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Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Eligibility criteria – Closed

Status: Closed

CESB applications from September 28 to 30, 2020

The CESB closed for applications on September 30, 2020. However, from September 28 to 30, 2020, CRA’s My Account and automated phone line were experiencing technical issues. If you tried to apply for CESB but were unable to apply using those services during that time, then you may still be able to apply by speaking to an agent at 1-800-959-8281.

When you call, we will check our systems records to verify that you tried to apply on September 28, 29 or 30. We will only process your application if we can confirm in our records that you tried to apply during those three days.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the $1,250 CESB payment, post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates, were required to meet the following conditions:

    • Who is considered a protected person

      An individual who is recognized by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) and Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a person in need of protection.

    • Recognized post-secondary educational institutions

      Courses taken at a university or college level, or secondary level vocational training in Quebec:

    • Who is considered "unable to work" due to COVID-19

      Students who may be:

      • self-isolating or in quarantine
      • ill or have underlying health conditions
      • caring for others who are ill or vulnerable to COVID-19
      • caring for dependants while schools or daycares are closed
      • studying abroad and waiting to be repatriated by the Canadian Embassy, or only allowed to work on campus, but cannot find work

Eligibility criteria for the benefit top-up

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

    • 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 dependant
      • 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

Verifying your eligibility

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will verify that you were eligible to receive the CESB. In cases where claimants have received a payment and are later found to be ineligible, they will be contacted to make arrangements to repay any applicable amounts. Canadians can also report suspected CESB misuse through the CRA’s Leads program.

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