Government support for students during COVID-19: What’s available and who is eligible

There is increased financial uncertainty for many high school graduates, post-secondary students and parents right now. Typical summer jobs or internships may not be available, which has impacted how many students and families will cover tuition costs and living expenses. This could be coupled with other unexpected financial challenges as a result of COVID-19’s effect on a family business or investments volatility.

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Education costs are just one part of a family’s overall financial picture, and a financial advisor can help you navigate all aspects of your financial well-being to clarify the path forward. That said, for students specifically – an important place to start is by familiarizing yourself with the financial support programs recently introduced by the Canadian Government. This article highlights the key programs and benefits available for students during COVID-19. 

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

  • The CESB provides eligible students with a lump sum payment of $1,250 per four-week period from May 10 until August 29, 2020.
  • This increases to $2,000, per each four-week period, for students who are considered to be a person with a disability or who has dependents. A dependent for this program is defined as a child who is under 12 years old or a person with a disability either of whom is completely dependent on the student or the student’s spouse/common-law partner for support, care, and upbringing.
  • Note: the CESB is not available to those who have already applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), or those who are currently employed and making more than $1,000 in each application period. Find more information on the CERB here.
  • Entitlement to the benefit requires you to either be enrolled in post-secondary studies, have applied for post-secondary studies that start before February 1, 2021, or have completed post-secondary education in December 2019 or later.
  • Find more information on the CESB here.

 

Enhancement of Student Financial Assistance for Fall 2020

  • The federal government is doubling the Canada Student Grants available for all eligible students up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students.
  • The eligibility requirement that expects students (and their spouses, if applicable) to contribute towards tuition has been removed for the upcoming year.
  • The Canada Student Loans Program is increasing the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.

 

The Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG)

The CSSG provides up to $5,000 towards fall education for students who help their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CSSG will provide student volunteers with a one-time payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 based on the number of hours they serve. Find more information here.

 

Expanding skill development programs

The federal government is increasing existing federal employment, skill development, and youth programming to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements and other training opportunities. Through this expansion, students are provided the opportunity to develop valuable skills that that can provide benefits for recruiting in future summers and upon graduation.

 

Lastly, remember you are not alone

The current economic situation can be especially difficult for students, as well as parents who are concerned about their children and family’s overall financial well-being. For more information on the Federal Government’s support programs, click here. If you have any questions about your family’s unique circumstances and broader financial planning needs, including personal and business, please contact an IG Consultant. 

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