Get Ready to Apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit

Get Ready to Apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit

A message for your students – Get ready to apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit

Supporting students during this time of crisis is an integral part of the Government of Canada’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From interruptions in their studies and significantly reduced employment and developmental opportunities, Canadian students are facing serious challenges. To that end, we are sharing information on the most recent fiscal measures announced by the Government of Canada which will help ensure that students who are unable to find work this summer due to COVID-19 are equipped for success when they return to school and enter the workforce.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

The Government of Canada recently announced a $9 billion fund to provide financial support to students and recent graduates during the summer, help them continue their studies in the fall, and help many get the experience they need to start their careers. Among the measures included in this framework is the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) which will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The CESB will provide financial support to recent graduates and post-secondary students who are unable to work or find employment due to COVID-19, or are not earning over $1000, and who are not eligible for either the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI). The benefit will provide $1,250 every four weeks for eligible students or $2,000 every four weeks for eligible students with disabilities or those with children or other dependents. The CESB is available from May 10 until August 29, 2020. Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2020.

Applications for the CESB will open Friday, May 15, 2020. To get ready to apply, the CRA encourages eligible students to take three important steps:

  • · Step 1: Register a profile with the CRA. If you have never filed an income tax return with the CRA, you may not have a profile with us. Call 1-800-959-8281 to activate your SIN with the CRA.
  • · Step 2: Register for My Account as this is the fastest and easiest way to apply for the benefit.
  • · Step 3: Enroll for Direct Deposit with the CRA through My Account or your financial institution to get your CESB within 3 days of applying. Alternatively, you must ensure your mailing information is up-to-date in My Account to receive a cheque by mail within 10 business days.

The new CESB will help many students and recent graduates, like Peter and Jessica:

“As a recent graduate, I know first-hand how challenging it can be to balance education, work and other priorities all while operating within a limited budget. Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, my financial situation—as well as that of many of my peers—has become even more fragile.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit will support students and recent graduates, like me, during this difficult time. This benefit will provide us with financial support over the summer, helping us to either continue our studies in the fall or get the support we need to start our careers.”

– Peter Mott, M.Eng., University of British Columbia

“I am a second year IT-Data Analytics student at the Nova Scotia Community College. The COVID-19 outbreak has created several barriers to successfully completing my program. Most salient is the challenge of finding a work term to provide income over the summer and meet program requirements. The Canada Emergency Student Benefit will allow me to financially survive the summer while building my work portfolio, so I am better prepared to find gainful employment once the pandemic has waned.”

– Jessica Inkpen, IT Data Analytics, Nova Scotia Community College

Your support in sharing this information with your students is very much appreciated. More details about this initiative and the application process can be found at Thank you for helping us help Canadian students during this unprecedented event.

The Honorable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P.

Minister of National Revenue

Francesco Sorbara, M.P.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue


More information you can share
Resources for the CEWS and COVID-19 fiscal measures

Social media

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can share our posts and engage with us and our CESB-related content using the hashtags #CESB #COVID19 #CdnTax.


For general questions about the CESB, such as eligibility and how to apply, call the CRA’s general information line at 1‑833‑966‑2099.

Stay connected

To receive updates on what is new at the CRA, you can: