One-time payments to seniors over 75 likely to also go to the dead, documents say

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OTTAWA — Canada's seniors minister was warned in the spring that the Liberal government's plan to send $500 payments to pensioners in August would end with some of the money going to people who had died.

It's not unheard of for federal benefits to flow to a person after their death, often as a result of lags in reporting to federal authorities from provinces and territories that are responsible for collecting information about a person's death.

Usually, though, those incorrect payments are followed by uncomfortable collection calls from Service Canada.

A late May briefing note to Seniors Minister Deb Schulte said the government wouldn't seek to recoup the deposits made to the deceased.

The briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press said the risks of paying the dead "is very low" and the department won't "reassess eligibility under such circumstances.

Employment and Social Development Canada, which oversees the payments, wouldn't say how much the almost $1.7 billion budgeted for the measure it estimates could go to dead people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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