(Please note this post was updated on April 3 to reflect changes made to the federal government’s Economic Response Plan)

On March 18, the federal government announced measures aimed at stabilizing the economy during the COVID-19 epidemic. These measures include direct supports to Canadian workers and businesses. If you are a student about to finish the school year or about to graduate, here’s what you need to know. 

The information in this post regarding Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan was gathered through the Government of Canada’s website

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to those who have lost their income (whether through employment or self-employment) because of COVID-19. Here are the criteria from the federal government:

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.

The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.

For more information on how to apply, starting April 6, click here.

Many students, if they do not work during the school year, will not be eligible for the CERB. Students must be included in this much-needed emergency benefit. Send an email to your provincial and federal representatives to ensure all students, regardless of employment status, have access to the CERB.

Students Loans

  • Payments on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans will be halted March 30 until September 30, 2020. Your loan will not accrue interest during that period. 
  • Note: So far, Alberta, British-Columbia, Ontario, Nova-Scotia, Prince-Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan have announced a similar measure for the provincial portion of students loans. Stay tuned for updates.

Visit https://www.csnpe-nslsc.canada.ca/en/home to find out more. 

Student Parents

The following measures will be implemented for parents:

  • Doubling the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- or moderate-income households, which will be sent out in May 2020
  • Boosting the Canada Child Benefit by $300 per child starting in May for the 2019-2020 benefit year.
  • If you are eligible, these benefits will be received as part of your tax return for the 2019-2020 benefit year.

Learn more about the Goods and Services Tax credit and the Canada Child Benefit.

Filing Your Taxes

  • For individuals, the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.  
  • The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer payments until after August 31. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 
  • If you are expecting a return, we encourage you to file your taxes as early as possible. You can submit a return for free through the Federation’s free uFile service for students.

Is something missing? Let us know! Email us at communications@cfs-fcee.ca to share additional information or ask questions.