What Is The Canada Emergency Student Benefit? (CESB)

The Canada  Emergency Student Benefit is a relief program for helping unemployed or disabled students. To qualify, the student has to be unemployed, ineligible for either CERB (Canada Emergency Relief Benefit) or EI (Employment Insurance).

Perhaps, you are wondering who is eligible for the CESB? To qualify,  you have to be a student in one of the following categories;

  • A post-secondary school student

  • A recent post-secondary school graduate

  • A high school graduate going into post-secondary

In this article, beyond eligibility for the CESB, We will walk you through the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit. We will address the following questions;

  • What is CESB?

  • How you can qualify?

  • How to apply for CESB?

What is the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit?

According to the Canadian Government, the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides students with financial support. However, it is crucial that you are a post-secondary or a recent post-secondary student.

Also, you qualify if you are a high school graduate. Likewise, people who are without jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic qualify for aid.

If eligible, you will get $1250 monthly and as much as $2000 monthly if you have any disability. Similarly, you get $2000 monthly if you’re taking care of someone else.


How can you qualify for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit?

To get the CESB, you must be actively job searching while being part of the eligible group. In addition to that, you need to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.

The eligibility period is usually for a month, after which you’ll need to re-apply. Technically, you need to re-apply every four weeks to keep benefitting from CESB.

Students who find it hard to secure full-time employment during the summer due to COVID-19 can apply for CESB. It is a rule under section 6(1)(a) of the Bill C-15 Act. Also, it extends to people not receiving any EI or CERB benefits.

Generally speaking, any student receiving some aid from their employer or self-employed is not eligible for CESB. The Act does stipulate that beneficiaries should not already be partakers of EI or CERB.

Similarly, they must not be dependent on their parents. Nevertheless, parts of the regulations of the Act do allow for capped external income while collecting CESB.

Currently, the regulations are yet to be official. Nevertheless, there is an announcement on the Government’s official website regarding earning status. So, students are still eligible for CESB if they make $1000 or less in income before taxes.

The income can come in the form of self-employment or full-employment. However, students must keep a proper record of all their earnings. Doing so will help their case for eligibility when the CRA start to verify eligibility.

Therefore, we recommend that you register with the CRA if you want to enjoy CESB benefits. You can get a rough estimate of when to apply when you visit the CESB website. The estimate depends on student status and birth month.

Also, if you are still under the same circumstances as of the time you got your last CESB fund. Then we recommend you re-apply. It is safer to re-apply every four weeks. As with most applications, they are only valid before the deadline.

How to keep receiving CESB benefit

One of the conditions for CESB is always to be seeking full-time employment. So, while receiving CESB, you have to be actively looking for a job. It doesn’t matter if the effects of the pandemic are still lingering.

One of the most effective ways to seek job opportunities is to register with a Job Bank. Also, your use of a Job Bank demonstrates that you are serious about your search.

If unable to get a job, then you must re-apply during the four-week CESB application period. As a bonus, you can always find the best days to re-apply on the CESB website.

You can always get your fund within three business days if you have a direct deposit account. Meanwhile, if you are to receive your funds by cheque, it can take ten days roughly.

As a result, you have to be aware when creating your budget. For questions on CESB, you can either check the CRA website or call in by phone.

Further actions

  • Don’t forget to re-apply for CESB every four weeks if you’re eligible. And don’t forget the money is taxable! It will be part of the income on next year’s tax return.

  • Once you have your payments in place, the summer is wide open for you! How will you use it? Relaxing, catching up with friends, perhaps a personal project? 


Understanding the Government’s Limit on the CESB Funds

There is a clear distinction between CESB and CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit). The CERB is for workers who earn above $5000 in the past year. So, while CESB pays $1250 monthly, CERB pays $2000 monthly.

Part of the CERB’s objective is to provide relief to students working between May and September 2020.  There is a lot of logic in paying student workers the same amount as other workers.

Meanwhile, students could get the Government to increase the CESB fund for students with disability and dependents. The student’s campaign led to an increase from $1250 to $2000 monthly.

One of the organizations at the forefront of the CESB campaign is the Canadian Federation of Students. One of their objectives to get the Government to approve a $2000 monthly payment for all students. Also, they would like to extend that privilege to international students.

Typically, international students do not qualify for CESB. However, the Government is making it possible for post-secondary international students to work more than 20 hours a week.

It is crucial if the student works in any essential service industry. On the other hand, it is unclear if students have to have active enrollment to qualify.

Document to Support CESB Enrollment

A recent announcement from CRA indicates that they will be verifying student’s applications for CESB. Therefore, every enrolling student must have their supporting documents in order.

We recommend that everyone intending to applying for CESB keep proper records. Nevertheless, here are examples of the supporting document:

  • Proof of enrollment

  • Graduation date proof

  • Records of incomes and invoices

  • Records of supplementary income during the application’s validity period.

  • Proof of disability or dependency if applicable.

The Canada Emergency Students Benefit is not rocket science, as you can see. We have been able to walk you through the nitty-gritty of what it entails. How much you get to earn, how you can qualify, and how to apply.

Keep deadlines in mind and push that apply button today.

Thanks for reading, please let me know your thoughts and comments below. 

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