Canada Emergency Student Benefit application period to launch on

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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, the Government of Canada is providing direct support to students and recent graduates who are facing a very different job market this summer.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, along with the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, announced that the application period for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will begin on Friday, May 15, 2020. The CESB, which will be delivered by the Canada Revene 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 $1000.

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.

The Government of Canada remains fully committed to supporting all Canadians during this global pandemic. The Government will continue to carefully consider any additional steps it can take to do just that.


“During these unprecedented times, summer jobs are more scarce, leaving post-secondary students worried about making ends meet. Through the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, the Government of Canada is providing students with the support they need to keep a roof over their heads. When Canada emerges from this pandemic, we want to ensure students are in a financial position to continue their studies so they can pursue fruitful careers.”

-The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

“Canadian students are the future of our country and we recognize that they are also heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis. To that end, we have taken decisive actions to ensure that they are not left behind. The CRA has successfully delivered millions of dollars in benefits to those who need it most and it will continue this vital work by supporting students through the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.”

-The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

“Young Canadians are not just the leaders of tomorrow – they are leaders today. Our role – now more than ever – is to provide them with the assistance they need to help them reach their potential. The Canada Emergency Student Benefit will do just that. It is a key element of the suite of programs our Government is offering to support Canadian students in navigating the uncertainty of COVID-19.”

-The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Quick facts

  • The CESB could help approximately one million students who are facing a very different job market this summer due to COVID-19 pay their bills.

  • The CESB will be available between May and August 2020 for post-secondary students and graduates. For high school students and those working towards the equivalent of a high school diploma, the CESB will be available between:

    • May and August 2020 if they receive a high school diploma or equivalent before May 10, 2020;
    • June and August 2020 if they receive a high school diploma or equivalent between May 10, 2020 and June 6, 2020; and
    • July and August 2020 if they receive, or are to receive, a high school diploma or equivalent between June 2020 and December 2020.
  • On April 22, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a comprehensive suite of measures totaling approximately $9 billion, aimed at helping students and new graduates affected by COVID-19. Those measures include the CESB, as well as the doubling of student grant amounts and a raised cap on student loans for the upcoming school year. A six-month, interest-free moratorium on student loan repayment is already in effect.

  • The CESB is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which already commits $146 billion in support to Canadians and businesses through these unprecedented times.

/Public Release. View in full here.