Steps for Applying to Canada’s Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Are you a post-secondary student in Canada? Are you still looking for work? You are most likely eligible for Canada's Emergency Student Benefit. Here are the steps to apply.

If you are currently a post-secondary student living in Canada, you are eligible to apply for Canada’s Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The first CESB payment period will start on May 10, 2020 and end on June 6, 2020. For this reason, it’s time to hurry! Apply now for the student COVID relief and receive financial support to pay for tuition next fall.

This taxable benefit provides eligible students with $1,250 a month for four consecutive months.

If you are also anything like me, you feel completely clueless when it comes to banking and finance.

But do not despair, I have done your homework for you! Here are some steps and links to help guide you through this process.

Before I begin, I want to make a disclaimer: Take what I say with a grain of salt, after all, it is your job to apply. Consult the Government of Canada’s website. There are also different ways to approach this application process, so it depends on which bank you are using (some allow you to directly link you CRA deposits to your online bank account).

I will go through the most common method that students use:

Method 1:

Step 1. Access this website. Determine your eligibility by clicking on “Who Can Apply” and verify your eligibility by checking off the boxes.

Step 2. Now go to this website. Chose one of two login options. You can choose “Sign-in Partner Login / Register” and sign in the same way you would to your online banking.

Step 3. You will get a popup after signing in that tells you when you can apply (it depends on which month you were born in).

Step 4. Click on the logo of your bank account. If you do not see it on there, you will have to return to Step 2 and login with CRA login (second option).

Step 5. You will now be taken to your online banking account and “Secure Key Concierge” logo in the top right corner will appear.

Step 6. After submitting your online banking details, you will be taken to the Government of Canada’s website. A light blue box specifically about COVID-19 Emergency Support should appear. Click the “Apply” button in that box.

Step 7. Select CESB as the type of support payment. *Note that you cannot apply for CESB if you have already applied for CERB or EI!*

Step 8. Answering the following prompts and questions. Now, click on “Select a period”. A drop-down menu will appear that says “May 10, 2020 to June 6, 2020” and choose that option.

Step 9. Confirm that you meet all of the requirements. Congrats, you have just applied for the CESB! You will most likely have to wait two to three business days to get your deposit.

Method 2:

You can apply for the benefit over the phone through the CRA’s automated service

Method 3:

Apply through your online banking account. It can be an easier way to receive the CESB.


Here are some questions that students may have about this application process:

Do I have to keep on re-applying?

This was a question I had after completing this application. The short answer: Yes.

Canadians who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the first four weeks it was available will need to reapply if they want to continue receiving payments

Peter Zimonjic, CBC

You will have to keep on re-applying each month to receive the benefit in full.

What day of the week should I apply?

People applying for the benefit and who are born January, February or March should apply on Mondays.

Those born in April, May or June should apply on Tuesdays.

If you have a July, August or September birthday then you should apply on Wednesdays.

Born in October, November or December then you should apply on Thursdays. 

Who is NOT eligible?

For Canadians post-secondary students apply to this benefit, it’s important to remeber:

  • You cannot apply for the CESB if you have applied for CERB or EI.

Is it possible to receive additional payment?

You are able to receive an additional $750 if you match any of the following criteria:

  • You have a disability
  • You have at least one child under 12 years old, or other dependants

I hope that this blog post helped you apply for the CESB. If you are a current post-secondary student and you have more questions about this process, leave a comment below!

If you liked this post check out what I wrote about An Electronic Diploma: What to Expect this Upcoming Fall Semester in University.

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