About the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG)
On June 25, 2020, the Federal Government launched the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) portal, that connects qualified post-secondary students and recent graduates with volunteer opportunities to support Canada’s response to COVID-19. In recognition for their service, eligible students can receive a grant of between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the number of hours worked.
While the grant does provide support to some students, many students will once again be left out. International students, students over the age of 30, and those who are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), are not eligible for CSSG.
UWSA’s International Students’ Co-Directors, Elsa Owusu and Francisca Idigbe (UWSA) stress on the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented disruption for international students across Canada.
“They are struggling to make ends meet and need support too,” they say. “We are calling on the federal government to provide income support to international students.”
Canada needs a program that doesn’t leave anyone behind. The Canadian Federation of Students has a template, which students can use to call Minister Qualtrough, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, to ask for an expansion of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to include international students and make the CESB $2000 per month.
To be considered eligible to apply for CSSG, you must:
- be enrolled and attending post-secondary education during spring, summer or fall 2020; or
- have graduated from PSE no earlier than December 2019; and
- be 30 years old or younger as of December 31st, 2020; and
- be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, First Nation, Métis or Inuit, or those with Refugee status.
All Canadian students and recent graduates who meet the eligibility criteria can receive the Grant for volunteering between June 25th and October 31st, 2020. Students who study abroad are also eligible, but they must be currently living in Canada. If you receive or have received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), you are not eligible for the Grant.
Applying for Volunteer Opportunities:
Once you’ve confirmed you meet the eligibility criteria, you can start searching for service opportunities on the I Want to Help platform. You have until August 21, 2020 to apply. If you are already volunteering with a charity or not-for-profit organization and would like your hours to count towards the Canada Student Service Grant, the organization you’re volunteering with can submit the opportunity for approval before August 21st, 2020 — as long as it meets all of our requirements.
Once you’ve found an opportunity, create your account and apply here. You will need:
- A piece of identification such as a valid driver’s license, provincial or territorial identification, or, a valid passport; and
- A proof of registration from a recognized post-secondary institution for Spring/Summer 2020 or Fall 2020; or
- A proof of graduation from no earlier than December 2019.
Track your hours:
Remember to track your hours once you start volunteering at the place of your choice. The organization will assign you a supervisor who will be able to approve your volunteer hours as you complete them.
The Canada Student Service Grant ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. The more volunteer hours you work between June 25 and October 31, 2020, the higher the grant amount you will be eligible to receive. Note that the Grant is only offered in increments of $1,000 for every hundred volunteer hours completed. This means you won’t be receiving $1,500 for 150 completed hours.
For more information, please review the eligibility details and application requirements here. For additional support, you can call 1 (833) 521-0117 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org between Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm EST.