Report: Government workers told to ignore CERB fraud

A computer keyboard

Federal workers have reportedly been told to ignore most cases of potential fraud involving the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.

According to the National Post, a memo went out to staff last month telling them that if they uncover information suggesting abuse of the system, they should not refer the file to the integrity branch unless it's considered urgent and they should process the payment.

Urgent issues would reportedly include applications for dead people and social insurance numbers that have never been used.

The paper cites a source as saying 200,000 cases have already been red-flagged. Instead of being investigated, they expect these claims will be written off.

The evidence of abuse is said to include applicants who claim to have made $5000 in the last month of 2019. That's the minimum amount they would need to have made to qualify for the CERB.

There are also reported cases of international students claiming to have worked 40 hours a week, when their visas only allow them to work 20 hours.

Government officials have said they wanted to get the money out quickly to those who need it and would work to get it back from unqualified applicants later.