Canada Emergency Response and Student Benefit (CERB/CESB)

Alterna members can now log in to Online Banking to enrol in the Canada Revenue Agency’s Direct Deposit via Financial Institutions service to receive direct deposits for payments, including the CERB and CESB. 

Click here to see the set-up guide.

Members who are eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) through the Government of Canada can have their payments deposited when they become available. This fast and easy system will enable you to continue to bank while staying safe.

Already registered with the CRA to receive payments?
If you are already registered for CRA Direct Deposit, you don’t need to register again.

If you would like to request the CERB or CESB?
If you would like to obtain the CERB or CESB benefit, you must apply for it directly at the CRA website.

To be eligible to enrol for CERB or CESB direct deposit with the Canada Revenue Agency you must have filed at least one income tax return in the past.

If you have never filed a Canadian tax return, you must first call 1-800-959-8281 to register your Social Insurance Number with the CRA. You will not be able to apply for CERB/CESB or set up direct deposit until you call and register your Social Insurance Number.

Additional information and questions about the CERB and CESB can be found at the Government of Canada’s website.

Throughout this challenging time, please remember that Alterna is here to support you by calling our Contact Centre at 1.877.560.0100. 

We are in this together. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the benefit of enrolling for Direct Deposit with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? Expand/Collapse


If you’re receiving payments from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or other CRA benefits, signing up for direct deposit ensures that you’ll receive payments faster than traditional mail.

How do I set up Direct Deposit through Alterna Savings? Expand/Collapse


It’s easy! If you’re registered for Online Banking, simply log in and click “Setup CRA Direct Deposit” on the sidebar navigation. Click “Next” to proceed to the next page. Choose the account that you’d like the deposit to go into, and enter the personal information requested, including your first name, last name, date of birth, and Social Insurance Number, and accept the Terms & Conditions. A confirmation message will display that your enrolment is complete.

Important: You will need to login to your “CRA – My Account” the following business day to confirm that your direct deposit has been successfully set up.

Why do I need to provide my Social Insurance Number (SIN)? Expand/Collapse


Social Insurance Numbers provide a unique identifier for every Canadian with the CRA. Providing your SIN number ensures the payment is made to the right person.

How long will it take for my account information to get to CRA? Expand/Collapse


Account information will be processed after a minimum of one business day. You may login to your “CRA – My Account” the following business day to confirm that your direct deposit has been successfully set up.

I’m already registered for Direct Deposit through the CRA. Do I need to set it up again? Expand/Collapse


If you’ve been using Direct Deposit through the CRA, you don’t need to sign up again. The most recent enrolment you have made will become the account on file with the CRA.

I’m currently signed up for direct deposit with another financial institution. Can I sign up to receive my direct deposits with Alterna Savings? Expand/Collapse


Yes, you will need to complete the online enrolment with Alterna Savings, and CRA will update your payment information accordingly. You may only have one account, at one financial institution registered with the CRA.

How do I know if I’m eligible to set up Direct Deposit with the CRA? Expand/Collapse


If you’ve previously filed a tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency, you are eligible to set up a Direct Deposit.

Is this enrolment option available for Business or Non-Profit members? Expand/Collapse


This tool is only available for personal members who are looking to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Can I use this service to receive other types of payments such as tax refunds, GST/HST credits or child benefit payments? Expand/Collapse


Yes. Any credit coming from the Canada Revenue Agency will be deposited to your account. For more information, please refer to the Canada Revenue Agency Direct Deposit website.

Who do I call if I don’t get my payment when expected? Expand/Collapse


As payments are administered through the Canada Revenue Agency, you will need to login to your “CRA – My Account” to ensure the information you have provided is accurate. You may call the CRA directly to inquire about your payment.

How do I get more information on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)? Expand/Collapse


Current information on the benefit can be found at the Government of Canada’s website.


Do you still have a question? Please call our Contact Centre at 1.877.560.0100.

What is the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)? Expand/Collapse

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides income support to post-secondary students who experience financial hardship over the summer due to COVID-19.

I checked My Account on the CRA website for direct deposit and the connection to Alterna didn’t work. Why could that happen? Expand/Collapse


The legal name for members with CRA must match the name on the Alterna account or the connection to the CRA direct deposit system will not work.

Is there going to be a link to the CRA Direct Deposit service through the Alterna mobile app? Expand/Collapse


At this time, the link to the CRA Direct Deposit is not available through the Alterna mobile app. However, it is available through the desktop version or mobile web version. There is no in-person method for this process.