Support for Students and New Grads

Post-secondary students are feeling the economic impacts of COVID-19. Many students were preparing to start a summer job in May, and are now worried about how to pay rent and cover basic living expenses, while recent graduates are struggling to find meaningful work. This is a critical point in their lives, and we must do everything possible to support their future.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

 

CESB: Who can apply

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, you can re-apply for each CESB eligibility period that you are eligible for.

Note: You cannot apply for the CESB if you already applied for the CERB or EI

If you have already applied, or are receiving support from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI) you are not eligible to apply for the CESB.

Eligibility

  • You did not apply, receive, nor qualify, for the CERB or EI benefits for the same eligibility period

  • You are one of the following:

    • Canadian citizen

    • registered Indian

    • permanent resident

    • protected person

  • You are studying in Canada or abroad​

  • One of the following applies:

    • you are enrolled in a post-secondary educational program (at least 12 weeks in duration) that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate

    • Recognized post-secondary educational institutions

    • you completed or ended your post-secondary studies in December 2019 or later

    • you completed or expect to complete high school, or received, or expect to receive your high school equivalency in 2020, and have applied for a post-secondary educational program that starts before February 1, 2021

  • One of the following applies:

    • you are unable to work due to COVID-19

    • you are looking for, but cannot find work due to COVID-19

    • you are currently working during the COVID-19 pandemic, but your income from employment and self-employment has been $1,000 or less (before taxes) during the 4-week period you are applying for

    • Current eligibility period: May 10 to June 6, 2020

    • Next eligibility period: June 7 to July 4, 2020

Eligibility conditions for the benefit top-up

If you meet all of the conditions above, you may also be eligible for an extra $750 for each 4-week period.

 

Additional support is available, if at least one of the following applies:

  • you have a disability as defined for this benefit

 

What is considered a disability: 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.

  • you have at least one child under the age of 12 or other dependants

Who can be claimed as a dependant:

  • a child (adopted child, stepchild, or foster child) who is under 12 years old and is completely dependent on the student, student’s spouse, or common-law partner for support, care, and upbringing

  • a person with a disability who is completely dependent on the student, student’s spouse, or common-law partner for support, care, and upbringing

Verifying your eligibility

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will verify your eligibility to receive the CESB after you have applied. The CRA may ask you to provide supporting documents to confirm your eligibility at a later date. If we find that you are not eligible, we will contact you to make arrangements to repay any amounts you may owe.

 

CESB: How much you can get

 

The CESB is a taxable benefit that provides relief for eligible students for a maximum of 16 weeks.

Payment amount

The benefit provides a payment of $1,250 for each 4-week period from May to August 2020.

You may be able to get an extra $750 for each 4-week period, if you meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • you have a disability as defined for this benefit

    • What is considered a disability: 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.

  • you have at least one child under the age of 12 or other dependants​

    • Who can be claimed as a dependant:

      • a child (adopted child, stepchild, or foster child) who is under 12 years old and is completely dependent on the student, student’s spouse, or common-law partner for support, care, and upbringing

      • a person with a disability who is completely dependent on the student, student’s spouse, or common-law partner for support, care, and upbringing

Eligibility periods

The number of eligibility periods you can apply for and the total amount you can receive, depends on whether you're a graduating or post-secondary student, or a graduating high school student.

 
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How to apply

 

Apply online or by phone

 

Opens May 15, 2020 at 6 am Eastern time

If you have never filed taxes before, you must first get ready to apply.

ONLINE: Sign in to your CRA My Account

BY PHONE: Call the automated toll-free line

Before you call

To verify your identity, you'll need:

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • postal code

Telephone number: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

Hours: Monday to Sunday | 6 am to 3 am (Eastern time)

Re-apply

You will need to re-apply for each 4-week period that you are eligible for.

To find the best day for you to re-apply, refer to: Determine when to apply

Grants and loans for full-time and part-time students

 

The Government of Canada offers student grants and loans to full-time and part-time students. Grants and loans help students pay for their post-secondary education.

  • apply for grants and loans in one application, directly with your province of residence

  • you don't need to repay grants you receive

  • you need to repay loans after finishing school, with interest

  • you may be eligible for more than 1 type of grant - when you apply with your province, they will assess your eligibility for all available grants

How much can you get

The amount you can receive depends on several factors, including:

  • your province or territory of residence

  • your family income

  • if you have dependents

  • your tuition fees and living expenses

  • if you have a disability

The amount you can receive in grants and loans is calculated when you apply with your province or territory.

To find out if you can receive Canada Student Grants or Loans, use the federal student aid estimator. Note that this estimator doesn't take into account the provincial and territorial student grants and loans.

 

List of federal student grants

Your eligibility for all Canada Student Grants is assessed when you apply with your province or territory:

Maximum lifetime limit for student aid

There are lifetime limits on the number of weeks you can receive student aid. This includes interest-free periods while you are in school. Once a lifetime limit has been reached, interest starts to accumulate. You will also have to start paying back the loan six months after you graduate or finish your studies.

Full-time students can receive student aid for no more than 340 weeks, except:

  • students enrolled in doctoral studies can receive student aid for up to 400 weeks

  • students with permanent disability can receive student aid for up to 520 weeks

Registered Education Savings Plan

In addition to grants and loans you can contact your RESP provider to withdraw funds to help pay for your studies. For more information, please visit RESP.

Existing Programs Improvements

 

The Government of Canada will expand existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months. In addition, to help students continue their studies in the fall, the government will:

  • double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.

  • broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.

  • enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.

  • increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.

  • extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.

 

Student Loan Relief

 

The following measures are being put in place to support student loan borrowers during COVID-19:

  • Student loan repayment will be suspended until September 30th, 2020:

    • If you are registered for pre-authorized debit, they will be automatically stopped so you do not have to do anything.

    • If you are making payments by cheque or other means, you are not required to make payments during the suspension period.

    • If you want to continue making payments on your loan, you may do so by logging in to your secure NSLSC account and using the Make a Payment option or through online banking.

  • Interest will not be charged to borrowers on their student loans from March 30th, 2020 to September 30th, 2020.

If your loan was issued by NL, NB, ON, SK or BC, this applies to both the federal and provincial portions of your student loan.

If your loan was issued by PEI, NS, AB or MB, NSLSC only administers the federal portion of your loan, and therefore, this applies to your Canada Student Loan only. However, your province may already have announced similar measures for the provincial portion of your loan; please contact the issuing province for more information.

Note: It may take some time for these measures to be applied to your NSLSC online account. As such, your student loan account may temporarily reflect incorrect information.

How does the suspension affect you if:


You are still in school

The suspension does not impact your loan since you have no payment to make and interest does not accumulate while you are in-study.

You are in your six-month non-repayment period

Payments are never required during the non-repayment period.

  • The non-repayment period is already interest-free for Canada, BC and NL loans;

  • Interest accrues on the provincial portion of the loan for ON, NB and SK; however, between March 30th and September 30th, ON, NB and SK loans will be interest-free.

If your non-repayment period is set to end during the suspension period, payments and interest will automatically be suspended until September 30th and you will start repaying your loan in October 2020.

You have already started to repay your loan

You do not have to do anything; your loan will be interest and payment free until September 30th and you will resume repaying your loan in October 2020. We will provide further information over the coming weeks on repayment options for October.

This information was obtained from the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) website.

Constituency Office

229 Broadway, Unit 2, Orangeville, ON L9W 1K4

Phone: 519-941-1832, Fax: 519-941-8660

Email: Kyle.Seeback@parl.gc.ca

Kyle Seeback

Member of Parliament

Dufferin-Caledon

Ottawa Office

Room 209, Justice Building, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Phone: 613-995-7813, Fax: 613-992-9789

Email: Kyle.Seeback@parl.gc.ca

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CESB