The Canada Emergency Student Benefit rolls out Friday. Here's how to apply

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that students will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) starting Friday, May 15 at 9 a.m. PST.

Confused about whether you’re eligible? Unsure of how to apply? The Ubyssey’s got you covered.

Who’s eligible?

Student eligibility for this fund has been confusing since it was first announced, but we finally have some answers.

In order to apply for CESB, you must meet all of these criteria.

  • You have not already applied, received or qualified for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance.
  • You are a “Canadian citizen, registered Indian, permanent resident [or] protected person,” which the government defines as “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.”
  • You are studying in Canada or abroad.
  • You are either enrolled in a post-secondary educational program, you ended your post-secondary studies in December 2019 or later, or you completed/expect to complete high school or received/expect to receive your high school equivalency in 2020, AND have applied for a post-secondary educational program that starts before February 1, 2021.
  • You can’t work due to COVID-19, you can’t find work due to COVID-19 or you are currently working but earn less than $1,000 in the four weeks during the period you’re applying for.

In addition, if you have a disability or at least “one child under the age of 12 or other dependents,” you may be eligible for $750 more a month.

Be careful about applying if you are not sure you qualify. The CRA verifies your eligibility after you apply, and if they find you are not eligible, you will have to pay back any money you’ve received.

Eligibility periods

There are four periods of eligibility for the benefit, in which each eligible person can receive between $1,250 to $2,000. The first began on May 10 and runs until June 6, the second is from June 7 to July 4, the third from July 5 to August 1 and the fourth and final period runs from August 2 to August 29.

Applying once does not guarantee payments for the entire four-month period. You must apply every four weeks if you continue to be eligible.

How to apply

In order to apply for CESB, you must be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you have never filed Canadian taxes, you can create an account by calling the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 to register your social insurance number with them. Use this tool to determine what you have to do to ensure that the application process will be “quick and easy.”

Once the application period is open, you can apply online through the CRA website or by phone.

Post-secondary students eligible for the first period (May 10–June 6) can begin applying on Friday. For the following months, each person will be recommended to apply on different days based on the month in which you were born. You can determine when you should apply using this tool.

All applications for the benefit must be received before September 30.

When will I receive my payment?

The government recommends that you set up direct deposit with the CRA to receive payment within three business days. Otherwise, cheques sent in the mail should arrive within 10 business days of application.