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The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) Explained

Video overview

To provide financial support to eligible students and new graduates, the government has introduced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). In our next “Your COVID-19 Business Questions Answered” video, Alli Cheng, Manager, Tax Services, explains the important points you need to remember if applying for the CESB program, including:

0:20 Three things you should know about CESB
0:48 Qualifying for CESB as a student
1:35 No double dipping
1:51 What is the benefit for eligible students?
2:14 How to apply for CESB

To apply for CESB by phone, please call 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.


Video transcript

Click here to read the video transcript

Hi everybody. I'm here today to talk about the Canada Emergency Student benefit – CESB for short.

This is a new program designed for grads and students to help during the Kogan 19 pandemic here's three things you should know about the CESB.

  • First: is this for you? Do you qualify to receive the benefit?
  • Second: if you do qualify, how much money could you receive?
  • And, third: how do you get started and apply?

Let's jump into the details.

Do you qualify to be eligible? For the CESB you need to be both a student and have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Keep in mind though that being a student means something specific for the purposes in CESB. You must have either been enrolled at any point between December 1st, 2019 and August 31st, 2020 in a post-secondary education program or have graduated from a secondary school in 2020 and applied to enroll at a post-secondary program.

If you’re a student, then the second requirement is that you've had a loss of income from the pandemic. This means that you're either unable to work due to COVID-19, you're looking for work but can't find it, or perhaps you're working and you make $1,000 or less of income during the period that you're applying for.

Keep in mind though you can't double dip, so you're not eligible to receive the CESB where you've received the other following sources of income:

  • more than $1,000 of income from employment or self-employment,
  • EI benefits, or
  • if you received the CERB – the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Let's get to the important information.

How much is this benefit worth?

  • Students can receive $1,250, or
  • a student with a disability or dependent: $2,000.
  • For each four-week period that runs from May to August 2020.

Now if you've stayed with me this far, I'm guessing that the CESB might be right for you or someone you know.

The applications for this program opened on Friday, May 15, 2020.

There are two ways to apply.

  • The first is online through series of MyAccount portals. If you haven't already set up MyAccount, there's no time like the present.
  • The second way to apply is by calling the telephone number that is listed in the description below. Be sure to have your SIN number and postal code ready when you call.

If you have any questions or you’re finding this information confusing, visit our COVID-19 resource hub for more information. We're always here to help.

About the video series

Get insights on the latest Canadian government programs, business risks and more in our series of Q&A videos intended to help guide businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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