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Canada Emergency Student Benefit to take applications May 15

Post-secondary students across Canada are facing unprecedented challenges as they work to complete their studies and find summer jobs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, Ottawa is providing direct support to students and recent graduates who are facing a very different job market this summer.

The application period for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will begin on Friday, May 15. The CESB, which will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), will provide temporary income support to eligible post-secondary students and new graduates who are unable to work or find work this summer due to COVID-19, or are working and are not making over $1,000.

If you are able to work, you must be actively looking for a job to be eligible to receive the CESB. If you still cannot find work due to COVID-19, or do not earn more than $1,000, you can re-apply for each CESB eligibility period that you are eligible for. Registering with is a way for students to find available opportunities to earn an income and meaningful work experience that will help them succeed in the future.

The CESB will be available from May to August 2020 to students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and who are enrolled in a post-secondary education program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate; or who ended their studies no earlier than December 2019. It will also be available to Canadian students studying abroad, as well as high school graduates who will be starting a post-secondary program in the coming months. The CESB will provide $1,250 every four weeks to eligible students, or $2,000 every four weeks to eligible students with disabilities, or those with children or other dependants.

The CRA will offer the same fast and easy application process that has delivered CERB payments to millions of Canadians. Starting on May 15, 2020, eligible students will be able to apply for the CESB online through their CRA My Account or by phone through CRA’s automated toll-free line. To help manage the volume of applications, applicants will be asked to apply over four days depending on their month of birth, and can expect their payment in three business days from when they are deemed eligible if they are using direct deposit.

To get ready to apply, the CRA is encouraging eligible students to take three easy steps:

  1. Create a profile with the CRA by calling 1-800-959-8281 (for students who have never filed a tax return)
  2. Register for a CRA My Account as it is the fastest and easiest way to complete an application
  3. Enroll in Direct Deposit to have CESB payments deposited directly into their bank accounts. Financial institutions across the country are also allowing Canadians to sign up for CRA Direct Deposit through their bank portals in a few easy steps.

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