COVID 19 Student Support

COVID-19: Supports for Students & Recent Graduates

COVID 19 Student Support

The Federal Government is investing in students, recent graduates, and youth to ensure they can continue their studies, gain work experience, execute service projects, and transition through their education journey with ease.

A full summary of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response can be found here

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19.

This benefit is for students who are not eligible for the CERB or EI.

From May to August 2020, the CESB provides a payment to eligible students of:

  • $1,250 per month for eligible students; or
  • $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities


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 CESB eligibility period that you are eligible for.

You cannot apply for the CESB if you already applied for the CERB or EI.

If you have already applied, or are receiving support from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI) you are not eligible to apply for the CESB.

Find out if you are eligible for the CESB here.

Eligibility Definitions

What is considered a disability?

  • Any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.

Who can be claimed as a dependent?

  • a child (adopted child, stepchild, or foster child) who is under 12 years old and is completely dependent on the student, student’s spouse, or common-law partner for support, care, and upbringing
  • a person with a disability who is completely dependent on the student, student’s spouse, or common-law partner for support, care, and upbringing

Eligibility Periods

The number of eligibility periods you can apply for and the total amount you can receive, depends on whether you're a graduating or post-secondary student, or a graduating high school student.

Eligibility period  Amount 
May 10 to June 6, 2020 

$1,250 or $2,000

Depending on your eligibility
June 7 to July 4, 2020   $1,250 or $2,000

Depending on your eligibility

 July 5 to August 1, 2020  $1,250 or $2,000

Depending on your eligibility

 August 2 to August 29, 2020  $1,250 or $2,000

Depending on your eligibility

Which Periods You Can Apply For

Each eligibility period is a four-week period with a specific start and end date. When you apply, you will receive a payment for the specific eligibility period you applied for.

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

Post-secondary students

The CESB is available to eligible post-secondary students, post-secondary graduates, and students who have recently left their post-graduate studies.

You can start applying during the May 10 to June 6 eligibility period. If your situation continues, you must re-apply for another four-week eligibility period.

Eligibility periods for post-secondary students:

  • 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

The CESB is only available to eligible students who:

  • completed or expect to complete high school, or received, or expect to receive their high school equivalency in 2020
  • applied for a post-secondary educational program that starts before February 1, 2021

If you complete high school:

  • before June 7, 2020, your high school completion date must be before the start of the first eligibility period you are applying for
  • after June 7, 2020, you can only apply for two eligibility periods, starting from the July 5 to August 1 eligibility period

Determine which periods you can apply for here.

Continuing to Get Your Payment

Continue to look for work

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 CESB eligibility period that you are eligible for.

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

Registering with the Government of Canada Job Bank is an easy way for you to show that you are looking for work. Once registered, the Job Bank will notify you of current jobs available in your field and location, as well as jobs available in essential sectors. You can also use the Job Bank to find tips to help you update your resume and explore career options. By using the Job Bank, you can keep track of your job search activities in one place.

Re-apply for the CESB

To re-apply for the CESB, one of the following must still apply:

  • 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 four-week period you are applying for

If your situation continues, you can re-apply for another four-week eligibility period.

When and how to expect your payment

If you are eligible for the CESB, you can expect $1,250 for the four-week eligibility period you applied for or $2,000 for those who have dependents or a disability.

The fastest way to get your payment is to make sure your direct deposit is set up. Direct deposit is paid in three business days, otherwise, you should get a cheque in about 10 business days.

Return or Re-Pay a Payment

Why you would send the CESB back

You must return or repay the CESB if you:

  • are able to find work and are earning more than $1,000 (before taxes) during an eligibility period you’ve applied for
  • applied for CESB and later found that you are not eligible
  • received more than what you are entitled to

Impact on your taxes

The CESB is taxable. This means you will need to report any amounts you received from the CESB on next year’s income tax return.

You will receive a T4A tax slip for the amount of CESB you receive. The tax slip will also be available in your CRA My Account for the 2020 tax year.

If you repay the CESB before December 31, 2020, the CRA won't include the amount you’ve repaid on your T4A slip.

How to return or repay the CESB

You can return or repay your CESB payment online or by mail.

If you were paid by direct deposit or don’t have the original CESB cheque

To repay the CESB, choose one of the following options:

  • Online banking: with your financial institution

1. sign in to online banking

2. under “Add a payee” select option “CRA (revenue) – tax instalment"

3. enter your 9-digit Social Insurance Number (SIN) as the CRA account number

  • By mail: send a cheque or money order to the CRA

1. make payment out to "Receiver General for Canada"

2. indicate it is for "Repayment of CESB"

3. indicate which eligibility period you are repaying

4. include your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or your Temporary Tax Number (TTN)

5. mail your payment, refer to below

If you still have the original CESB cheque

You can return the cheque by mail.

Be sure to include:

1. the reason for returning the cheque (not entitled or overpayment)

2. your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Temporary Tax Number (TTN)

Mailing address

Revenue Processing – Repayment of CESB

Sudbury Tax Centre

1050 Notre Dame Avenue

Sudbury ON P3A 0C3

For questions or concerns pertaining to the CESB, contact the Government of Canada directly.

Loan Deferrals

All student loan borrowers will automatically have their loan repayments and interest suspended until September 30, 2020.

Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

This moratorium applies to the federal portion of student loans. Borrowers should check with their provincial or territorial student loan provider to see if payment is required on the provincial or territorial portion.

Enhancing Student Financial Assistance for Fall 2020

To address additional financial needs of students caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government proposes to change the Canada Student Loan Program’s (CSLP) eligibility requirements in 2020-21 to allow more students to qualify for supports and be eligible for greater amounts, including doubling the non-repayable Canada Student Grants for full and part-time students, as well as for students with disabilities, and students with dependents, in the coming academic year. 

  •  Eligible full-time students can receive up to $6,000
  • Eligible part-time students can receive up to $3,600
  • The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.

The CSLP is delivered in collaboration with 10 participating jurisdictions. Students in Quebec, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut do not receive CSLP support as these jurisdictions run their own student financial assistance programs. Additional compensation will be offered to provinces and territories that do not participate in the CSLP.

In addition, to ensure students can continue their studies in the upcoming fall semester, the Federal Government will:

  • Broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, recognizing that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
  • Enhance the CSLP by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
  • Increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
  • Extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. Funding would support a one-semester extension for eligible students whose research scholarships or fellowships end between March and August 2020 and who intend to continue their studies. It would also provide a three-month extension in funding for holders of federal research grants to support eligible trainees and staff paid out of these awards. These extensions cannot be combined with other income supports.
  • The Federal Government also intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada with an investment of $7.5 million.
Canada Student Service Grant: "I Want to Help"

The new Canada Student Service Grant will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID 19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall. 

More details will be made available on the I Want to Help platform over the coming weeks, including more detailed information about eligibility, the levels of funding available under the grant, how to apply for a national service position, and how applications will be assessed.  

Canada Summer Jobs Program

To support students who are preparing to enter the work force this summer, the Federal Government has committed $263 million in funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program. This will support up to 70,000 job placements for youth 15 to 30 years of age. The temporary changes to the program in response to COVID-19 for the 2020 year include:

  • an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
  • an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
  • allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services; and
  • allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis.

The Canada Summer Jobs call for applications for the 2020 season closed on February 28, 2020. In response to the economic impacts created by the COVID-19 situation, Members of Parliament will work to identify organizations that provide essential services in the community and could provide youth jobs but did not apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2020.

Job placements could begin as early as May 11, 2020, and end as late as February 28, 2021.

Youth will be able to search for jobs available in their communities through the Job Bank website and app.

Supporting Students through Expanded Student and Youth Programming

The government is creating and connecting students to meaningful employment and service opportunities, with:

  • $153.7 million for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to help youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market. Funding will support a range of measures in high-demand sectors such as agriculture, technology, health, and essential services, creating over 6,000 additional job placements.
  • $80 million for the Student Work Placement Program to support up to 20,000 post-secondary students across Canada to obtain paid work experience related to their field of study.
  • $15 million for the Supports for Student Learning Program to serve an additional 14,700 youth through support to complete high school and transition to post-secondary education in order to help ensure that vulnerable children and youth do not become further marginalized as a result of COVID-19.
  • Additional support for the Canada Service Corps to expand support for meaningful youth service projects that have positive impacts in communities across Canada, including increasing the number of microgrants from 1,800 to 15,000, and providing stipends to participants.
  • $40 million to Innovation, Science and Economic Development to support Mitacs in order to create 5,000 new job placements. The Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) will also create a further 5,000 to 10,000 new student placements, by reorienting existing federal support and building online tools.
International Students

The Government of Canada will remove the restriction that allows international students to work only a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.

International students and their employers should consult Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada's Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada during the COVID-19 Outbreak to determine if the work the student is doing would allow them to work more than 20 hours per week during the academic session. This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020.