A Canada Student Benefit Could Get You Up To $2K Toward Your Post-Secondary Education

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) can be used to pay for tuition at CEGEPs, colleges, universities and more.

Contributing Writer
Students going to the University of Montreal UDEM. Right: Canadian dollars.

Students going to the University of Montreal UDEM. Right: Canadian dollars.

Eligible students in Montreal or anywhere else in Canada can apply for a federal benefit of up to $2,000 that gets deposited into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) aims to assist low-income parents with children younger than 18 years of age and students from 18 to 20 years old with the cost of post-secondary education.

The Canadian government can contribute up to $2,000 for each eligible person. The payments come as $500 for the first year of eligibility plus an additional $100 each year the child is eligible up to and including the benefit year when they turn 15.

The money can be used to help pay the costs of full-time or part-time studies after high school, including apprenticeship programs, CEGEPs, trade schools, colleges and universities.

Here's everything you need to know about the CLB and who's eligible.

Can I Request The Canada Learning Bond If I'm Over 18 Years Old?

Students in Montreal who are over 18 years old can also get the CLB, as long as you were eligible as a child but didn't receive it back then.

You have from the date of your 18th birthday up until the day before you turn 21 years old to open an RESP and send your application for the federal benefit.

The amount of money you can receive varies according to the number of years you were eligible to receive the CLB before your 15th birthday.

Who Is Eligible For A Canada Learning Bond?

You qualify for the CLB if:

  • you were born on or after January 1, 2004,
  • you were and still are a resident of Canada,
  • your parent or former primary caregiver applied for the CLB and had a low adjusted income for at least one year before you turned 15.

The amount of money you can get also depends on the number of qualified children in your family before you turned 15 years old and the adjusted income of the main caregiver.

What Do I Need To Apply For A Canada Learning Bond?

To claim the CLB, you must have a valid social insurance number (SIN).

You must also have opened an RESP with a participating RESP promoter. No bank account is required to open a RESP.

Once your application is approved, the feds will deposit the money in your RESP for every year you were eligible.

Your RESP can remain open for 35 years, so you can withdraw the money as soon as you receive it to pay for purchases related to your studies, or save it for a future tertiary education.

How Do I Withdraw Money From The RESP?

You must contact your RESP provider to withdraw money from an RESP.

They will ask for an official proof of enrollment before giving you the Educational Assistance Payment.

They may also indicate which expenses are allowed or not, or ask for receipts justifying school expenses.

Must I Pay Back The Canada Learning Bond? 

If you use the CLB benefit to help pay for your higher education, you won't need to pay back this money.

However, it will have to be returned to the federal government if your RESP is closed and you didn't end up getting a post-secondary education.

These conditions apply to parents who received CLB money for you when you were a kid or if you requested it for yourself after your 18th birthday.

Charlotte Hoareau
Contributing Writer
Charlotte Hoareau is a contributing writer for MTL Blog. She is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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