COVID-19 Financial Assistance Resources for Students

Government Relief Programs

The Government of Canada has announced several financial relief measures for Canadians facing financial hardship because of COVID-19.

The Government of Canada is switching from cheques to direct deposit, an electronic transfer of funds deposited directly to your bank account. Direct deposit is faster, convenient and more secure. Enroll for direct deposit or to update information you already have on file.

Visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website, including information regarding support for students and recent graduates, people facing unemployment, people who are unable to work and more. Some highlights that may benefit students include:

  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (to assist post-secondary students)
  • Canada Emergency Service Benefit (to assist student volunteers}
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Canada Child Benefit Increases
  • Special Goods and Services Tax Credit Payment
  • Moratorium on Canada Student Loan Repayments
  • Mortgage Support
  • Extra time to file income tax returns

Canada Student Service Grant (details announced June 25, 2020): 

The new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG)* aims to encourage young people to take part in service activities that will help them support their communities’ COVID-19 response and gain invaluable experience.  

The CSSG is a one-time payment available at five levels, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. The amount will vary based on the number of hours each volunteer completes, with $1,000 provided for each 100 hours completed, up to a maximum of $5,000 for 500 hours.

Not-for-profit organizations will be able to submit volunteer opportunities to the I Want to Help platform. Eligible and high quality placements will be posted on the platform, where students can search and apply for opportunities in their communities.

* Please note that the CSSG program is undergoing significant changes due to the Federal Liberal government and the WE Charity ending a partnership. It is unclear how the program will now be administered. 


The BC Government’s COVID-19 Action Plan includes relief measures such as:

  • temporary emergency funding for childcare centres
  • the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
  • rental supplements, rent freezes and protection for people in subsidized and affordable housing
  • deferred payment options for BC Hydro and ICBC
  • a six-month moratorium on BC Student Loan repayments
  • a climate action tax credit

Youth Community Partnership program (announced June 29, 2020): 

The BC Government is providing funding for communities that want to engage youth in local projects through the Youth Community Partnership program

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits

Workers who are sick or quarantined can file for EI Sickness Benefits

VIU Supports

Student Affairs Resources

Student Affairs continues to support students online, information on a wide range of resources is available on the VIU Student Affairs website.

VIU Meal Plan Refunds

Food Services are issuing refunds for meal plans. If you have an urgent need for a refund, please email

VIU Parking Permit Refunds

WestPark and VIU have modified the refund policy for parking permits. Refunds will be pro-rated, based on the number of days remaining on your permit, retroactive to Friday, March 13, 2020. Email WestPark’s Guest Services directly at with a request to cancel your parking permit no later than April 30, 2020.

Refunds will be credited to the originally used credit card as quickly as possible. Call WestPark at 1-778-746-7588 with questions or concerns.

VIU Mental Health Supports

Check out the VIU Covid-19 supports page for options and updates. 

Other Supports


FortisBC has waived late payment fees and will work with customers to come up with flexible payment plans. The company will not disconnect customers for any reason during the provincial emergency.

BC Rent Banks

Rent banks provide financial assistance in the form of repayable loans to households at risk of eviction for reasons such as non-payment of rent or utilities.

Homelessness Services & Programs

BC Housing provides housing assistance and homelessness services.

City of Nanaimo Survival Guide

The City of Nanaimo’s Survival Guide offers low-cost and free resources available to individuals living in Nanaimo. Topics include addictions services, counselling, food, housing, legal aid and more.

Children's Aid Foundation

COVID-19 Youth Support Fund for former youth in care. 

Community Services During COVID-19

Nanaimo social and health emergency response services for COVID-19. 

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