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Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) FAQ

Am I eligible to receive the benefit?

To be eligible, the following must apply to you:

• You do not qualify for, or have not applied for or received, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI)  
• You are one of the following:
 - Canadian Citizen
 - Registered Indian
 - Permanent Resident
 - Protected Person
• You are studying in Canada or abroad
• One of the following applies:
 - You are enrolled in a post-secondary educational program (at least 12 weeks in duration) that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
 - You completed or ended your post-secondary studies in December 2019 or later
 - You completed (or expect to complete) high school, or received (or expect to receive) your high school equivalency in 2020, and have applied for a post-secondary program that starts before February 1, 2021   
• One of the following applies:
 - You are unable to work due to COVID-19
 - You are looking for, but cannot find work due to COVID-19
 - You are currently working during the COVID-19 pandemic, but your income from employment and self-employment has been $1,000 or less (before taxes) during the 4-week period you are applying for

NOTE The CRA may ask you to provide supporting documents to confirm your eligibility at a later date. If they find that you are not eligible, they will contact you to make arrangements to repay any amounts you may owe.

How much will the benefit pay me?

• The CESB will pay $1250 for each 4-week period
• You will receive an additional $750 each period if:
 - you have a disability
 - you have at least one child under the age of 12, or other dependants

When will I get paid?

If you have direct deposit setup with the CRA, payments are made in 3 business days. Cheques will be delivered in approximately 10 business days.

NOTE If you have not yet created a CRA My Account or setup direct deposit with your account, it is recommended that you do so as early as possible to avoid delays.

Can I be working be working and still collect the benefit?

Yes, but you cannot make more than $1000 (before taxes) in the four-week period that you are applying for.

What are the eligibility periods?

You can only apply for one eligibility period at a time. If your situation continues past that period, you must re-apply for another eligibility period.

PeriodAmount
May 10 - June 6, 2020$1250 - $2000
June 7 - July 4, 2020$1250 - $2000
July 5 - August 1, 2020$1250 - $2000
August 2 - August 29, 2020$1250 - $2000

Which periods can I apply for if I'm a post-secondary student?

Post-secondary students that meet the CESB eligibility requirements are able to apply for all four periods.

Which periods can I apply for if I'm a high school student?

The periods that you may apply for are dependent upon the date that you completed (or expect to complete) high school.

Completed High SchoolEligible For
January 1 - May 9, 2020Period 1, 2, 3, 4
May 10 - June 6, 2020Period 2, 3, 4
June 7 - December 31, 2020Period 3, 4

How can I apply?

You can apply online through your CRA My Account, or by phone at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

When can I apply?

Applications open May 15, 2020. The application deadline is September 30, 2020.

The CRA has designated specific days for your application based on:
- the type student you are
- your eligibility period
- your birth month

Visit this CRA web page to use their helpful "Determine When To Apply" tool.

Do I have to be looking for work while I'm receiving the benefit?

Yes. 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, you can re-apply for each period that you are eligible for.

NOTE The CRA may ask you to provide information later to verify that you have been looking for work during the period(s) that you applied for, so it is important to keep track of your daily job search activities.

How can I verify that I've been looking for work?

Registering with the Government of Canada Job Bank is recommended as an easy way to show that you are looking for work.

Is the benefit taxable?

Yes, the CESB is a taxable benefit. You will receive a T4A tax slip for the amount of CESB you receive.

For a complete list of our COVID-19 resources for individuals and businesses, please visit availcpa.com/resources

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