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The Canada Emergency Student Benefit For Students and Recent Graduates Who Dont Qualify For CERB or EI


Fact Checked

Following the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) which offers $2,000 every month to eligible workers. As of last week, more than 7 million Canadians have applied for this emergency relief.

Many students who are currently enrolled in a post-secondary program are unable to qualify for the CERB, and, with summer on the horizon and very little to no summer job prospects, something had to be done about the situation.

On April 22, 2020, Trudeau announced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) which will provide $1,250 a month to post-secondary students and recent graduates.

Related: Canada Workers Lockdown Benefit

What is the Canada Emergency Student Benefit?

The CESB is a $5.2 billion financial support plan for post-secondary and recent graduates. It is expected to help at least one million students.

It will provide a flat-rate benefit of $1,250 a month ($312.50 per week) for up to four months between May and August 2020.

Eligible students who have dependents and those with disabilities will receive $750 in additional benefits for a total of $2,000 per month to match the CERB.

Who Qualifies For the CESB Benefit?

The CESB applies to students who are ineligible for the CERB benefit or EI and who are unable to work full-time due to COVID-19.

Based on currently available information, the benefit will apply to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Post-secondary students who are currently enrolled in a program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate. The program must have a duration of at least 12 weeks
  • High school graduates who have applied for and will be starting post-secondary education in the coming months (before February 1, 2021)
  • Recent graduates who graduated no earlier than December 2019 and are unable to find work due to COVID-19
  • Canadian students who are studying abroad and meet one of the above criteria

The student must be a Canadian citizen, registered Indian, permanent resident or protected person. International students do not qualify for the program.

Students who apply for the CESB can continue to find work and earn up to $1,000 while receiving the CESB.

Students who have already qualified for the CERB or who are receiving employment insurance are not eligible for the CESB.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit explained and how to apply

How Much Will I Get From The CESB?

You will receive $1,250 every month for up to 4 months (May to August) if you remain eligible. Students who have dependents (e.g. kids under 12 years old) or who are disabled will receive $2,000 a month.

A disability is defined as “any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.”

The first CESB payment period will start from May 10, 2020, to June 6, 2020. Eligible students can apply for up to a total of 16 weeks of benefits if eligible.

You will need to apply for each 4-week period. The eligibility periods until the end of August are:

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

High-school students who are just graduating and meet the eligibility requirements can only apply for an eligibility period that falls after the date of their graduation.

While on CESB, you can work and earn up to $1,000. Essentially, you can potentially “earn” up to $3,000 if you are able to find part-time work over the summer.

A second initiative, the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), will provide up to $5,000 to students who volunteer in their communities under a new National Service initiative.

How To Apply For The CESB

As per currently available information, you will be able to apply for the benefit via CRA MyAccount starting on May 15, 2020, at 6 a.m. ET.

If you do not have a CRA MyAccount, learn how to create one here.

Payments will be sent out via direct deposit or cheque by the Canada Revenue Agency. Direct deposit payments are processed within 3 business days, while cheques may take up 10 business days.

If you do not have a CRA MyAccount, you can also apply using the automated phone service by calling  or . You will need to provide your SIN and postal code.

The CRA phone service will be available from Monday to Sunday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 a.m.

Is The CESB Benefit Taxable?

Similar to the CERB, the CESB is considered to be taxable income.

Most students won’t have to worry about paying taxes on the benefit, however, considering that the 2020 federal basic personal tax credit cancels out taxes on the first $13,229 you earn in income this year.

Add in the tax credits from your tuition payments and you can probably earn close to $20,000 without paying taxes.

Related: Free Tax Software in Canada

CESB Eligibility Work Requirements

To remain eligible for payments in subsequent payment periods, you will need to show that you have been actively looking for work.

You should document the efforts you put into searching for work. For example, register on job banks to see what jobs are available in your area. And, you should prepare a resume to use for your job hunting.

How To Pay Back CESB Payments

CRA may require you to pay back the CESB you received during a payment eligibility period if:

  • You were ineligible
  • You earned more than $1,000
  • You applied and received both the CERB and CESB benefits

If you need to repay the CESB, you can either send back the original cheque or draw up a new one and make it payable to the “Receiver General for Canada.”

Mail your cheque to “Revenue Processing – Repayment of CESB, Sudbury Tax Centre, 1050 Notre Dame Avenue, Sudbury, ON P3A 0C3.” Don’t forget to include your SIN for identification purposes.

CESB repayments to the CRA that are completed before December 31, 2020, will not be reflected on your T4A tax slip and you won’t have to pay taxes on the amount.

CRA recently added a link to their Leads Program for reporting suspected CESB fraud.


The CERB provides $2,000 per month to workers who are unable to work due to COVID-19.

To be eligible for the CERB, you must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months before your application. This is not so for the CESB.

Some students will qualify for the CERB and should not apply for the CESB.

The CERB pays $750 more compared to the $1,250 base benefit offered by the CESB.

Do International Students Qualify For CESB?

International students do not qualify for the CESB.

That being said, international students who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the CERB benefit.

Also, the 20-hour rule that restricts how many hours international students can work per week has been lifted if they are working in an essential service e.g. healthcare and food supply.

This change is in place until August 31, 2020.

Other Financial Assistance Programs for Students

In addition to the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, the federal government is also providing the following financial assistance benefits to students and recent graduates:

Canada Student Service Grant: This program will offer up to $5,000 in educational support to students who volunteer and assist with the COVID-19 national response in their communities.

Canada Student Grants: These grants are being doubled for eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students.

Canada Summer Jobs Program: Employers will receive up to 100% of the minimum hourly wage for each youth employee – an increase from the regular 50%. This program is expected to support up to $70,000 job placements in 2020-21.

Canada Student Loans Program:  Changes are being made to raise the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student from $210 to $350.

Student Loan repayments: Student loan repayments and interest have been suspended until September 30, 2020.

In addition to the above, millions of dollars are being allocated to support student researchers and post-doctoral fellows.


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Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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211 thoughts on “The Canada Emergency Student Benefit For Students and Recent Graduates Who Dont Qualify For CERB or EI”

  1. Gravatar for Jaylord

    How bout students who are taking up OSAP,post secondary diploma program? Are they eligible?

    • Gravatar for T Steve

      What about the CCA students waiting for certification with dependants at home? Are they eligible for CESB?

      • Gravatar for Tiana

        When can we apply for this ?

        • Gravatar for Erin


          • Gravatar for Nicola

            Hey thanks for this article! I’m curious:
            I am currently on CERB as I work part time during the year while i’m in school. I also am still in school, finishing up my last few credits of university during the summer term online. My CERB runs out at the end of next month and I will have received 16 weeks (the max allowed)… i’m wondering if i will, at that point, be able to apply for the CESB. I have looked around, and the info on this is foggy. I meet all the eligibility criteria, including that I would not be recieving CERB for that eligibility period, but I’m unsure.

      • Gravatar for Pari

        How to apply for CESB?
        I’m trying to apply for CESB but I get option for CERB

        • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

          @PAri: I will update this page with more information as soon as the CESB application page is open.

          • Gravatar for Geraldine Fidler

            Hi Enoch. I am receiving living expenses from GT Hiring Solutions. Does this equal to income? I am currently in school, through Webex and will be finished on May 22nd. Do I qualify for CERB if that money is income? Or do I wait, and apply for CESB?

        • Gravatar for jc

          It’s not open yet try friday May 15th 2020

      • Gravatar for Susan Caperchione

        So when is the application process going to open? It has been almost 2 weeks since they announced the benefit to students. How much longer do we have to wait?

        • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

          @Susan: The latest information is that around the middle of May. Nothing concrete yet.

          • Gravatar for GEORGIA

            I applied for CERB and got it as i just graduated and had a job to go to that was then cancelled due to covid 19. After i got my 2nd payment the CESB came out and the criteria for CERB changed and i was now not eligible for it but was eligible for CESB. So i paid back the 2nd payment of CERB. Today when i went to apply for CESB it said i wasnt eligible as i had applied for everytying available. How long do i now have to wait to apply again for the CESB?

        • Gravatar for Sophia

          Just apply for the 2k and then when they give you the student one you can refund them

          • Gravatar for Sakwe

            If you apply for the CERB (2k), will you be able to apply for CESB? They say you can’t apply for two schemes …. I’m just wondering.

          • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

            @Sakwe: You can’t apply for both the CESB and CERB…only one.

        • Gravatar for Ruth

          The application will be opened on Friday May 15, 2020 from 6am

    • Gravatar for Ashley

      I am supposed to start my program in September but due to the pandemic, I have no idea what’s going on. I’m also on ODSP, am I eligible for the student emergency benefit? I make a little over $1000 every month from ODSP. Do I qualify?

      • Gravatar for olive

        If you make more than 1000 per month you do not qualify for the CESB. Try to get a couple fewer hours per month and then you will qualify,

      • Sadly no you are not eligible for CERB nor the student one

    • Gravatar for Sonam

      What about the international students who will be joining their classes only in fall 2020 and are not allowed to work untill the classes has been started so, are they allowed to work now?

    • Gravatar for Marian

      I’m a full time student off for May to August. Is there application I have to fill out and where do I find it?

  2. Gravatar for Jaylord

    How bout students who are taking up OSAP,post secondary diploma program? Are they eligible for the benefit?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Jaylord: The CESB benefit has nothing to do with provincial student assistance programs. I believe it will be open to all students who meet the basic eligibility requirements i.e. either currently enrolled or to be enrolled by September in a post-secondary educational program. And, not fully employed i.e. earning less than $1000 per month.

      • Gravatar for Kyla Basa

        Can I get CESB once my four months of CERB are up?

        • Gravatar for Olive


      • Gravatar for JanNE

        Has the CESB program started? And is do you have the link for application?
        Also, for the $1000 income does it starts Apr or May?

        • Gravatar for Taylor Frayne

          I am wondering the same thing when is the CESB application going to open in our CRA Account to be able to apply.

      • Gravatar for Harry

        In section CERB Vs CESB please correct the following:
        The CERB pays $750 more compared to the $1,250 base benefit offered by the CERB.
        it should read:
        The CERB pays $750 more compared to the $1,250 base benefit offered by the CESB.


        • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

          @HARRY: Good catch. Updated!

          • Gravatar for Theresa Richardson

            The question is not being answered. When can students apply for CESB and how?

          • Gravatar for Seema karami

            if students have on loan and burssary will they apply for CESB?

          • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

            @Seema: Student loans and/or bursary have no impact on eligibility for the CESB based on available information.

  3. Gravatar for Lynn

    As an employer of youth what gives an employee incentive to work full time? Most will work the minimum and earn 1000 and then get the 1250 from the government. It works out to be $14 an hour and they only have to work less than part time.

    • Gravatar for Mike Richardson

      Yes and working part time reduces their exposure to the general public and by extension the risk of contracting the virus. It’s nice to see your only concern is about how much time someone else spends at work.

      • Gravatar for Zach Benedict

        It will reduce exposure for that particular individual, sure, but as a result of them working less somebody else needs to fill that shift. On the whole, potential exposure is not reduced, it’s just being spread around to more people. Lynn as an employer has to deal with the fallout of her workers dropping from full time to part time, and if she has some in supervisory positions, filling their hours would be a real headache.

        The side effect of this is that Employers have to deal with employees wanting to work reduced hours to maximize their benefit payments. Kind of a headache scheduling-wise for employers with small employee pools, but it does have the benefit of encouraging taking on extra workers, which gives summer job opportunities to some.

  4. Gravatar for Rahul

    What will International students get then?

      • Gravatar for Anonymous

        What if an international student doesn’t qualify for CERB.
        And yet they pay more fees than domestic students.
        Don’t get me wrong we are grateful for the opportunity to study in Canada, however

        • Gravatar for F

          I was about to ask the same thing. If I’m am international student, I lost my job because of the quarantine, and I’m not eligible for CERB, am I not eligible for CESB either?

          • Gravatar for peggy BUDGELL

            If you are not a resident of Canada you do not qualify.

    • Gravatar for Apo Anwar

      Nothing, they have the privilege of coming here to learn and go back so why shall government need to fund them anymore ?

  5. Gravatar for Eni

    Hi, i just wanted to be clarified student who graduated on April 2020, could get students benefits.

    • Gravatar for Eni

      Hi, i just wanted to be clarified student who graduated on April 2020, could get students benefits

      • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

        @Eni: Based on the info currently available, yes, recent graduates starting from December 2019, can qualify. There will likely be more details this week and I will update this article.

        • Gravatar for Sam

          The language is ambiguous- states “recent grads IN December 2019” not recent grads FROM dec 2019 onwards. Clarification is required. My son graduates from Uni this week and his summer job was cancelled due to covid. If he can’t find a SAFE job, not sure where he fits for some
          Financial support

        • Gravatar for Khatira

          Yes it mentions, Students who graduated on December 2019, can get CESB benefit but I couldn’t fine the application link to apply.

          Has the CESB program started?could you please send link for application?

          • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

            @Khatira: I will update this article with a link to the CESB application page once it is open. As of now, the federal government has yet to provide a link to the application page and/or a definite date when you can start applying.

  6. Gravatar for David

    Hi Enoch. Thanks for this write up. Some students are in rotating co-op then study terms…do you think students who will be studying May-Aug (remotely of course as the universities are closed) will be eligible for the CESB during that study period? Thanks in advance.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @David: I believe they will be eligible based on the current information. Additional information will be made available this week, and I will update this post once the feds provide updates.

      • Gravatar for Anon

        If a student does not pay Taxes, can they still receive the CESB

        • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

          @CESB: Yes

      • Gravatar for Bev Freeborn

        If you are a full time student from May – August and unable to work due to classes and studying, can you receive the CESB?

  7. Gravatar for B

    How about those who graduated in October?
    I wasn’t able to find a job at the end of the year…
    Then a few interviews before the shutdown…
    I’m almost running out of money to pay rent…

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @B: Based on current info, students who graduated since Dec 2019 may be eligible. The benefit plan is still in flux and the criteria may change before it is implemented in May. Stay tuned.

    • Gravatar for viola f

      Im in the same boat. I graduated university in October 2019 (that’s the latest month you can graduate in the year) so I’m a little confused about the wording.

      • Gravatar for Khaleda

        I do not have a cra account and have never filed my taxes. I am going to start working from this year as soon as I finish grade 12. How can I apply for the benefits?

  8. Gravatar for Nish

    What if a postsec student qualifies for cesb however makes a little over $1000, do you think it would be is it give or take 100-200$?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Nish: Similar to the CESB, I would think the income amounts are fairly rigid. I may be wrong, however.

    • Gravatar for Harry

      @Nish As per current rules, you make $1 over $1000 it will render you ineligible!

  9. Gravatar for Maya

    When I can apply?
    Can I apply now online or I have to wait until May 1 for the application?

    Thank you

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Maya: The application page is not yet available. I will update this post as soon as it goes live.

  10. Gravatar for ABunse

    Hi Enoch, I am a Canadian citizen and a post secondary (Just completed 1st undergraduate year) student but I haven’t filed any income tax return yet this means “no CRA account” so am I eligible to apply for CESB and how?.

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @ABunse: There is no information available that I’m aware of that covers this as of today. I would expect that there will be other options to apply. For example, for the CERB, there is an automated telephone option you can use as long as you have your SIN.

  11. Gravatar for Lynn D

    Thanks for this info. When can we expect to hear about high school students graduating this June? Will they qualify as well?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Lynn: There was some information regarding students who are starting post-secondary in September 2020 as being eligible. There will likely be a bit more guidance relating to this in the coming days.

      • Gravatar for Rose

        It says graduating high school students can apply but how do you determine which period you are eligible for? It says this on the Canada.ca website:

        If you complete high school:
        •before June 7, 2020, your high school completion date must be before the start of the first eligibility period you are applying for.
        •after June 7, 2020, you can only apply for 2 eligibility periods, starting from the July 5 to August 1 eligibility period.

        How do you determine your high school completion date? The official date of my school’s grad ceremony (which has been cancelled due to COVID) is June 4th. Is that the completion date? Or is it supposed to be the last day of school for the school district I am in, even though I would have been finished school before that due to writing exams.

        • Gravatar for Dave

          I have the same question. Did you get an answer??

  12. Gravatar for Andrew

    If I were to apply for the CESB in May, but get a job in June, is there a way to cancel the CESB?

  13. Gravatar for Jade

    I received an acceptance letter from my employer on February 11th stating that I would return to my summer job starting May 11 th. On March 25th my employer contacted me and stated that due to Covid 19 my job would not be available. Due I apply for CERB or CESB?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Jade: I don’t have a definitive answer. The question you may want to answer is “did you STOP work due to COVID-19?” If you haven’t started the job yet, it’s hard to say how CRA will define that come tax time i.e. whether your letter of acceptance and subsequent work cancellation is sufficient to meet the definition of “stopped work.”

  14. Gravatar for Andrew

    If I were to apply for the CESB in May, but get a job in June (which pays more than $1000/month) is there a way to cancel the CESB?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      The CESB will be paid monthly from May through June. If you get a job in June and earn more than $1,000, then you will technically have to repay the CESB paid to you in June.

  15. Gravatar for F

    How do we apply for the cesb though? I heard we need to create a cra account, however, as a student I don’t have any tax return info. Even when I tried applying for a cra account, my sin did not work as it stated error on the page afterwards. Since cesb begins in May, I have no idea where or how I can receive the money when I couldn’t even create a cra account. Is it only possible to apply for cra (for students) in May or do I have to create a cra account “before” applying for cesb later? Please help.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      The current info available is that you will be able to apply via CRA MyAccount. The complete application process has not yet been released. I assume they will make provisions for students who have yet to file an income tax return. Stay tuned.

  16. Gravatar for Rupert Mackie

    You mention how to apply for the CERB, but this page doesn’t actually say how to apply for the CESB. So is this not released then? Do they have a plan for when applications will be released?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      The article will be updated with more details when available. The government’s page has not yet been updated with the application start date.

      • Gravatar for The only real help here has been an opportunity to incur more debt by way of a student loan program which I am not eligible for either so what do I dojoan frank

        Still no application! This does not help students at all. Really i think we have fallen between the cracks. I am-an adult learner. I am also Indigenous. Promises promises promises. The only real help here has been an opportunity to incur more debt by way of a student loan program which I am not eligible for either so what do I do…its mid may, and we’ve been more than patient still no application process.

  17. Gravatar for Mitul

    how about student who is canadian citizen but attending med school in Caribbean and currently doing clinicals in USA, are these stuendts alos qualify for $1250/month CESB ?

    • Gravatar for Mitul

      how about student who is canadian citizen but attending med school in Caribbean and currently doing clinicals in USA, are these stuendts alos qualify for $1250/month CESB ?

  18. Gravatar for Christina Doyle

    What about people who are enrolled in online courses or distance learning programs through a career institute can they apply for the CESB?

  19. Gravatar for Emily

    What about high school students who are not graduating this year (grade 11) who made less than $5000 last year but have now lost their job due to the pandemic. Would they qualify for CESB?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Emily: No, based on the information that is currently available.

  20. Gravatar for Heather-Rose O

    Is the $1000 limit before or after tax? If I make$1,100 one month would CESB work like EI and take off dollar for dollar or would I not qualify?

  21. Gravatar for Steven S.

    Since Quebec has plans to reopen some establishments in the coming weeks and with the other provinces possibly reopening in the near future, will the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit be cancelled?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Steven: We will have to wait and see, however, it is unlikely.

  22. Gravatar for MJ

    Would high school students (ages 15-18) qualify that worked part time during last year and summer. Scheduled to work this summer as well if situation allows.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @MJ: That is not yet clear based on the information available.

  23. Gravatar for Sulmon

    I have a question. Im currently doing online classes and I am enrolled in college, the issue is Im not in a program at the moment and I was planning to do post secondary in september 2020 am I qualified for the CESB application?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Sulmon: I’m not sure I get what you mean. If you are currently enrolled in post-secondary education and meet the other requirements, you should be able to apply for the CESB.

      • Gravatar for Sulmon

        Im in college, but was forced to take an online class due to closure of my school. I was planning to enroll in fall courses as well. But cannot. So do i meet the requirements?

  24. Gravatar for LIZLY

    Great article

  25. Gravatar for Enrico R Borghese

    Hi, my friend is in a graduate program. His problem is that he has a mental disability which prevents him from getting and keeping most jobs. Do you think he will qualify for CESB?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Enrico: The CESB does not have a minimum income requirement. Basically, you don’t need to have earned income from employment or self-employment to apply for the CESB…unlike the CERB benefit.

      • Gravatar for Navneet

        Hi my name Navneet I am a full-time international student at CNC college I don’t have any job I am dependent student I would like to know am I eligible for CESB Or CERB I have doubt about it.

      • Gravatar for Susan

        1. Are mental disabilities eligible for the higher CESB amount or do you have to be on ODSP?

        2. If you have a parent who is high risk at home whom you are primary ‘caregiver’ for does this meet the eligibility for the higher CESB amount?

  26. Gravatar for Jessica Da Silva Salumbo

    What about Canadian students who live abroad and have returned to Canada prematurely because of COVID?

  27. Gravatar for Jessica Da Silva Salumbo

    Canadian students that study abroad * sorry

  28. Gravatar for Vie

    This article is really helpful. Please keep this updated with the instruction on how to apply for the CESB including the form or link to the application. Thank you very much!

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Vie: I will certainly do that!

  29. Gravatar for Allen s

    Thanks for the post. I noticed that Canada set up a “Volunteer Recruitment Campaign” for COVID-19 but applications expired on April 24 before I knew about it. If I volunteer for an organization but it is not through the recruitment campaign set up by the Government of Canada, will I still be eligible to receive the Canada Student Service Grant mentioned at the end of your post?

    Thanks again.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Allen: The National COVID-19 Volunteer Recruitment Campaign is now closed. I don’t know if there will be another round of recruitment to allow more applications from students following the implementation of the CESB.

      • Gravatar for Allen S.

        @Enoch Thanks for the reply. Do you know if volunteering outside of the Recruitment Campaign would still be eligible for the Canada Student Service Grant mentioned at the end of your post?

      • Gravatar for Sharon

        I too wonder about the service grant. My daughter has secured a volunteer placement in what is considered an essential service field. What determines eligibility for $1000 or $5000 grant. What are required hrs ? How will this be monitored? Does it affect eligibility for CESB or cerb funds?

  30. Gravatar for Noah

    Will we have to pay back any of the CESB like the CERB?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Noah: Not if you meet the eligibility requirements when you apply for and get the fund. CERB recipients don’t have to repay the benefit unless they collect benefits they are not eligible for. You may need to pay taxes depending on your overall taxable income.

  31. Gravatar for Moe

    I graduated high school a few months ago and I’m planning to attend college in September. But I still haven’t registered with the college yet. Will I still qualify for the CESB or do I actually have to be registered with the college already?. It says “students who are planning to start post-secondary education in September” I’m planning to start in September but I haven’t registered yet. Technically I qualify right?. Thanks.

  32. Gravatar for RK

    Thanks for the post and feedback. Very helpful, thank you very much.

  33. Gravatar for Kyle broschek

    I am a graduating grade 12 student. If I have a program in January for college do I apply For the benefit? Or does it have to be September ?

  34. Gravatar for Mark hazlett

    can you clarify – Recent graduates who graduated from a school (e.g. college or university) in December 2019 and are unable to find work due to COVID-19
    Do soon to be graduates (finishing now; grad was supposed to be in early June) qualify? Very few PSE students graduate in December?

  35. Gravatar for R

    WHERE and WHEN can we apply for the CESB, (the student benefit not CERB)??

  36. Gravatar for Michael Bru

    What about Graduate students who are in full tme studies until end August? Would they be eligible at all? I am in placements full time until the end of August but I have been trying for the last couple of months to find something part time to help pay the bills. Should I apply for the CESB?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Michael: Based on current info, yes, you will be able to apply for the CESB when it opens.

  37. Gravatar for MG

    I would be curious if this is an age qualified program? I suspect they will cap the age of who is a student at 30. I cannot find any information about the definition of a student based on age for this program, but typically the government discriminates against older students.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @MG: There has been no mention of any age limitations so far. That being said, there may additional rules in place by the time they start processing applications.

  38. Gravatar for Karen E Anzora

    Hi Enoch,

    It is my understanding that applications start on May st, my question is: Do you know if I should go online as of midnight tonight (April 30th) or should i go on regular office working hours?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Karen: Unfortunately, information about the application timeline stopped being available after the initial announcement on April 22nd, so I can’t say if the May 1 date will stay the same. I suspect that the implementation of the CESB may be delayed until next week.

  39. Gravatar for evelyn

    Is the 1,000 dollars before or after taxes? like if you make over 1,000 dollars before taxes but then after it comes down to less are you still able to receive the benefit?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Evelyn: For CERB, it is before taxes. It will likely be similar for the CESB as well.

  40. Gravatar for Jon

    What about my 17 year old son who is completing secondary 4 now and entering adult education for secondary 5. Does that count as post secondary? he’s aged out of the secondary school system…

  41. Gravatar for Ubaid

    Can you receive the CESB if you reduce hours from your work to earn less than $1000 because of school. Right now I am getting around 35 hours a week but I wanted to reduce because of school.

  42. Gravatar for MirelLA

    Hello, what about students that are enrolled into the OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program). My son is in grade 12 into this programs whereas his job placement would have advanced him into his apprenticeship career?

    Please advise

  43. Gravatar for denika

    Hi! I have check my CRA Account but the CESB is not available yet, just give you the option to apply for CERB. any idea on when ti will be come available to apply for. I thought it was today May 1st but maybe I was mistaken!

    Thank so much

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Denika: The CESB bill passed its third reading in parliament on April 29th and has been sent to the Senate. Hopefully, it receives Royal Assent asap and gets rolled out.

  44. Gravatar for rhys

    how do you apply for CESB if you dont have a CRA account? I have never done my taxes so i do not have a CRA account?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Rhys: I expect there will be a phone application option once it starts.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Rhys: You can call the toll-free number at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

  45. Gravatar for LoRA

    I was working full time till December 2019, I quit my job to return to school in January/2020. Now I have been looking for a summer job but I can’t find one due to COVID19.Do I qualify for CERB?

  46. Gravatar for Jay

    Are students able to get CESB while on EI?

  47. Gravatar for Jean WARD

    Is there a payback required for this CESB

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      Yes, if you collect CESB that you are not eligible for.

  48. Gravatar for J Marie

    If a young adult was starting a post secondary diploma in Sept but graduated from high school a few years ago. Would they qualify for the CESB?

    • Gravatar for Kay

      From what I understand, if you’re enrolled in classes you qualify

  49. Gravatar for Sulmon

    Where can I go to apply for the CESB

  50. Gravatar for Zara

    I started a job before the shutdown and I was suppose to work full time but because of the covid-19 I’m working only once a week . I applied for CERB but then I found out that I should have made 5000$ in 2019 which I don’t have I didn’t work in 2019 so not sure I’m I qualified ? I don’t work because of the covid-19 . I tried to call CRA but no answer . If anyone knows please advice

  51. Gravatar for Jay

    Is there any toll free number one can call for the CESB. I prefer that.


    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Jay: The toll-free number hasn’t been provided yet.

  52. Gravatar for Glenda

    Thank you for keeping this updated. I currently worry about keeping on top of information in relation to applying for CESB fearing I may miss the first chance. This article eases my mind knowing the application page is still unavailable.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Glenda: It opens on Friday (May 15th) and you can apply via CRA MyAccount or call these toll-free numbers 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

  53. Gravatar for jennifer stubbs

    Hello i am trying to find out for my on how to apply for the student emergency benefit. There is no directive on the government website. Can you tell us is it also done by setting up a my service account ?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Jennifer: I will update this p[age once the application process begins. If you don’t have a CRA MyAccount already, you may have to use the phone option similar to the CERB.

  54. Gravatar for Unaib

    Hi Enoch Omololu,

    Any update on the CESB application process to start ?


    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Unaib: Nothing yet.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      It opens on Friday (May 15th) and you can apply via CRA MyAccount or call these toll-free numbers 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

  55. Gravatar for ann

    Hello! I am a full time student and have finished my online course last April, but can not enrol for spring/ summer because our course is not offered due to covid pandemic. I needed to take a break because I have no money to enrol and staying home taking care of my 4 kids. I am planning to enrol in September to continue with my term2 when the college opens in the fall semester. Should I be eligible for CESB even not currently enrolled in my program.

  56. Gravatar for Mahwish Hussain

    hey can someone please let me know how to apply for this student benefit coz i don’t see any applying option on website.

  57. Gravatar for Alexander M

    Hey there,

    Just wondering if the heading “How to apply for CERB” is a spelling mistake for CESB, as the rest of the article refers to the latter. Also just trying to figure out if it’s even possible to apply for the CESB, as I have not found an application anywhere. And thank you for the article, there is so little information on CESB, this is much appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Alexander: You are right – good catch!

  58. Gravatar for Vincent

    Does the $5000 income requirement for the CERB have to be met by income declared on the T4 only? Or can the student loan/scholarship money declared on the T4A count toward that threshold as well? Thanks!

  59. Gravatar for salaudeen babatunde

    Are international students qualified for the CESB?

  60. Gravatar for MirelLA

    Are Grade 12 graduating students entitled to CESB if there are in the OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program)?

  61. Gravatar for Omar

    would you happen to know how to apply if you’ve never filed taxes, because I can’t start a CRA account without having filed any taxes before.
    Thank you

  62. Gravatar for Balan

    Are students who took a gab year but returning to school in September 2020 to finish the post secondary program eligible for cesb, cant seem to find an answer anywhere.

    • Gravatar for Vanora

      I was wondering that to

  63. Gravatar for Mamun

    I have a question my 2 daughters will graduate this years from secondary 5 to colleges! I never let them worked while they were students! This year for college they supposed to go find a job ! And also they never did a tax return! Are they eligible for student benefits and if yes how should i apply! Because they dont have a cra account

  64. Gravatar for Mary

    – I applied for the CERB and I realized I didn’t make $5000 or more in 2018 or 2019 so I am currently in the process of trying to return the money. Can I still apply for the CESB even though I applied for the CERB????

    – I finished my program end of 2019 December and I lost my job due to cover-19 so will I be eligible for the CESB benefits??????

    – Do I need to make a certain amount in order to be eligible for CESB because I made less than a 1,000 a month????

    Please answer my questions!!!

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Mary: Yes, you should return the CERB money if you do not meet the eligibility requirements. Based on the current information available, you could qualify for the CESB…there are no income requirements, other than that you can still earn up to $1K per month while receiving the benefit.

    • Gravatar for STephen

      No you should stick with the CERB

      • Gravatar for harry

        @STephen She will not be allowed to keep CERB if income condition is not satisfied!

    • Gravatar for Jessy

      Hi I received a letter from Service Canada and it said that ” re-examined your claim and determined that you are entitled to benefits”. But my earnings last year was less than $5000.

      Should I pay back and re-apply for CESB??

  65. Gravatar for Ivy

    I applied for CERB, thought the application didn’t go through because I had to hand in my ROE and sure enough, $2000, was deposited in my account. So, I have been reading over the criteria and I did make over $5000 last year in an 8 month period on part time work, but I QUIT that job to go to school in September 2019. So, because I QUIT, I do not qualify correct? If so, I will return it and apply for the CESB.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Ivy: The ROE requirement was waived in order to hasten the CERB application process. Yes, you will need to return the CERB and apply for CESB.

      • Gravatar for Stephen

        I would advise against that. Let the CRA make the adjustment after the fact. You’ll have to pay back $750 for every CERB benefit you get. Call the CRA and speak to them if you can. The CESB is being dispersed by the schools and you’re better off sticking with the CRA

  66. Gravatar for Rose

    My son applied and received CERB for both periods up to May 11,2020. He worked full time last year and made over $5000, but QUIT his job in December 2019 to work on call for a company and was hired on January 27th, 2020. So, he never received any calls to go into work until April 19th, 2020 and has been working 5hr shifts for about 5 days a week since then. My question is because he QUIT his job last year, this means he does not qualify correct? And because he technically has a job, he does not qualify,correct? I am assuming he wasn’t called in because there was no work and not because of COVID. Overall, he is entitled to no benefits at all in that 4 week period, correct? I am just confused… and don’t want him spending it if he needs to pay it back. thnaks.

    • Gravatar for Stephen

      No. If I understand you right then he would only be eligible from the point the lockdown was called. So not eligible before mid-March. Then I think it would depend upon his job. If he was called in on the 19th that kinda says that he could work but there just wasn’t any. Surely this situation probably had something to do with it. If I was him I’d ask for clarification from my employer in writing I’m case the CRA asks.

  67. Gravatar for vie

    Hello! May I know any update on the CESB application process? Thanks in advance!

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Vie: Nothing yet.

    • Gravatar for Stephen

      The government has given the CESB funding to the school’s to disperse
      You have to apply through your schools financial aid department.

  68. Gravatar for Mar

    Please help!
    Hi there, I’m a student who applied for CERB back in April before they announced CESB. Should I pay back CERB and then apply for CESB instead?
    Another question, will everyone have to pay back all the money they obtained from CERB or CESB? I saw something about repaying deadlines being December 2020….
    Thank you!!

    • Gravatar for Stephen

      If you’re eligible for the CERB then take that and forget the CESB.

  69. Gravatar for MARY

    – Does anyone know when the application process will start for the CESB????

    – Do you need a CRA account in order to apply for the CESB??? Or can I use their phone line and apply through there if I don’t have a account????

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @mary: It opens on Friday (May 15th) and you can apply via CRA MyAccount or call these toll-free numbers 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

      • Gravatar for Patricia

        How about high school students….do they qualify?

  70. Gravatar for Nicaj Flores

    Can you receive the CESB or CERB if you decided to take an online class for your diploma instead because you were told you will have reduced hours at work? I earned more than $5000 last year. Thank you

  71. Gravatar for Vanora

    Are you Eligible if you were supposed to start taking a program in May but it was canceled due to covid19 so instead taking it in September please answer back

  72. Gravatar for Char

    I’m wondering if my daughter will qualify for this benefit. She is enrolled in a collage. Already took one class when the covid hit. She is waiting to take another class before she can take the diploma course. Do you have an insight to this?

  73. Gravatar for Stephen

    I don’t know about the rest of you but my university is not giving support to recent grads. Their position is that if you’re not coming back to put that money back into the school then they will not help you. This is the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Whoever thought giving the money to the schools to disperse was a good idea needs to be run out of office. These parasites are just going to try to keep as much of it as they can and from what I can see their is no oversight whatsoever.

  74. Gravatar for Sandy

    I work as a supply teacher and my earning last year less than CAD 5,000
    can i apply for CERB since all schools are closed till further notice.

  75. Gravatar for Gerry Fidler

    If I am being paid a living allowance during my year of school, does this count towards income for CERB? My last living allowance payment will not continue beyond May 22nd when I’m done school. Should I apply for CERB if that money counts towards the $5,000 income, or shall I apply for CESB?

  76. Gravatar for Laurie

    My daughter was offered a job back in February – that was to start on May 4th and run for 16 weeks to Aug 21st. It has been put on hold indefinitely because of covid. So she never did start the job but only because of this situation. She made over $7000 on last years income tax from other sources. Would she qualify for the CERB – at least for the time so far that she is missing out on the job?

  77. Gravatar for Tricia McCool

    What about if I have a scolarship , can I still qualify for CERB or CESB? I have had a summer job lined up but it was cancelled due to COVID?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Tricia: A scholarship does not change eligibility for the CESB if you meet all the other criteria.

  78. Gravatar for Dawn

    Am I eligible for the grant increase if I am done school in September 2020? Or is just for students that will still be in school in 2021

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Dawn: The benefit is available if you graduated in December 2019 and after.

  79. Gravatar for Sulmon

    Just wanted to know if I’m legible for the CESB. Im in a sociology course. Im also looking to attend post secondary in september but due to the virus i cant do that. Im not in a specified program just looking to get into one. Im still a student so am I applicable? I dont 1000$ monthly.

  80. Gravatar for Jon

    If I am currently working full-time and studying full-time, am I eligible to receive CESB? Pay cuts have occurred in the company that has brought my income below $1600 per month.

    Much harder to pay for school now.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Jon: Unfortunately, a $1,000 limit in additional income has been set that makes you ineligible for the CESB.

  81. Gravatar for Kelly

    My daughter is in the last phase of her clinical at BCIT, she is due to graduate July 31 2020. The only assistance she receives right now is through the metis association. Is she eligible for the CESB.

  82. Gravatar for Jaskaran

    What about a Permanent Resident who does not have a job yet nor has been enrolled in a University? Are they able to apply to CERB or CESB or is there any other scheme that can help them?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Jaskaran: If you meet the CERB requirements, you can apply. The $5K income doesn’t have to have been earned in Canada.

  83. Gravatar for Johnny Chiang

    Will the government help you find employment like an recruiter like Pinnacle?

  84. Gravatar for MARY

    – I sent the CERB money back to service Canada through my bank app Yesterday than I tried to apply for the CESB today over the phone but it said I couldn’t apply for the CESB because I already applied for the CERB but I returned the money back because I realized I wasn’t eligible for the CERB but I am eligible for the CESB!

    – WHO DO I CONTACT TO FIX IT FOR ME! Any number I can contact

    Please answer question!! 🙂

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Mary: Here’s the number I could find for general questions relating to the CERB: 1-833-966-2099. Hope it helps!

    • Gravatar for Jessy

      Hi Mary, Can you tell me how to get your CLIENT ID# in order to re-pay Service Canada ( EMPLOYMENT & SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CDA) ? I got money from Service Canada through direct deposit. I would like to re-pay through on-line banking.Talked both agents. Service Canada Agent said that I can re-pay to CRA using your S.I.N. and CRA agents said no you must re-pay to Service Canada. Both agents gave me different answer…. They also said that after re-pay must wait at least 3weeks for eliminate EI status by Service Canada then I could apply CESB arround July….

  85. Gravatar for meagan

    i’m on odsp I applied for the CESB would I have to claim it on odsp? does that mean they take a percentage off the odsp income

  86. Gravatar for Brian

    Hi I accepted a job offer back in March to start work in late June. But I got a letter from the company saying that the start date will be delayed indefinitely until the situation gets better. Technically, this means that I am unable to work due to COVID-19. Would I be eligible for this benefit? I am also planning to apply for jobs in this field to make sure I get something in case my job offer gets cancelled. I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you!

    • Gravatar for Brian

      meant to say “start work in mid may” but it got delayed to late June and then I got a letter from the company.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Brian: Yes, if you meet all the other requirements i.e. you are currently enrolled in post-secondary education or you graduated in December 2019 or later. Otherwise, you may want to check out the CERB article.

  87. Gravatar for Dawn

    Hello Enoch – my son is graduating from high school in this semester. In terms of CESB requirements, it reads:
    “High-school students who are just graduating and meet the eligibility requirements can only apply for an eligibility period that falls after the date of their graduation.”
    Students will not have a “formal graduation” so can you clarify what this means. They are having a “distancing grad celebration” where they have their pictures on a larger Grad poster at the school and parents and graduate can take pictures.” Does this qualify as a graduation or does it mean when the semester ends at the end of June when classes are over? Thank you

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Dawn: The way I read it is after their semester ends and classes are over.

  88. Gravatar for Lewis T Reford

    I’ma Canadian taxpayer with MY CRA account, just finished freshman year at Notre Dame (US school) which means I’m currently studying abroad, but not at a Canadian school. Why would I be ineligible for CESB as I look for summer employment in Ontario? Seems like an unfair disqualifier.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Lewis: Canadian students who are studying abroad and meet one of the above criteria can apply for the CESB.

  89. Gravatar for Kathy

    If you on loan and bursary can you apply for the CESB

  90. Gravatar for RITA QUAW

    How do i apply for the volunteer grant and wage subsidy

  91. Gravatar for muhammed

    Are international students eligible for cerb
    Thank you

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Muhammed: International students who meet the income and employment status requirements can qualify for the CERB.

  92. Gravatar for sadi

    Are high school student eligible for CESB
    those who graduate 2021

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