The Canada Revenue Agency building is seen in Ottawa, Monday April 6, 2020. Canada Revenue Agency began accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit earlier Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Canada Revenue Agency building is seen in Ottawa, Monday April 6, 2020. Canada Revenue Agency began accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit earlier Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Payments for CERB top $40 billion as feds open doors for commercial rent help

The program has exceeded its $35 billion budget

A key federal benefit for Canadians out of work, or seeing large drops in their earnings, in the COVID-19 pandemic has paid out over $40 billion in emergency aid.

Federal figures posted Monday show payments from Canada Emergency Response Benefit now total $40.33 billion to 8.21 million separate applicants, pushing the program further beyond its $35-billion budget.

However, billions could be clawed back next year when the government taxes the earnings and recoups improperly paid benefits.

The details came out the same day the federal government opened applications for a commercial rent assistance program, which saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeat a plea for landlords to apply for the aid.

READ MORE: Dr. Henry ‘encouraged’ as B.C. records two days of single-digit COVID-19 case increases

READ MORE: Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

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