The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations knows how difficult COVID-19 is making life for students and recent graduates. As schools and businesses across Canada close for the foreseeable future, we have developed this list of resources for students and recent graduates seeking relief and information:
- Canada Student Loans -- Effective March 30, 2020, repayment on all Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprenticeship Loans will be paused, interest-free, until September 30, 2020. (for more information, click here or go to the National Student Loans Service Centre website)
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit -- To help working students, the Government of Canada is offering $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This benefit will be offered to Canadian residents who have an income greater than $5,000 in 2019, or in the past 12 months. (More preliminary information is available here)
- Personal Income Tax Deferrals -- The Canada Revenue Agency is deferring the final due date for personal income tax filings until June 1, 2020. The CRA will also allow individuals to pay their personal income tax balances until August 31, 2020. (More information can be found here.)
- Travel Update for International Students -- The Government of Canada is allowing international students who hold a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020, to re-enter Canada as long as they permit to isolating themselves for 14 days upon initial arrival. The government is asking international students to hold off entering Canada for now, as they will announce more details on this exemption soon. (Information can be found here -- more to come)
- Mental Health Supports -- In this stressful time, many students are experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety and depression. CASA understands the importance of sustaining positive mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. If you are having difficulties, please visit the Mental Health Commission of Canada and take advantage of the resources they provide on their website.
- Social Distancing Guide -- Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you are having problems understanding social distancing, or need to explain the concept to others, check out this resource from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Government of Canada COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool -- Feeling ill? Have questions about COVID-19? This Government of Canada tool provides answers to a variety of virus-related questions. It will also allow you self-assess any symptoms you may be experiencing to determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.
- School & Student Association Emergency Funds -- Across the country, individual schools and student associations are stepping up to support students by offering their own Emergency Support Funds. Students requiring financial assistance should check with both their school and their student association to see if either are offering support.
* = pending parliamentary approval.
If you need any clarification on any of the policies listed above, or have any further questions about what is being done to help students affected by COVID-19, please contact us over social media, or by using our Contact page.