Understanding the new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG)
Today were going to cover the new Canada Student Service Grant or CSSG for short. This grant was announced about a month ago but just went live last week. This adds to the growing list of acronyms that have been put in place to help Canadian’s weather the financial impacts of COVID-19.
Overall this program can offer some major benefits to students that want to help the community, beef up their resume, and earn some money at the same time.
How the Canadian Student Service Grant Works
Qualifying individuals volunteer and they receive a grant that ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. This grant is fully taxable and is intended to be used for educational expenses – but doesn’t need to be.
The program runs from June 25th to October 31st, 2020 which is just about 18 weeks. The registration cut off date is on August 21st, 2020.
All applications are also made over the I want to Help federal job portal. The link can be found here.
Details of the Canada Student Service Grant
So looking into the fine details of the program, the first step is to determine if the applicant qualifies for the program.
First of all, the individual must be a student or a recent grad. A student is qualified if they are registered as either part-time or full-time during the spring, summer or fall semesters in 2020. They must also be going to an eligible education institution.
Graduates include those that have completed studies in Dec. 2019 or later
The individual must also be under 30 as of Dec. 31st, 2020 and be a either a Canadian Residents, Permanent Residents, Refugees, First Nations, Meti, or Inuit.
You can also be receiving the Canada Emergency Student Benefit , but not the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
Qualifying Volunteer Organizations
When it comes to the organizations that you’ll be applying to, they are various non-profits and charities across Canada. In my area of Toronto, some of the opportunities include being involved with the YMCA, Kids Help Phone, the Girl Guides of Canada and more.
All of the opportunities offered on the portal are vetted by the government and must be located in Canada. They also must offer meaningful work for student and be a response to COVID-19.
One of the cool things is that many of these opportunities allow you to work from home.
How the Canada Student Service Grant Payment Works
When it comes to how much of a grant is paid out, the amount ranges from $0 to $5,000
Basically for each 100 hours that are confirmed volunteer hours, you are eligible for $1,000 worth in a grant. So to receive the maximum amount, you would need to work 500 hours before the program end-date on October 31st,2020
Very importantly and annoyingly, your hours are rounded down to the nearest 100 increment. So 395 hours would only be 300 hours or $3,000. Which would definitely be an annoying situation.
The full duration of the program is 18 weeks, so an individual would have to work an average of 27.8 hours a week to receive the full $5,000 or about 3 to 4 days of work a week. The $1,000 grant would require an average of 5.6 hours or one day of work a day.
The grant payment is made once the applicant completes the proper paperwork – which is recommended to be done once the volunteer position is completed as multiple applications can cause confusion. However, the deadline is Nov. 6th, 2020.
Once the application is accepted, payments are expected to take up to 60 days to be sent the recipient.
How to Apply
The application process is pretty straightforward. First one needs to confirm that one is eligible for the program, and then find a placement which they then need to register for.
The individual will be required to have a valid ID and proof of education enrollment or graduation to complete the registration process.
What Do we Think About the Program?
The program can really benefit a student that is looking to volunteer and gain relevant work experience. Many of the organizations hiring are looking for volunteers to fill positions that would be normally difficult to acquire. They are also offered at organizations that may be able to offer roles once the volunteer period has ceased.
There are also currently many volunteer opportunities available on the website, including some organizations that are looking for more than 1,000 volunteers.
If you’re just looking for income then this program may not be the best for you. Some simple math tells us that the equivalent wage is $10 an hour, much less than minimum wage in any province of Canada. Another downside with just using this program, is that you’re not paid until much, much later. In some cases it can even be near the end of the year!
Thanks again for listening and you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or F_FCOACH with any questions or comments. Also if you’re enjoying the show, please consider leaving a rating.