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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA

Student CERB debt reduction

If you were a student in 2020 and have been asked to repay the CERB by either the CRA or Service Canada, you may be able to get a credit towards your CERB debt.

To get this credit, you must meet all the conditions below. Your credit will not be more than your CERB amount owing.

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Conditions to apply for the credit

You must meet all the following conditions to apply for the credit:

You must meet all the above conditions to qualify for a credit towards your CERB debt. If you do not meet the above conditions, you must return or repay the CERB.

Conditions to get the benefit top-up amount

If you met all the conditions above, you may also have been eligible for an extra $750 (total benefit amount of $2,000) for each 4-week application period.

How many periods you may be eligible for

The CRA will determine how many periods of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) you were eligible for. Your credit will be based on how many 4-week CESB periods you could have received between May 10, 2020 and August 30, 2020. Your credit will not be more than the your CERB amount owing.

You may receive a credit of either $1,250 or $2,000 for each 4-week period depending on your situation. The number of CESB periods depends on if you were a post-secondary or high school student at the time you applied for the CERB.

If you were a high school graduate or equivalent

The CESB was only available to high school students who graduated in 2020. The date when you completed high school or equivalency determines how many 4-week periods you can get a credit for.

If you completed high school or equivalency:

  • Before June 7, 2020: You may be eligible for a credit for up to 4 CESB periods
  • After June 7, 2020: You may be eligible for a credit for up to 2 CESB periods
If you were a post-secondary student or graduate

Post-secondary students, post-secondary graduates, and students who have recently left their post-graduate studies may get a credit for up to 4 CESB periods.

How to apply if you meet the conditions

You must fill out and submit a form to the CRA. This applies if you received the CERB from the CRA or from Service Canada. The CRA will review each request on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Download and fill out the form

    You can fill out the form electronically using the fillable/saveable PDF or print the form:

    Form T186, Canada Emergency Benefit Remission Application

  2. Gather supporting documents

    To process your claim, you will need to provide the documents that apply to you:

    • proof of high school graduation or equivalency (must include your graduation or completion date)
    • proof of enrolment in an eligible post-secondary institution
    • proof of graduation from an eligible post-secondary institution in December 2019 or later
    • for CERB repayments you have already made to the CRA or Service Canada, include the amount, date, and method of payment
  3. Submit the form and supporting documents

    You can submit the form online, by mail, or by fax.

    Online:
    Submit your form and supporting documents online using your CRA My Account
    1. Log in to your CRA My Account
    2. Select "Submit documents" (in top right corner)
    3. Select "without a case or reference number"
    4. Select "More topic selections"
    5. Select "Send form T186 – Application to change a CERB payment to CESB"
    6. Enter a short description about your submission and attach your files (pdf, jpg, tif)
    7. Save your reference number for future use
    By mail:
    Send your form by mail

    Mail your printed form to:

    T1 Accounts Correspondence
    Sudbury Taxation Centre
    1050 Notre Dame Ave
    Sudbury ON P3A 5C3

    By fax:
    Send your form by fax
    1. Include a cover sheet with your:
      • full name
      • SIN
      • daytime phone number
      • number of pages you're faxing
    2. Label the cover sheet "CERB Remission Application"
    3. Fax your documents to 1-705-671-4582
  4. Wait for the CRA to contact you

    Processing may take 90 days or more from the date we receive your form.

If you do not meet the conditions

You must pay back the CERB. How you pay your CERB debt depends on which department issued your payments. To find debt payment options:

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