InfoCapsule 13: Educational assistance payments

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Disclaimer: RESP promoters

The information contained on this page is technical in nature. It is intended for Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and Canada Education Savings Program promoters. For general information, visit the RESP page.

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A PDF version of the InfoCapsules for RESP providers is available on the index page.

List of acronyms

Canada Education Savings Grant
Canada Education Savings Program
Canada Learning Bond
Educational assistance payments
Income Tax Act
Registered Education Savings Plan


Educational assistance payments (EAPs) consist of:

  • education savings incentives, and
  • earnings accumulated over the years

EAPs are paid from a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for an eligible beneficiary. Their purpose is to assist with post-secondary education‑related expenses.

An EAP does not include contributions made by the subscriber.

Note: EAPs are taxable income for the beneficiary.

Eligibility criteria

  • The beneficiary must be a resident in Canada to receive:
    • the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), and
    • the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) portions in an EAP
  • The beneficiary must be enrolled at a post‑secondary educational institution recognized by the Income Tax Act (ITA):
    • in-class or distance learning
    • full‑time or part‑time studies
  • A beneficiary is eligible to receive an EAP for up to 6 months after ceasing to be enrolled at a post-secondary educational institution. The condition to do so is that they would have qualified for an EAP at the time they were enrolled

Processing an EAP

  • The subscriber determines the timing and the amount of the EAP
  • The RESP promoter is responsible for ensuring that:
    • beneficiaries meet EAP eligibility criteria
    • proof of post-secondary education enrolment has been provided
    • EAP amounts are within established limits
  • The RESP promoter calculates the portion of EAPs which is attributable to each of the related notional accounts (earnings and incentives) using the Canada Education Savings Regulations legislative formula
  • The RESP promoter must inform beneficiaries in writing of:
    • incentive amounts included in each EAP
    • their obligation to repay any CESG and CLB portion of EAP to which they are not entitled to, including any portion of CESG that exceed $7,200
  • Each year the promoter must issue a T4A slip in the name of the beneficiary, as EAPs are taxable income for the beneficiary

Note: Even if the amount of CESG available in a family plan is higher, the lifetime EAP limit per beneficiary is still $7,200 in CESG. For example:

  • beneficiary A received $2,000 in CESG
  • beneficiary B received $5,000 in CESG
  • beneficiary C received $7,200 in CESG

The total amount of CESG available in the RESP is $14,200. If beneficiary A requests an EAP, the maximum possible amount for the payment in CESG is $7,200.

EAP limits

EAP requirements and limits according to studies

Table 1: EAP requirements and limits
Studies Requirements Limits (Some exceptions may apply)
Full-time At least 10 hours per week in an educational program that lasts:
  • at least 3 consecutive weeks
  • 13 consecutive weeks if the program is outside Canada and not at a university
First 13 weeks: The total educational expenses, up to a maximum of $8,000 (whichever is less).
After 13 weeks: Up to the total educational expenses. If there is a 12-month period in which the beneficiary is not enrolled in full-time studies for 13 consecutive weeks, the $8,000 maximum will apply again.
Part-time At least 12 hours per month in an educational program that lasts:
  • at least 3 consecutive weeks
Beneficiaries must also be at least 16 years old.
For every 13 weeks: The total educational expenses, up to a maximum of $4,000 (whichever is less).

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