paid out an estimated $27.4 billion in overpayments that should be further investigated including over $15 billion to employers through the wage subsidy program.

The federal government says the CRA is continuing to responsibly pursue any instances of fraud.

With files from the Vista National Newswire

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