CESB prove looking for work

This is how to get CESB and prove you're looking for work

The CESB requires that you prove you're looking for work when you apply, but luckily for anyone signing up, that's simpler than it sounds.

If you're a post-secondary students, or a recent grad of post-secondary or high school, you might qualify for CESB's monthly $1,250, or even more, depending on your situation — as long as you follow the guidelines for applying. 

Figuring out if you're eligible

Figure out whether you qualify by using the government's quick online eligibility checklist

Keep in mind that you're automatically disqualified from applying for the CESB if you've already applied for the CERB or EI. You might also have to show the Canada Revenue Agency some supporting documents to prove your eligibility later down the road. 

If you're a current or recent post-secondary student, you can apply for the May 10 to June 6 eligibility period right now, and continue to reapply if you still can't find work by next month. 

High school students can figure out which period they're eligible for by using the site's questionnaire at the bottom of the web page. 

Unfortunately, international students in Canada are not eligible for the benefit.

How to apply

You can apply online or over the phone, as long as you're registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency (which you are, if you've ever filed your taxes before). 

If you're not registered, you can do so by calling the CRA's toll-free line and registering with your Social Insurance Number, or do so by creating a CRA My Account online.

Getting your payment via direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your money (it takes about three business days), but you can also get a cheque in the mail, which takes about 10 days.

The deadline for all applications is September 30, 2020. 

How to reapply

If you still require financial assistance after the May 10 to June 6 eligibility period, you'll have to reapply to get payment for June 7 to July 4, or any four-week period after that.

You'll only get the benefit if one of the following still applies: 

  • You're unable to work due to COVID-19
  • You are looking for, but cannot find work due to COVID-19
  • You're currently working during the COVID-19 pandemic, but your income from employment and self-employment has been $1,000 or less (before taxes) during the 4-week period you are applying for
Proving that you're looking for work

Actively looking for and applying to jobs is a crucial part of being eligible for the CESB.

There's a chance that the CRA will ask you prove you were job hunting during the period you received the funds, so make sure you keep track of your job search in a tangible way. 

The first step is to register with the Government of Canada Job Bank, which has thousands of full-time and part-time opportunities in essential sectors. 

The CRA wants to see that you've been preparing your resume, attending job search workshops, cold-calling employers and going for interviews, so it's also suggested you document those activities in some way, even if it's just in your Notes app. 

If you have any questions about the CESB, you can call the general line from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., though you'll likely encounter long wait times as students across the country try to figure out their benefits. 

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