Federal government announces financial support plan specifically for students

April 22, 2020 at 13:00 pm

The Prime Minister announced today a new financial support plan designed for students – the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). Responding to student advocacy concerning the students’ eligibility limitations for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), CESB (once approved by Parliament) will provide $1,250 per month to students or $1,750 per month for students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020. Moreover, the government announced additional financial support of up to $5,000 inside the Canada Student Service Grant.

Click here to learn more and to apply for the CESB.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit will include:

  • eligible students will receive $1250/month from May to August
  • those who care for someone or have a disability will receive $2000/month
  • 76,000 new jobs for young people (in addition to the Canada Summer Jobs program) in sectors affected by or can contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
  • $291M for research and graduate students to extend scholarships, fellowships, and grants
  • doubling of student grants for 2020/2021
  • $75M in additional supports specifically for Indigenous students

In addition, the government announced the creation of the Canada Student Service Grant, which will:

  • be accessible to students who are volunteering instead of working
  • eligible for $1,000-$5,000 depending on the hours worked

Eligibility for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) includes making less than $1,000 a month and a student cannot be receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The benefit will be paid through the Canadian Revenue Agency.

Read the PMO statement here

Read the press release from UCRU (MSU's federal lobby partner)

Statistics Canada has launched a survey specifically for post-secondary students. 
It is a crowdsourcing collection initiative on how COVID-19 is impacting students. All  studeents are encouraged to take part. The data will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support postsecondary students during and after the pandemic.

The Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) has expanded the eligibility criteria in which up to 100% of a students’ income can be subsidized, encouraging businesses to hire students on a part-time basis, and extending the end date for employment to February 28, 2021. Though this update is more relevant to businesses and employers, students should continue to apply for positions as some places will be able to hire as a result of this update to CSJ. Click here for more information.

Provincially, outside of the moratorium placed on student loans, there hasn't been additional announcements on specifically supporting students. However, both bodies of government are looking at policy solutions that target postsecondary students. The Government of Canada recognizes the challenges facing young people who are seeking employment and are continuing to find ways to support students during this challenging time. To keep up to date with benefits as they are released, click here


For more information, please contact:

Shemar Hackett
Vice President (Education)

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