A simple knock on the door is becoming a source of dread for those who collect employment insurance, as the so-called “pogey police” start making unannounced house calls.

Seasonal workers are especially worried about impromptu audits of their EI benefits and some people are wondering if the federal government is making a mistake.

Suzanne MacNeil, president of the Cape Breton District Labour Council, says it’s the number one concern she hears about these days.

“They’re really concerned they’re going to get that knock on the door and what exactly they’re going to be expected to tell the person on their doorstep,” says MacNeil.

Federal government workers are visiting EI recipients at home to ensure their claims are valid, and that they’re following new rules on benefit eligibility.

Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner says he is receiving plenty of concerned calls from people who feel as if they are being shaken down.

“We have Canada Post. We can get these letters out to the people to come for an interview,” he says. “Why they have to send a compliance officer out, I believe that in itself is almost an intimidation tactic.”

Cuzner says it especially targets seasonal workers, who receive EI in the off season, but are now told to take the nearest available job no matter the pay.

Political science professor Tom Urbaniak says that while government has to monitor public funds, how it’s being done is scaring people.

“When there is a perception that people are knocking on doors just randomly, handing out invitations to sort of sniff around a little bit, that does create a climate of fear.”

Meanwhile, the union representing the EI investigators is worried about their safety when knocking on doors. Others call it a volatile situation for everyone.

“What exactly are they looking for when they come to someone’s doorstep?” asks MacNeil. “Is this person going to have it held against them that they’re home, maybe waiting for a call from an employer?”

Roughly 1,200 Canadians are expected to receive a knock on their doors before the project wraps up next month.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald