CERB verification system holds up pandemic payment
VANCOUVER -- An unexplained snag in the validation system for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has left a Vancouver man without a payment since May.
"I am beyond frustrated," said Andrew Beha.
Eligible Canadians must reapply for the benefit every four weeks, and the Vancouver actor completed his by phone on June 5th.
That’s when he was told he had to call a separate number to validate his application. He did and was promised someone would ring him back to complete the verification within five business days. No one did.
He called back three times and was told staff were too busy but would get back to him.
It’s now been nearly three weeks.
"I called again on Monday and that’s when I finally said, 'What is really going on here, and are you guys ever going to call me to verify me?'” Beha said.
The actor had been scheduled to work four months on set before COVID-19 measures shut down production.
Now debts are piling up and payments are being deferred.
"My credit is now destroyed and that will take years to get back now," he admitted.
Beha is most concerned about being able to visit his sick father in Alberta.
"The biggest thing is, my dad does chemo, so I always come over to be with him," he said.
CTV News contacted the federal government for comment Wednesday, and within minutes, someone from the finance ministry finally reached out to Beha.
"The guy on the phone admitted CTV News had called them," said Beha. "He wanted to make sure I was calling the right number, and I was. Now, he’s looking into it."