What financial help is there for young people during COVID-19?
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused financial hardship for many and it can be confusing to know what benefits you are eligible for and where to get support.
What is the CERB?
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a financial benefit being given by the Canadian government to workers who have experienced job loss or disruption because of COVID-19.
The CERB application is completed online and those that are eligible can recieve $500 a week for 16 weeks.
In general, you are eligible for this benefit if:
- You live in Canada
- Are older than 15
- Have a Social Insurance Number
- Have made over $5000 from employment in 2019 or 12 months from when you apply
- Have stopped working or lost your job due to COVID-19
For a full list of eligibility requirements and FAQs visit the CERB website.
Why are some youth ineligible?
Youth, and especially students, are facing confusion as to whether or not they are eligible for CERB. Below are some common reasons why youth might be ineligible for CERB:
- Your hours are significantly reduced but you are still receiving an income from work
- You work seasonally in the summer (student jobs, contract work like landscaping)
- You made less than $5000 in 2019 or 12 months prior to your application date
- You do not have a Social Insurance Number
- You are in receipt of other government assistance like OSAP
What other financial supports are available for youth?
Neither the Government of Canada or the Ontario Government have announced COVID-19 related financial support for youth, however the situation is changing rapidly and it is important to stay up-to-date on new information.
Youth that are ineligible for the CERB might be able to get financial support in other ways like through Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program. Below is a list of universities and colleges that are offering emergency funding and bursaries to students. These are usually one-time benefits assessed on a case by case basis.