Canada Emergency Student Benefit - (CESB)


CanadA Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) And Other Benefits for Students

Created May 15, 2020


The CESB is a support benefit provided to post-secondary students and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19. The benefit provides $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. These funding amounts are part of a $9 billion support fund announced by the federal government. 

Other student benefits announced by government include additional job creation and training opportunities, a new Canada Student Service Grant, doubling the Canada Student Grant, suspension of repayments for Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans in Spring 2020, broadened eligibility for student financial assistance, an enhanced Canada Students Loans Program, & additional support for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Please see below for more information on these programs.  

Key Points

  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit provides support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
  • The benefit will be available from May to August 2020. Students can earn up to $1,000 a month from other sources and still be eligible for the benefit.
  • A new Canada Student Service Grant will support students who volunteer during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the grant will provide between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on their hours. 
  • As currently announced, these benefits are stackable in that students would be eligible to receive both the CESB and the Canada Student Service Grant provided they meet the conditions for both. 

Other Financial Support Measures for Students

  • The government is expanding existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming funding to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities.
  • A new Canada Student Service Grant has been announced to recognize students' significant contributions to the COVID-19 efforts, which will provide up to $5,000 to support student's post-secondary education costs in the fall.  More details will be made available on the new “I Want to Help” platform over the coming weeks, including detailed information about eligibility, levels of funding available, and how to apply.
  • The government will also double the Canada Student Grant for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
  • The government announced a suspension of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans repayments during the period of March 30 to September 30, 2020. During this timeframe, interest will not accrue on these loans.
  • The government will broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student and spousal contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families may struggle to save for school this year.
  • The government is enhancing the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
  • The government is extending expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplementing existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.

Full Release:

Backgrounder - Support for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by COVID-19

How to Apply


Students, including those studying abroad, are eligible for the CESB if they are:

  • A Nisga’a citizen;
  • a Canadian citizen, including dual citizens;
  • a registered Indian under the Indian Act;
  • a permanent resident; or
  • a protected person.

There are no age restrictions for who is eligible for the CESB. 

When applying, students must attest that for COVID-19 related reasons, they are:

  • unable to work; or
  • seeking work but are unable to find it; or
  • working but unable to make more than $1,000 (before taxes) over the four-week period for which they are applying.

You can not apply for the CESB if you are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance benefits for the same four-week period as their current application.

Three categories of students are eligible for the CESB:

  1. Students enrolled in a post-secondary education program;
  2. Students who have graduated from or left their post-secondary studies no earlier than December 2019; or
  3. Students who have completed, or will complete, high school in 2020 and have applied for a post-secondary educational program that begins before February 1, 2021.

Apply to the Canadian Student Emergency Benefit (CESB):

Applications for the Canadian Student Emergency Benefit (CESB)are open as of Friday May 15th through the CRA’s My Account. Applicants need a Social Insurance Number in order to apply. No other documents are required at the time of application, although students are required to attest their eligibility. It is also possible that documentation could be required in the future as part of the normal audit process.

There are a number of rules and requirements related to eligibility which should be read in full and can be found here:

Students are advised to talk to their respective Village Government Education Administrators about this benefit opportunity.

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