The Canada Revenue Agency has now fired more than 200 people for falsely claiming a federal income benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CRA says as of March 15, 232 employees "inappropriately applied for and received" the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and have been terminated, an increase of 47 since December.

The benefit, known as CERB for short, provided $2,000 per month to Canadians whose jobs were lost as a result of public health restrictions during the pandemic.

They must repay the CERB funds they received if they have not already done so.

The agency launched an internal review that identified 600 employees for further investigation but not all would have been ineligible for the benefit because some were students or term employees.

The CRA says the case-by-case reviews completed to date confirmed 133 employees properly received the benefit, leaving about 235 files still to be reviewed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2024.

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