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COVID-19 Supports

The Student Financial Assistance office has created a high-level summary of the recently-announced student financial aid supports being offered through the provincial and federal governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the university's response to COVID-19, please visit the Ryerson COVID-19 Information and Updates web page.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is unofficial and subject to change. Please review the original source of the information, hyperlinked in each section of the summaries listed below.

Last updated: Friday, May 15, 2020

Federal Government Support

What is it?

EI provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and are available for and able to work, but cannot find a job.

Eligible to receive 55% of earnings, to a maximum of $573 per week.

Am I Eligible?

Open to workers who:

  • Have been paying into EI benefits;
  • Lost their job through no fault of their own (e.g. shortage of work, seasonal or mass layoffs);
  • Are available for and able to work; and
  • Cannot find a job.

How do I claim it?

Online or by phone via Service Canada account (My Service Canada), external link, opens in new window

Applicants must reapply for EI biweekly.

Reference

What is it?

EI Sickness Benefits can provide up to 15 weeks of financial assistance to those who cannot work due to medical reasons.

Eligible to receive 55% of earnings, up to a maximum of $573 per week.

While receiving sickness benefits, you must remain available for work if it weren’t for your medical condition.

If you are not sick but have lost your job through no fault of your own, apply for regular EI benefits.

Am I Eligible?

Open to workers who:

  • Are unable to work for medical reasons;
  • Regular weekly earnings from work have decreased by more than 40% for at least one week; and
  • Accumulated 600 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before the start of your claim or since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter.

How do I claim it?

Online or by phone via Service Canada account (My Service Canada), external link, opens in new window

Reference

What is it?

Temporary income support from the federal government for those who have stopped working due to COVID-19.

$500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

Am I Eligible?

Open to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, and at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working due to COVID-19 related reasons, or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits, or have exhausted their EI between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of application;
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily; and
  • Whose income has fallen to $1000 per month or less, including self-employed and gig-economy workers

How do I claim it?

Online or by phone via Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), external link, opens in new window or Service Canada account (My Service Canada), external link, opens in new window.

Applicants must re-apply every four-week benefit period of their claim.

Available from March to September 2020.

Important Information for OSAP Recipients

If you are receiving OSAP for the spring/summer term and are receiving full-time spring/summer OSAP, you are required to declare CERB earnings as income on your OSAP application. To update your application, please scan and upload a letter to your OSAP account including the following information:

  • Your full name, Ryerson student number, and the date
  • The amount of CERB received during your spring/summer study period and the period during which you are receiving these payments (e.g. $6,000 from CERB between May 1 and August 31).

Upload your letter through your online OSAP account, external link, opens in new window using the 'Optional uploads' link on the Required Documents page. Your OSAP funding will be recalculcated based on the updated income information.

Reference 

What is it?

Temporary income support for post-secondary students and new post-secondary graduates who are not eligible for CERB or EI.

  • $1,250 per month; or 
  • $2,000 per month for students with dependents or those with a disability

Am I Eligible?

Open to domestic students who have:

  • Been enrolled in post-secondary studies that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate between December 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020;
  • Graduated from secondary school in 2020 and applied for & will be joining a post-secondary program beginning before February 1, 2021; and
  • For COVID-related reasons, are unemployed and unable to find work, or are currently employed but earning under $1,000 a month (before taxes)

Domestic Student: Domestic students are those who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or protected persons. International students are not eligible for this program.

How do I claim it?

Application available now on the Canada Revenue Agency website, external link, opens in new window. All applications for this benefit must be submitted by September 30, 2020.

Important Information for OSAP Recipients

If you are receiving OSAP for the spring/summer term and are receiving full-time spring/summer OSAP, you are required to declare CESB earnings as income on your OSAP application. To update your application, please scan and upload a letter to your OSAP account including the following information:

  • Your full name, Ryerson student number, and the date
  • The amount of CESB received during your spring/summer study period and the period during which you are receiving these payments (e.g. $6,000 from CESB between May 1 and August 31).

Upload your letter through your online OSAP account, external link using the "Optional uploads" link on the Required Documents page. Your OSAP funding will be recalculcated based on the updated income information.

Reference

What is it?

Provides qualified post-secondary students and recent graduates with volunteer opportunities, while supporting not-for-profit organizations to address COVID-19 responses during summer 2020.

Eligible students and recent graduates can receive a grant of up to $5,000 once qualifying volunteer hours are completed.

Am I Eligible?

Open to domestic students and youth. Domestic students are those who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, First Nation, Metis or Inuit, or those with Refugee status. International students are not eligible for this program.

To be considered an eligible applicant, you must:

  • Be enrolled and attending post-secondary education during spring, summer, or fall 2020; or
  • Have graduated from post-secondary education no earlier than December 2019; and
  • Canadian students who study abroad but are currently residing in Canada, and complete their volunteer hours in Canada, are eligible.
  • Post-secondary students and recent graduates must be 30 years old or younger as of December 31, 2020.

You are also eligible: (Please put this section in bullets)

  • If you are currently receiving the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB);
  • If you are employed; or
  • Receiving a micro-grant through the Canada Service Corps (CSC) program (CSC hours can be used towards CSSG)

Students receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are not eligible to receive the CSSG. Students will be required to attest that they have at no time been in receipt of the CERB.

How do I claim it?

Applicants must register by the deadline of August 21, 2020 in order to receive the CSSG. 

Reference

Provincial Government Support

What is it?

Emergency financial assistance for Ontarians in a crisis or emergency situation.

Provides $733 for a month (more if you have children) for those requiring assistance with food or shelter costs.

Support can last up to 48 days depending on the situation.

Am I Eligible?

Applicants must be in a crisis or emergency situation. This includes:

  • Being affected by COVID-19;
  • Facing eviction;
  • In or leaving an abusive relationship; or
  • Worried about your safety

Ontarians getting assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program do not qualify.

How do I claim it?

Apply online via the Ontario Government website, external link, opens in new window.

Reference

What is it?

Additional financial assistance for those currently receiving social assistance and are facing additional costs related to COVID-19.

Additional $100 for single individuals, $200 for families.

Am I Eligible?

Must be a current recipient of OW or ODSP.

How do I claim it?

Apply by calling your local Ontario Works office, external link, opens in new window Caseworker.

Visit the Ministry of Community Services website , external link, opens in new windowfor more details.

Reference

Student Loans

What is Changing?

  • Increasing the weekly amount to $350 from $210 for 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Removing the expected student and spousal contributions in 2020-2021 (federal only, not provincially).

What is Changing?

  • Double the CSG for all eligible full-time students up to $6,000, and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-2021.
  • CSG-PD (permanent disability) and CSG for students with dependents would also be doubled to $4,000, up from $2,000.

Additional Supports

  • Federal government suspended all interest accrual and payments from March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
  • Students with provincial loans from Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, or British Columbia also have suspended interest accrual and payments from March 30 to September 30, 2020.
  • Students with provincial or territorial loans from Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Manitoba, Yukon, North West Territories, or Nunavut need to check with their loan providers directly.
  • The Government of Canada will remove the restriction that allows international students to work only a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.
  • International students and their employers should consult Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada's Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada
  • This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020.
  • $75 million available to Indigenous post-secondary students.
  • $290 million available to granting councils to help fund expiring federal graduate student research scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships, and federal research grants.
  • $7.5 million to support student and post-doctoral research placements within the National Research Council.
  • $80 million for the Student Work Placement program to support post-secondary students to obtain paid work experience related to their field.
  • $15 million for Supports for Student Learning Program to support youth to complete high school and transition to post-secondary.

Town Hall

Our office hosted a Town Hall on COVID-19 financial supports for students. Please watch the recording of our Town Hall to get more information.

References