COVID-19, CRA & Revenu Québec, Tax News

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

What is the Canada Emergency Student Benefit?

The newly created Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), will provide a taxable benefit of $1,250 per 4-week period, from May to August 2020, to qualifying students that have been unable to obtain employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (unable to work, cannot find work, or income is $1,000 or less during the 4-week period).

Who will be covered?

CESB will benefit many Canadian students who:

  • Are current post-secondary students, or have
  • Recently graduated from high school or a post-secondary, and
  • Don’t qualify for CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) or EI (Employment Insurance) benefits


Those individuals that have currently applied to, or are receiving CERB or EI, cannot NOT apply for the CESB.

What is an “eligible student” for this benefit?

  • Must be actively looking for work,
  • Canadian Citizen, Registered Indian, Permanent Resident, or a Protected Person,
  • Studying in Canada or abroad,
  • You are currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate, or you completed studies in December 2019 or later, or, you have completed high school and will be starting a post-secondary program before February 2021


What is the benefit amount?

The payments provide are $1, 250 per 4-week period.  If you have a disability or a child under the age of 12 or other dependants, you may qualify for an extra $750 per 4-week period.

Just like CERB, CESB has specific eligibility periods for application, based on your eligibility (post-secondary or high school student).  The chart below is from the CRA.

How to apply to the CESB?

The CESB will be accessible to applicants through the CRA My Account portal, or you will also be able to apply via an automated phone line or toll-free number.

If you are interested in applying, now is the time to get set up to do so through the My CRA Account portal, including adding your direct deposit information.

Each 4-week period benefit must be re-applied for, and you must be eligible each time.  The final date to apply for this benefit is September 30, 2020.


For more details on income support and other benefits as part of the Federal Government’s Economic Response Plan for COVID-19, click here.

See also our COVID-19: Tax Info Centre, from our TurboTax Support team, answering many FAQs on this topic and more.