Confused About The Canadian Emergency Student Benefit?

With the government recently opening up applications for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), I was definitely a bit confused about what it was and if I was eligible to apply! Because of this, I ended up attending a workshop with Victoria College which provided a lot of helpful information on what the CESB was, eligibility requirements, and how to apply. I thought I would share some of this information in case other people are also struggling to understand the CESB! The Canada Emergency Student Benefit government page What is the CESB?  The CESB is a government relief benefit intended for post-secondary students and recent post-secondary grads who are unable to find work due to COVID-19. If you are eligible for CESB, you can get a cheque or direct deposit from the government of $1,250/4-week period from now until August. Also note that if you have dependents who you are looking after or have a disability, you are eligible for $2000 instead of $1,250. Keep in mind that the CESB is taxable income, so make sure you save some of your money to repay during the 2021 tax period—I made sure to set a percentage aside in my savings account. 
A picture of a piggy bank
Saving is important! Creds:
Am I edible for CESB?  To be eligible for the CESB you must meet the following criteria: 
  • You are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance
  • You are a Canadian citizen/ registered under the Indian Act/ a permanent resident/ a protected person 
  • You must be (one of the following):
    • Enrolled in a post-secondary program (like a degree at U of T!) 
    • Graduated from a post-secondary program in December 2019 or later (so recent grads can still apply) 
    • Graduated from high school in 2020 
  • You must be (one of the following): 
    • Unable to work due to COVID-19 
    • Looking for, but unable to find work due to COVID-19 
    • Currently working but your income is less than $1000/month before taxes
Personally, I’m not eligible for CERB or EI, I'm a Canadian citizen, I'm enrolled in a post-secondary program, and I'm working but making less than $1000/month, so I knew I met the qualifications!  How do I apply?  If you’re eligible for the CESB, it’s super easy to apply! If you’ve ever filed taxes, you likely have a Canada Revenue Agency account. You’ll just need to log into your account and submit an application. It took me less than 10 minutes to do and the benefit was transferred into my bank account in a couple business days! If you don’t already have a Canada Revenue Agency account, you’ll need to call a number to register your Social Insurance Number with the Canada Revenue Agency before you apply.
A screenshot of the Canada Emergency Benefit Info page
This is the number to call
For more information on the CESB, I really recommend checking out these websites. I found them super informative and helpful for understanding government funding and other opportunities!  
  1. More detailed information on the CESB 
  2. A guide to the CESB application process 
  3. More government support for students and recent graduates 
  4. Financial support and funding info for U of T students 

4 comments on “Confused About The Canadian Emergency Student Benefit?

  1. I’m just checking – it goes by when the work was done, not by the pay date, right? My son worked in May and June and got paid June 15th for 780 dollars (it went by 260 per half month but it took time to do the paperwork to be paid so he was paid for May and half of June on June 15). He then received 260 for the work done in the second half of June and received 260 on June 29th. If it goes by when he worked, he is under 1000. If it goes by when he was paid, it goes over 1000 for the current period of June 7 to July 4. Does he qualify for the current block of June 7 to July 4?

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