Canada Emergency Student Benefit Legislation Passed

On April 29, 2020, the previously announced Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) legislation was passed after being fast-tracked through the parliamentary process. The $9 billion student-focused aid package passed with some changes and clarifications.

Amount of Benefit

  • $1,250 per month for up to four months (May to August 2020).
  • For students with disabilities and students with dependants, the benefit is now increased to $2,000.
  • The Federal Government has the flexibility to implement new incentives to connect students to available jobs.


  • Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
    • Be enrolled, at any time between December 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020, in a post-secondary educational program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
    • Graduated from secondary school in 2020, has applied for enrollment in a post-secondary educational program that is scheduled to begin before February 1, 2021, and plans to enroll in the program if their application is accepted.
    • Be a member of a class of persons that is prescribed by regulation.
  • Applicants must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.
  • For reasons related to COVID-19 applicants must be unable to work, are seeking work and unable to find it or are working but paid less than the amount determined under the regulations during the four week period which they applied.
  • Applicants cannot receive any employment or self-employment income other than prescribed by regulation (up to $1,000) EI benefits, Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), maternity/paternity benefits or other prescribed income.

How to Apply

  • Applicants will have to reapply every four weeks. Applications via Canada Revenue Agency are due to open this month.
  • Applications must be made by the end of September 2020.
  • Payments are made in four week periods, similar to other COVID-19 federal programs.

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