FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA

NOTICE TO FISH HARVESTERS

nf.21.301

September 10, 2021

FISH HARVESTER BENEFIT AND GRANT PROGRAM: SECOND EXTENSION TO APPEAL DEADLINE DATE, AND REMINDER OF APPLICATION DEADLINE

This notice is an update to those fish harvesters who received overpayment letters early in the second phase of the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program.

The deadline for appeals regarding overpayment letters that initially had appeal deadlines prior to September 15, 2021 had previously been extended to September 15, 2021. This notice is to inform those harvesters that a further overpayment appeal deadline extension is granted to October 1, 2021.

This means that for harvesters who have overpayment letters with an appeal deadline that is September 15, following the first deadline extension, now have additional time to file their overpayment letter appeals.

Individuals who received overpayment letters early in the second round of the program cannot, by definition, apply in the second round, and so must proceed via the appeal process should they wish to dispute their overpayment notices and seek the second round benefit payment.

This second deadline extension is intended to ensure that those harvesters with overpayment appeal deadlines prior to September 15, 2021 have sufficient time to prepare the necessary supporting documents and launch their appeals should they wish to do so.

The appeal process involves harvesters contacting Service Canada to notify an agent about the intention to initiate an appeal. The file will be escalated, and the harvester will be contacted by a representative of Service Canada's processing centre. Following this stage, should the individual still wish to proceed with the appeal, the file will be forwarded to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). DFO staff will contact the individual and may request additional documentation or information in support of the appeal.

Following the receipt of the relevant documents and information, DFO will render a decision on the appeal within 30 working days.

This notice is also a reminder to harvesters who received a benefit payment during the first phase of the program, but have not received an overpayment as described above. Those harvester must submit their application for the second benefit payment by October 1, 2021. Harvesters in these circumstances who do not file their application for the second benefit payment will be issued an overpayment letter. So harvesters who received a phase 1 benefit payment, but not an early overpayment  letter, are strongly encouraged to apply soon for the second benefit payment.

Harvesters are advised to contact Service Canada's call center to file an appeal, and/or receive answers to questions about their

application. Service Canada's call center number is 1-833-674-8283 (TTY: 1-800-465-7735). Additional information and a link to the second application can be found on the program's website.

Contact:

David Whorley
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
David.Whorley@dfo-mpo.gc.ca