Canada Emergency Student Benefit
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) – Response for Post-Secondary Students
The application process for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) officially opened on Friday May 15th. The information contained in this post is current as of May 19 at 12:00 p.m. and includes our interpretations of publicly-available information that is subject to change during this rapidly-evolving pandemic. As more information becomes available from the Department of Finance and/or the Canada Revenue Agency, we will continue to provide you updates. Please ensure you are relying on the most current information possible for any government assistance plans relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not all government legislation relating to these programs has been finalized and enacted, so some important details may be lacking but we continue to monitor these matters and can assist you with applying the information available to your circumstances. Contact your Ford Keast advisor if you are unsure about any items contained in these updates or if you wish to discuss how these items relate to your specific situation.
- $1,250 per four-week period; for up to four months between May and August 2020 if eligible throughout.
- Therefore regular maximum of $5,000 over the four months.
- Students with permanent disabilities or those who have dependents will receive an additional $750 per period; increasing the benefit to $2,000/period.
- Individuals are eligible to earn up to $1,000 per period before becoming ineligible for the program. This $1,000 threshold does not include the following:
- pensions, student grants and loans, scholarships, bursaries, graduate stipends;
- family, common-law, and spousal income;
- graduate stipends and bursaries; and
- educational funding for indigenous students through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP).
- For completeness, the $1,000/period calculation includes the following:
- employment/self-employment income;
- taxable benefits and allowances provided by an employer;
- tips a student may earn while working;
- non-eligible dividends;
- honoraria (e.g., nominal amounts paid to emergency service volunteers); and
- royalties (e.g., paid to artists)
- Must be a Canadian citizen, person registered as Indian under the Indian Act, or a permanent resident.
- Must fit into one of the following categories:
- Students who are or have been enrolled at any time between December 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020 in a post-secondary educational program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate;
- Recent graduates who completed a college or university program in December 2019 or later; and are unable to find work due to COVID-19;
- Those who have graduated from secondary school in 2020, applied for enrollment in a post-secondary program scheduled to begin before February 1, 2021 and will attend if their application is accepted;
- Canadian students studying abroad are also eligible if they meet one of the criteria above.
- Individuals are eligible whether they were employed or unemployed prior to the pandemic.
- During the four-week period for which students submit an application, they must confirm that they’re not receiving income from employment or self-employment, they’re not receiving employment insurance, and they’re not receiving allowances, money or other benefits that are paid under a provincial plan or the CERB.
- Students must also demonstrate that they’re actively seeking employment. To assist with this process, the government will make available a government-managed job posting system about employment opportunities through the Canada Job Bank website.
- Similar to CERB, a student may apply for the CESB for any four-week period falling within the timeframe prescribed by regulation.
- Students will not be able to apply for the CESB after September 30, 2020, and will not receive the benefit if they apply after this date.
Additional Student Initiatives
Canada Student Service Grant
The Government of Canada is launching a new national service initiative to recognize students’ significant contributions to the COVID-19 efforts, providing support through a new Canada Student Service Grant which will provide up to $5,000 to support students’ post-secondary education costs in the fall. More details will be made available on the “I Want to Help” platform in the coming weeks.
Canada Student Loans Assistance
The government proposes to change the Canada Student Loan program’s eligibility requirements in 2020-2021 to allow more students to qualify for supports and be eligible for greater amounts, including doubling the non-repayable Canada Student Grants for full and part time students, as well as for students with disabilities and students with dependents in the upcoming academic year.
The Government is removing the restriction that allows international students to work only a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session; provided that they are working in an essential service or function such as health care, critical infrastructure or the supply of food or other critical goods.