Updated, April 22, 2020

NEW! The Government of Canada has announced support for students and new grads affected by COVID-19

New programs include:

  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic

The Government of Canada will also expand existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming, as well as programs to help students continue their studies in the fall.

For more details, visit Support for students and new grads affected by COVID-19 (Government of Canada)

Download the Quick Reference Guide to support New Brunswick workers and students affected by COVID-19 (pdf)

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The program

  • Designed to help individuals residing in Canada who have stopped working because of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The CERB will provide eligible recipients with up to $500 a week for up to 16 weeks to supplement resources


  • Anyone residing in Canada who is at least 15 years of age
  • Anyone who stopped working because of COVID-19, whether or not you are eligible for EI or sickness benefits
  • Must have had a gross income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application
  • Must be expecting to not be employed for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period

To apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html  

Employment Insurance

The program

  • Consistent replacement funding for unemployed persons who are not responsible for their loss of employment
  • For individuals who are able to work but cannot find a job


  • All eligibility requirements are guidelines and are not necessarily strict rules that have to be met
  • Must have been employed in an insurable employment
  • Not responsible for the loss of your job
  • Have not had work or pay for at least 7 consecutive days in the last 52 weeks since the start of your EI claim
  • Have worked the required number of insurable employment hours
  • Actively looking for work
  • Capable of work

To apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit.html

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit

The program

  • The Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit provides applicants with the supplementary funding required to recover from illness without significant financial complications
  • The EI Sickness Benefit consists of 15 weeks of income for workers who are unable to work either from illness, injury, or quarantine
  • If you are sick or quarantined because of COVID-19, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, whether or not you are eligible for Employment Insurance
  • The Benefit is available for the period from March 15, 2020 to Oct. 3, 2020

About the EI Sickness Benefits  

  • The one-week waiting period for EI Sickness Benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  • Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support inquiries related to waiving the EI Sickness Benefit waiting period
  • People claiming EI Sickness Benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
  • People who cannot complete their claim of EI Sickness Benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

To apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness.html

The New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit

The program

  • For New Brunswick workers, self-employed or otherwise, who have lost their employment status due to COVID-19
  • This is a one-time funding benefit of $900 to fill the loss of a job or closed business on or after March 15


  • Have lost their place of employment or have lost all revenues through self-employment on or after March 15 due to the state of emergency in New Brunswick
  • Have earned $5,000 gross minimum earnings in the last 12 months or last calendar year
  • Have applied for support through the Federal Government (EI or CERB)
  • NB residents 18 years of age or older

More information: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/post-secondary_education_training_and_labour/promo/nbweib.html

Emergency Bridging Fund for Vulnerable Post-Secondary Students (application now closed)

The program

  • Designed for students in post-secondary education who are in a vulnerable financial situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • This program exists to provide students with supplementary funds when no other sources can be currently attained
  • Students who are eligible will receive a one-time payment of up to $750
  • Students must directly contact their institution to be eligible
  • Eligibility will be considered by assessing students' financial resources and expenses for food, shelter, unanticipated medical costs (not covered on a health plan), and unforeseen academic costs


  • Must be a full-time student (Canadian and international students) during the 2020 Winter Term (as of March 30, 2020)
  • Must demonstrate a financial gap in meeting their basic needs between now and the end of the term, as a direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Students must not qualify for the following government aid:
    • Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    • Employment Insurance (EI)
    • Student loans/grants
    • One-time provincial emergency fund of $900
    • Other government aid that may be created prior to awarding this student funding

Application now closed.

Social Assistance Program

The program

  • The government provides individuals with financial assistance when they have no other available income for their basic needs
  • This is a last resort of financial assistance when no other options are available
  • All income sources are examined when determining the level of funding


  • The household in general is assessed to determine funding assistance based on the gross domestic income of the household
  • If gross income is less than the pre-determined rate, social assistance will be provided
  • Social assistance rates depend on household income
  • Rates are determined on the number of people in your household and whether or not they are eligible to work

Further information: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.10295.social_assistance_program.html

National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) Suspended Repayment / Interest on Canada Student Loans / Canada Apprentice Loans

The program

  • The federal portion of student loans will have a suspended repayment and interest period until Sept. 30, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Students who had their loans issued by NL, NB, ON, SK, or BC have a suspension on both the provincial and federal parts of their loans
  • Students who had their loans issued by PEI, NS, AB, or MB, only have the federal portion of their loan suspended; however, it is worth looking into whether your provincial or territorial government has made new statements on student loan suspension in the coming weeks
  • Please see the NSLSC webiste to learn more: https://www.csnpe-nslsc.canada.ca/en/what-is-new

Local emergency funding for basic necessities

The Sackville community also provides support in emergency situations. There are three programs from which you may seek support if you find yourself in need of food or have other emergency financial needs related to living necessities.

  • Tantramar School Food Program — With support from the Breakfast Club of Canada, Food Depot Alimenatire, and many community organizations, food boxes are available for those who need assistance during this challenging time. This program has been extended to local post-secondary students. To seek support from this program, e-mail tantramarschoolfood@gmail.com. Food package pick up occurs on Wednesdays from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Sackville Commons.
  • Sackville Community Association — A local program whose purpose is to provide financial support to Sackville area residents who are in emergency financial situations with regard to living necessities. To apply for this funding support, please call 506-536-2464.
  • Sackville Food Bank — Our local food bank, located at 5 Willow Ln. in Sackville, is here to provide food for those in need. For information visit https://www.facebook.com/sackvillefoodbank or call 506-536-4164.