Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides $1,250 a month to students

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will provide $1,250 a month to post-secondary students.


The CESB is a $5.2 billion financial support plan for post-secondary and recent graduates. It is expected to help at least one million students.

It will provide a flat-rate benefit of $1,250 a month ($312.50 per week) for up to four months between May and August 2020.

Eligible students who have dependents and those with disabilities will receive $750 in additional benefits for a total of $2,000 per month to match the CERB.


The CESB applies to students who are ineligible for the CERB benefit or EI and who are unable to work full-time due to COVID-19.

Based on currently available information, the benefit will apply to students who meet the following criteria:

  • · Post-secondary students who are currently enrolled in a program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate. The program must have a duration of at least 12 weeks
  • · High school graduates who have applied for and will be starting post-secondary education in the coming months (before February 1, 2021)
  • · Recent graduates who graduated no earlier than December 2019 and are unable to find work due to COVID-19
  • · Canadian students who are studying abroad and meet one of the above criteria

The student must be a Canadian citizen, registered Indian, permanent resident or protected person. International students do not qualify for the program.

Students who apply for the CESB can continue to find work and earn up to $1,000 while receiving the CESB.


You will receive $1,250 every month for up to 4 months (May to August) if you remain eligible. Students who have dependents (e.g. kids under 12 years old) or who are disabled will receive $2,000 a month.

A disability is defined as “any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.”

The first CESB payment period will start from May 10, 2020, to June 6, 2020. Eligible students can apply for up to a total of 16 weeks of benefits if eligible.

You will need to apply for each 4-week period. The eligibility periods until the end of August are:

  • · May 10 to June 6, 2020
  • · June 7 to July 4, 2020
  • · July 5 to August 1, 2020
  • · August 2 to August 29, 2020

High-school students who are just graduating and meet the eligibility requirements can only apply for an eligibility period that falls after the date of their graduation.

While on CESB, you can work and earn up to $1,000. Essentially, you can potentially “earn” up to $3,000 if you are able to find part-time work over the summer.

A second initiative, the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), will provide up to $5,000 to students who volunteer in their communities under a new National Service initiative.


As per currently available information, you will be able to apply for the benefit via CRA MyAccount starting on May 15, 2020, at 6 a.m. ET.


Similar to the CERB, the CESB is considered to be taxable income.

Most students won’t have to worry about paying taxes on the benefit, however, considering that the 2020 federal basic personal tax credit cancels out taxes on the first $13,229 you earn in income this year.

Add in the tax credits from your tuition payments and you can probably earn close to $20,000 without paying taxes.


The CERB provides $2,000 per month to workers who are unable to work due to COVID-19.

To be eligible for the CERB, you must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months before your application. This is not so for the CESB.

Some students will qualify for the CERB and should not apply for the CESB.

The CERB pays $750 more compared to the $1,250 base benefit offered by the CESB.


International students do not qualify for the CESB.

That being said, international students who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the CERB benefit.

Also, the 20-hour rule that restricts how many hours international students can work per week has been lifted if they are working in an essential service e.g. healthcare and food supply.

This change is in place until August 31, 2020.

How to Repay or Return CERB benefits?

Repay or return CERB

Repay or return CERB

Applied for CERB but dont qualify?

Got two payments for CERB in one period?

Wondering how to return it to CRA?

Here are the steps:

1) Use CRA My Account starting May 11, 2020 to repay it 


2) Mail a cheque to “Receiver General for Canada” and indicate that its for for “Repayment of CERB” for “eligibility period” along with your SIN to Revenue Processing – Repayment of CERB, Sudbury Tax Centre, 1050 Notre Dame Avenue, Sudbury ON P3A 0C3

Why repay CERB to Canada Revenue Agency?

You must repay the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you no longer meet the eligibility requirements for the 4-week period in question. This could happen if:

    • · you earned employment or self-employment income earlier than expected
    • · you applied for the CERB but later realize you’re not eligible
    • · you receive a CERB payment from both Service Canada and the CRA for the same period.

CERB is taxable or not?

A lot of the Canadians are wondering if the CERB is taxable or not. Short answer, YES!

You will receive a T4A tax slip for the amount of CERB you received this year. You must include this in income when filing taxes for period January – December 2020.

More information can be found on CRA’s website.

What is a Notice of Assessment?

Notice of Assessment, commonly known as NOA, is a document Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) mails after you file your taxes.

It consists of:

  • · your refund amount
  • · tuition carry forward (both federal and provincial)
  • · Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contribution limit
  • · Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contribution limit

If you have misplaced your NOA, you can access it from CRA My Account. Otherwise you can have your authorized representative (accountant) download it from CRA’s portal on your behalf. 

Remember, first time filers don’t have a Notice of Assessment because its the first time they are filing taxes. Whenever CRA makes a change to your tax file, they issue a Notice of Re-assessment that describes the changes and why its made. We will cover Notice of Re-assessment in another blog.

Community Fundraiser Support – Helping Fight COVID19

COVID19-Donation and its team understands the importance of helping the community in its fight against Novel Coronavirus. We believe together we can overcome anything.

When we heard Savemax Real Estate Inc. and Workeefy Inc. have partnered to fund raise, we couldn’t help but support them. Their goal is to fund-raise $50,000 for the front line workers who are working day and night. We are more than happy to participate in it.

Lakshay Gandhi, Founder of has pledged to help meet the fundraising goal.  He believes “Canada is a rewarding country for hardworking and business oriented people like myself. The least we could do is to participate in efforts like these to help the community and its citizens who are working non-stop away from their families to serve the people”.

Thanks Savemax and Workeefy for giving us an opportunity to be part of this fight against virus.

Protect yourself from Scams

Beware of CRA Imposters

ProteCt yourself from Scams

There are numerous CRA scams that prey on Canadians. It is our responsibility to be vigilant and never give out personal information over the phone.

Mostly these scammers demand information related to Social Insurance Number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number. This is your personal information and must be protected at all times.

The CRA will never:

  • · use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending the police
  • · ask for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s license
  • · demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • · leave voicemails that are threatening or give personal or financial information

Required documents for student tax filing in Ontario

Required documents for student tax filing in Ontario (2) - Taxants

Students are required to file taxes in Canada every year. Many students ask, should i file taxes if I didn’t have any income to report? The answer is “YES!”.

Even if you don’t have any income you are eligible to claim benefits. To find out which benefits you are eligible for, read our blog relating to Benefits and Taxes in Canada.

So you must be wondering, what are the documents required for filing taxes with

  1. · Social Insurance Number
  2. · Income documents
    • · T4 form issued by your employer (Employment income and deductions)
    • · T4A (Scholarships and bursaries)
    • · Uber/Skip the dishes summary from your accounts if you participated in ride sharing or meals delivery services
  3. · Expense documents
    • · Tuition Form T2202A – Available on your college website
    • · Rent/lease agreements
  4. · Direct deposit form – this can be obtained from your bank’s website
  5. · Piece of identification – driver’s license or student ID

By all means this list covers most but not all. Our accountants go through a list with you over the phone once you submit your tax files through us.