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Who can get the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)?

Who can get the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)?
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Who can get the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)?
August 31, 2020

If you have questions about whether you’re eligible for the CESB, you can contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) at 1-833-966-2099.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is for students who cannot work, cannot find work, or are making less than $1,000 a month because of COVID-19. It will give students $1,250 every 4 weeks, for up to 16 weeks. You can apply for this money until September 30, 2020.

COVID-19 Benefits
COVID-19 Benefits

Use this chart to learn about the eligibility rules and what's available under each program.

There’s extra money for students who have a disability, who have children, or who have someone with a disability who depends on them.

International students cannot get the CESB. It’s only for Canadian students studying in Canada or outside the country.

You apply for the CESB for periods of 4 weeks at a time. If you apply for the CESB because you cannot find work, you have to actively look for work while you’re getting the CESB.

Who’s eligible

To get the CESB, all of the following must apply to you:

  • You’re a Canadian citizen, a permanent residentregistered as an Indian under the Indian Act, or a protected person.
  • You were enrolled in a post-secondary program between December 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020, or you graduated from high school in 2020 and have applied for a post-secondary program set to begin before February 1, 2021.
  • You’re unable to work, unable to find work, or working and earning less than $1,000 a month because of COVID-19.

Not all post-secondary programs qualify. If can get a university degree or a college diploma at the end of your program, then you probably qualify to get the CESB.

Many other programs also qualify, such as technical colleges and trade schools. There are lists of the programs that qualify here and here.

Rules about having other income

During the 4-week period that you apply for, you can earn up to $1,000 in income before taxes are taken off. Some people call this your gross income.

Your income can be from employment or self-employment.

You cannot apply for the CESB if you’re getting money from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

You also cannot apply to the CESB if you qualify for the CERB. You have to apply for the CERB instead.

How to apply

You can apply online using your My Account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  

There are 4 periods that you can apply for. Each one is 4 weeks long. The periods are:

  1. May 10 to June 6, 2020
  2. June 7 to July 4, 2020
  3. July 5 to August 1, 2020
  4. August 2 to August 29, 2020

You can apply for this money until September 30, 2020.

When you apply, you must attest, which means promise, that you qualify. The CRA is approving people based on this promise.

The CRA is not checking to make sure you qualify before giving you the money. This means that you could get the money even if you don’t qualify. If that happens, they’ll make you pay back the money.

It may take months before the CRA can check everyone's eligibility. So make sure that you qualify before applying.

You must re-apply every 4 weeks to get money for the next period. You also do this through your CRA My Account.

Extra money for parents and students with disabilities

You can get an extra $750 a month if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have a disability.
  • You have a child under 12 years old who depends on you.
  • Someone who has a disability depends on you.

Students and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The CERB is for people who stopped working because of COVID-19. It gives $500 a week to people who qualify, for up to 24 weeks.

As a student, you don’t qualify for the CERB if:

  • You planned to start working after the school year but have not started yet.
  • You had a summer job lined up but it’s now cancelled.
  • You planned to go to school over the summer instead of working.

You cannot apply for the CESB if you’ve applied for the CERB.

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