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The federal government sent more than $9 million worth of COVID-19 disability cheques to estates of which the recipient of the money had died before the pandemic. New documents tabled in the House of Commons in response to a written question by Conservative MP Jamie Schmale also show that 4,637 people with addresses outside of Canada received the benefit. In June 2020, Ottawa announced a one-time payment of up to $600 for persons living with a disability, to help offset additional pandemic-related costs. Eligible recipients included Canadians who had a valid 2020 Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate and those entitled to the Canada Pension Plan Disability, Quebec Pension Plan Disability, or one of the disability support programs administered by Veterans Affairs Canada. Recipients weren’t required to apply for this benefit, instead the money flowed through existing programs. As of April 21, more than 1.6 million Canadians have accessed it. The department says they will conduct a fulsome review of the relief distribution to identify payment errors, and that any overpayments will be accrued as “debts owed to the Crown.”

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