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# Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:17:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) ( General Life )

The Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) is offered to eligible Canadians by Service Canada on behalf of the Labour Program. The purpose of WEPP is to reimburse workers for any unpaid wages as well as vacation pay that is owed to them but has not been paid due to the employer declaring bankruptcy and/or is subject to receivership. This program does not cover severance pay, termination pay, and/or any other employee benefits. The maximum payment is four times the Employment Insurance weekly average wage, less any amounts that are prescribed by regulations.

Applications for WEPP must be submitted within 56 days of the date of bankruptcy or receivership to Service Canada. This payment is taxable; a T4A slip will be issued on or before the last day of February the year following the payment. When WEPP is added to the Income Tax Act, the applicable tax will be deducted at the source. Eligibility for WEPP includes:

• If your former employer filed for bankruptcy or is subject to receivership on or after July 7, 2008.
• You are owed wages by your former employer which was earned during six months preceding the date of  bankruptcy/receivership.
• A trustee or receiver has been appointed to administer the former employer's bankruptcy/receivership.
• You have stopped working for a period of 7 consecutive days for your bankrupt/insolvent employer.

Please note that you are not eligible for WEPP if your employer has not declared bankruptcy. Other criteria that may make you ineligible for this benefit are:

• If you were an officer or director of the former employer.
• If you had a controlling interest in the now bankrupt business.
• You were a manager in which your duties included making financial decisions that impacted the business and/or made binding financial decisions regarding the payment or non-payment of wages.

If you are related to the now bankrupt employer, you may still be eligible for this benefit. You will be required to fill out the WEPP Supplementary Form (Additional Information Regarding Your Relationship to Your Employer) in addition to your application. This will help determine whether or not you were treated in the same manner as the other employees despite your familial relationship to the owner. You may also be eligible if you are currently working for the receiver/trustee as long as your employment was terminated for 7 consecutive days by the former employer and no wages were earned during that time period. If you have only been partially compensated for your wages and/or vacation pay you are still eligible for the outstanding amount owed.

If you are collecting Employment Insurance benefits, you must report the receipt of your WEPP payment. Any outstanding owed monies that were not paid under WEPP can still be pursued under the regular bankruptcy process. You will need to contact the trustee/receiver for more information on pursuing this action.

You will need to have a copy of the information that is provided to Service Canada by the trustee or receiver appointed in your employer's bankruptcy/receivership before applying for this benefit. This information, along with your application, will determine your eligibility as well as your payment. If your employer has declared bankruptcy, you must contact the trustee to file a proof of claim. This proof of claim is essential in order to process your WEPP application. You also may be entitled to compensation beyond the limits of what can be paid under the WEPP.

For more information about the Wage Earner Protection Program, please visit Service Canada.

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