Students and recent graduates across Canada will soon be able to apply for financial relief. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that applications for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) open Friday, May 15. The program's webpage further indicates that they open precisely at 6:00 a.m. (EST).

The office of the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion previously confirmed to MTL Blog that all post-secondary students who are unable to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance, including cégep students in Quebec, are eligible.

"As many post-secondary students adapt to the new reality brought on by COVID-19, they are concerned about the effect of the pandemic on their ability to continue their studies, secure and retain summer employment, pay their bills, and save for tuition in the fall," the government explained in its April 22 statement announcing the program.

"This new grant would provide income support to post-secondary students who will experience financial hardship over the summer due to COVID-19."

The CESB will give eligible students a total of $1,250 for a four-week period, according to the program page. Students with dependants or disabilities will get $2,000.

There are four eligible four-week periods for which students can apply:

  • May 10 to June 6

  • June 7 to July 4

  • July 5 to August 1

  • August 2 to August 29

"You can only apply for one eligibility period at a time," the website states. "If your situation continues, you must re-apply for another four-week eligibility period."

You must also "be actively looking for a job to be eligible to receive the CESB."

Applicants need to register on the CRA website and set up direct deposit.

The CESB is just one part of a $9 billion investment in students, which also includes an expansion of loan and grant programs.

"Taken together, these programs will not only help ensure more students get the financial support they need, but the opportunities and experience many students were counting on," the Prime Minister's Office wrote in an April 22 statement.

The Government of Quebec is also making financial assistance available to some of its essential workers.

Through the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW), some workers can receive "$100 each week for up to 16 weeks of eligible work, retroactive to March 15, 2020."

Applications for the IPREW open between May 19 and May 22, depending on applicants' month of birth.

Stay tuned for more news.

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