The Government of Canada has announced two programs to provide temporary income support for individuals who have lost income due to COVID-19 and are unable to work.
These are the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).
The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The CERB is available to support students who made at least $5,000 (before taxes) in the last year, but only if they had been working and lost their source of income when the pandemic struck. More information can be found on the Government of Canada's CERB webpage.
The Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
The CESB is available to support students and new graduates who are not eligible for the CERB. For more information on this program, visit the Government of Canada's CESB webpage.
OSAP and CERB/ CESB
If you receive OSAP funding, any additional funding you receive from these benefit programs during your study period must be reported. You can update your OSAP application using the OSAP application update form if applicable.
Any CERB or CESB funding received during the study period is treated as study period income with OSAP and subject to the $5,600 per term income exemption.
Enhancements to student financial assistance Fall 2020
To address additional financial needs of students caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced proposed changes to the Canada Student Loan Program’s eligibility requirements in 2020-21 to allow more students to qualify for supports and be eligible for greater amounts. This includes doubling the non-repayable Canada Student Grants for full and part time students, as well as for students with disabilities and students with dependents, in the coming academic year.
These measures are expected to expand the reach of the program and benefit to more than 760,000 students at an estimated cost of approximately $1.9 billion over two years starting in 2020-21.