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Understanding Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Updated May 20, 2020: Please note that tax policies are changing rapidly. We are updating this article as details are made available.


The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19.




Who can apply?

  • You cannot apply if you already applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI).

  • Student must be enrolled in post-secondary education anytime between December 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020, or graduated from secondary school in 2020 and has applied for enrollment in a post-secondary program that wais scheduled to begin before February 1, 2020, and plans to enrol if accepted.

  • Student must attest that they are looking for work (whether employed or unemployed) but are unable to find it.

Payment Amount

  • $1,250 a month benefit for the months of May to August

  • $2,000 a month benefit for students with disabilities or dependents for the months of May to August

Additional Student Relief

  • Canada Student Service Grant: Grants up to $5,000 towards fall tuition if students volunteers in a sector needing assistance due to COVID.

  • Student Loans: A six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans and OSAP loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.

How to Apply

  • One line thorough CRA My Account.

  • By phone at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. Before you call, please have your Social Insurance Number and postal code on hand.

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