What benefits are available to students during COVID-19?

The Canadian Emergency Student Benefit is a fund that students can apply for if they can’t find work because of COVID-19.

You are eligible for the CESB if:

  • You do not qualify for EI or CERB
  • You’re a citizen, permanent resident, registered Indian, or protected person 
  • You’re a student or recent graduate
  • You are earning less than $1,000 (before taxes) during the 4-week eligibility periods

You are considered a student or recent graduate if one of the following applies to you:

  • You’re enrolled in a post-secondary program (e.g., college or university) to receive a diploma, degree, or certificate 
  • Your finished post-secondary studies in December 2019 or later 
  • You finished/will finish high school in 2020 and expect to start a post-secondary program before February 2021

How much money can I get through CESB?

Students can receive $1,250 plus the benefit top-up if they’re eligible for each of the following 4-week periods:

  • May 10 to June 6, 2020
  • June 7 to July 4, 2020
  • July 5 to August 1, 2020
  • August 2 to August 29, 2020

Graduating high school students are eligible for:

  • All 4 eligibility periods if they graduated between January 1 and May 9
  • Only 3 eligibility periods if they graduated between May 10 and June 6
  • Only 2 eligibility periods if they graduated between Jun 7 and December 31

Students need to re-apply for every period and must be actively looking for work while receiving the benefit. 


What is the benefit top-up?

Applicants can get a bonus $750 if they have a disability, or a child or dependent under 12-years-old.

When do I get my money?

Applicants who set up direct deposit get paid within three businesses. Otherwise, it will take about 10 business days to receive a cheque by mail. 

How can students apply?

  1. Online by creating an account with or signing into an existing CRA account.
  2. On the phone by calling the CRA 1-800-959-8281 at.

Make sure you have your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and postal code ready.