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Canada Emergency Student Benefit – how to apply

Canada Emergency Student Benefit
Canada Emergency Student Benefit – how to apply
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About the Author

Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy

Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy

Stacy is the Director of Education and Community Awareness at the Credit Counselling Society (CCS). She lives in Oakville with her husband, dog and cat.

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Let’s talk about the Canada Emergency Student Benefit and how it works.

The school season for post-secondary students has wrapped up and many are looking for work. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has derailed many students’ plans to make some cash before returning in September. The good news is the government of Canada has created the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to help students.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) FAQ’s

Who is the CESB for? Post-secondary students, recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to Covid-19.

How much is provided? $1250/4 week period or $2000/ 4-week period if you have a dependant or a disability.

What is the eligibility for the CESB?

  • You are a Canadian citizen, registered Indian, permanent resident, or protected person.
  • You are either enrolled in a post-secondary educational program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate or you completed or ended your post-secondary studies in December 2019 or later, or you completed or expect to complete high school, or received, or expect to receive your high school equivalency in 2020, and have applied for a post-secondary educational program that starts before February 1, 2021.
  • You are unable to work, find work due to Covid-19, or are working but earn less than $1000 (before taxes) during the 4-week period you are applying for.

 

Is there a top-up available? Yes – if you meet the criteria listed above, you may be eligible for an extra $750/4-week period.  Additional support is available, if you have a disability as defined for this benefit or you have at least one child under the age of 12 or other dependants.

What are the eligibility periods? For post-secondary students they are: May 10-June 6, 2020; June 7-July 4, 2020; July 5-August 1, 2020; and August 2-August 29, 2020.

For high school students who complete before June 7, 2020 – your high school completion date must be before the start of the first eligibility period you are applying for.

For high school students who complete after June 7, 2020 – you can only apply for 2 eligibility periods, starting from the July 5 to August 1 eligibility period. Remember that only high school graduates who have applied for a post-secondary educational program that starts before February 1, 2021.

How do I apply? You will apply through the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) My Account.  If you don’t have an account, you can set it up by following this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html

How do I receive my payments? You will want to set up direct deposit through the CRA My Account to receive your payments within 3 business days. If you wish to receive a cheque, it could take up to 10 business days.

Do I have to reapply to the CESB? Yes.  You will need to reapply for every eligibility period.

Am I required to look for work while I receive the CESB? Yes. The Canada Revenue Agency may ask you to provide information later to verify that you have been looking for work during the eligibility period(s) that you have applied for.

Do I have to return any of this money? According to the government of Canada, you must return the CESB if you are able to find work and are earning more than $1000 (before taxes) during an eligibility period you’ve applied for, applied for CESB and later found that you are not eligible, and/or you received more than what you were entitled to.

Is the CESB taxable? Yes. You will need to claim the CESB as income on your 2020 taxes. You will receive a T4A tax slip for the CESB you receive.

Is there anyone I can talk to? You can call 1-833-966-2099. There may be higher than normal call volumes.

As per all information I write about regarding Covid supports provided by our government, I need to do a full disclosure.  I do not work for the government and all the information I provide here is from the government of Canada website.

There you have it my friends – a lot of information on the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. I wish you good health, lots of mental and emotional well-being, and a socially distant (virtual) hug!

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