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Progressive Conservative MLA Dorothy Shephard speaks in the legislature on Nov. 25, 2022. Image: New Brunswick Legislature video capture

Some Received N.B. Emergency Benefit Twice

By Brad Perry Feb 10, 2023 | 7:47 AM

Hundreds of Social Development clients received duplicate cheques in the latest round of the food and fuel benefit.

Now, those individuals are being told to return the cheques or risk having the matter sent to “internal collections.”

The provincial benefit provided $225 to eligible low-income individuals, including seniors, or $450 to families.

A total of $22 million was dispersed during the second round of funding, but the Department of Social Development said some clients were paid twice.

“The Department used administrative data to match clients across programs in order to determine eligibility for a benefit payment,” Rebecca Howland, a spokesperson for the department, said in an email.

“However, in some cases due to data entry or missing data, duplicate cheques were sent.”

Howland said it is estimated that duplicate cheques accounted for one per cent of the total, or about $220,000.

Clients who received duplicate cheques are being told to call Social Development at 1-833-733-7835 for details on how to return them.

“For any duplicate payments that Social Development is aware of that have not been returned, the matter will be referred to the Department’s internal collections process,” said Howland.

The process may involve “recovering payments through source deduction or registration with the Canada Revenue Agency’s Refund Set-Off program in certain situations,” she said.


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