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Student relief enacted

Student relief enacted

This benefit can support certain post-secondary students who are ineligible for CERB


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The government passed legislation to enact the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) on May 1, 2020. The CESB is generally intended to support certain post-secondary students, if they are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Finance has indicated the CESB would provide certain students with a benefit of $1,250 a month for up to four months between May and August 2020. Eligible students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities would receive $750 in additional benefits for a total of $2,000 per month. The additional benefit of $750 has increased from $500, since the CESB was originally announced on April 22, 2020.

The legislation enacting the benefit is drafted to allow the government to adjust certain CESB time periods, amounts and definitions by adjusting legislative regulations, as needed.

Who is eligible?

The CESB is generally available for certain students that are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, have protected status under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or are registered as an Indian under the Indian Act if they are:

  • Students who are enrolled, at any time between December 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020, in a post-secondary educational program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate, or
  • 2020 secondary school graduates who, upon acceptance, plan to enroll in a post-secondary program scheduled to begin by February 1, 2021

These students may qualify for the CESB if they are unable to work, are seeking work but are unable to find it, or are working but are paid less than a minimum threshold, for reasons related to COVID-19, during the four-week period for which they are applying for the benefit. Eligible students cannot receive (in respect to that four-week period), certain income above a minimum threshold, employment insurance benefits, certain parental benefits, or the CERB. The minimum thresholds will be set by regulation.

To be considered for the program, eligible students must apply by September 30, 2020.

The 'seeking-work' requirement

Students that apply for the CESB on the basis that they are seeking work, but are unable to find it, must attest to the fact that they are seeking work in their application.

Government-managed job posting system

The government will also make information about employment opportunities available to eligible students through a government-managed job posting system.

Repayment of erroneous benefits

Students are required to repay the amount of any erroneous payment or overpayment under the CESB, if it is determined that they have been paid an amount to which they are not entitled.
For more information, contact your KPMG adviser.

Information is current to May 5, 2020. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's National Tax Centre at 416.777.8500

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