Students can now apply for CESB in Canada and they're starting to stress out
Applications for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) open today, and students across the country are scrambling to ensure they qualify before signing up to receive their monthly cheques.
The new benefit provides financial support to post-secondary students and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to the pandemic, and it was introduced following significant criticism of the federal government for failing to include students and grads in pandemic aid packages.
Helping Canadians is our #1 priority.— Canada Revenue Agency (@CanRevAgency) May 15, 2020
We’ve been getting many questions asking about the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (#CESB). You can find out more about #CESB and see if you’re eligible here: https://t.co/2Lg8rPPwq8 #CdnTax pic.twitter.com/3jvP3MKGV3
Those who qualify to receive the financial assistance will be given $1,250 per month from May to August, and any students with dependants or a disability will receive $2,000 for each four-week period.
In order to qualify, you must not have already applied to or be receiving support from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI).
Applicants must also be currently enrolled in a post-secondary program, planning to start school in September or have graduated in December 2019 or later.
After waiting on hold for 2.5 hours and finally speaking to a CRA representative about how I can not afford my living expenses due to the extreme delay in my EI, they told me I am in an unfortunate situation but cannot cancel my EI to sign up for CESB— jmoney (@jmoney36070581) May 15, 2020
The new benefit functions similarly to the CERB in that residents must apply for each individual four-week period based on continuing eligibility. The four periods for post-secondary students are May 10 to June 6, June 7 to July 4, July 5 to August 1 and August 2 to August 29.
"Each eligibility period is a 4-week period with a specific start and end date. When you apply, you will receive a payment for the specific eligibility period you applied for," notes the government's website.
"You can only apply for one eligibility period at a time. If your situation continues, you must re-apply for another 4-week eligibility period."
Successfully applied for #CESB! Process was super quick and easy! That's a huge weight off my shoulders.— Shelby Dressler (@s_dressler19) May 15, 2020
And for those who do qualify, it seems this day couldn't come soon enough.
Just applied to #CESB took less than a minute to do. Really appreciative of the work the government and especially @dontforgetstdns have done to make CESB live.— Alex Mulligan (@Alex22Mulligan) May 15, 2020
Students across the country have been struggling in recent months due to school closures, cancelled internships, no job prospects and more — so many feel this benefit is long overdue.
So thankful the government introduced #CESB for students. 🙏🏽— JojoDavis (@JojoDav_) May 15, 2020
Many have taken to social media today to praise the new program and its application process, as was the case when the CERB first launched as well.
Happy to say I applied successfully to get CESB today. Super quick and easy! Disappointed to not be working at the @CanRevAgency this summer like the past 4 but I understand given COVID. Hoping to find a job because I would much rather be working this summer! #CESB— Bryce Saulnier (@SaulnierBryce) May 15, 2020
But others have said they've found the process stressful, especially when it comes to determining whether or not they're eligible.
This whole CESB is stressing me out because it says if you don't actually qualify, they could ask you to repay it but I'm just like, can you make sure I qualify before just handing it to me??? I think I qualify but what if I accidentally don't??— 🇨🇦 jessie⁷ ⟭⟬ (@euphoriajessie) May 15, 2020
"If we find that you are not eligible, we will contact you to make arrangements to repay any amounts you may owe," notes the CESB webpage.
me, 5 seconds after applying for CESB, trying not to panic bout what kind of "proof" of fallen thru job offers they're going to require of me later pic.twitter.com/YjUSDDYizg— cheez-its and rice (@bombspazztic) May 15, 2020
Some have also criticized the program for not including international students.
Still, overall, it seems Canadian students are genuinely grateful to finally be acknowledged and recognized as one of the groups experiencing significant hardship as a result of the pandemic.
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