More than 7,000 borrowers a year to benefit
October 7, 2020 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Supporting students and young Canadians is one of the most important investments a government can make to ensure a stronger economy and a better future. This has never been more important than now, at a time when Canada’s young people have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with summer jobs and internships cancelled or altered, and uncertainty around their studies.
Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, highlighted a new measure to help student borrowers manage financial burdens they may face when taking temporary medical or parental leave from their studies—including for mental health reasons. This measure, which was announced as part of Budget 2019, is effective as of October 1, 2020. Borrowers who are approved under this new measure will benefit from a suspension of payments and interest on their Canada Student Loans for six months, which can be extended up to a total of 18 months of leave.
To be eligible for medical or parental leave, borrowers must:
- at the time of their application, be in full-time or part-time studies, or in the six-month non-repayment period;
- submit a medical or parental leave application within six months of the end of their most recent period of studies, and no later than 12 months after the medical or parental event;
- have taken a leave from studies for medical or parental reasons on or after October 1, 2020; and
- be at least 30 calendar days into a new confirmed period of study following any previous medical or parental leave.
This measure will provide much-needed and timely support to students who may be experiencing medical illnesses, including mental health challenges, that significantly interfere with their ability to pursue their studies. In addition, students who have recently become parents or guardians of a child may need extended parental leave due to uncertainties regarding the availability of child care services or concerns over the risk of infection at child care service providers.
Students deserve to finish their studies and build a successful future, and this measure ensures they continue to have access to the tools and opportunities they need to do that.