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Canada Child Benefit: For Who, How and How Much?

26 February 2015 by National Bank
CCTB

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a federal aid program put in place to meet the needs of parents with children under the age of 18. This is an important and valuable source of cash flow because payments are made regularly and are tax-free. How can you find out if you meet the eligibility requirements, and how can you apply?

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In 2016, the CCB replaced the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). Since its launch, more than 23 billion dollars have been paid to more than 3.5 million families. Parents who received the UCCB or the CCTB had their file automatically transferred from the old program to the new one.

How much can you receive from the CCB?

Low-income households are eligible for a yearly maximum allocation of $6,496 for each child under the age of six and $5,481 for each child aged six to seventeen. On average, families benefiting from the CCB receive $6,800 per year in tax-free benefits.

In July 2018, the federal government announced an increase in benefits, a boost welcomed by many parents. As an example, in 2017, a single parent with two children and an income of $35,000 received approximately $11,000 in total benefits. With the new indexation, this same parent receives almost $600 in additional benefits. The benefits will be increased again in 2019.

How often do you receive payments?

The Canada Child Benefit is paid monthly by cheque or direct deposit for a period of 12 months from July to June. You can sign up here to receive an automatic notice via email of payments and credits, which will allow you to better plan your expenses.

The calculation of these payments is renewed each year according to your income tax return and any changes to your familial situation, so it’s important to stay disciplined. If you want to benefit from the CCB, you need to file your taxes on time, even if you have low or no income.

How can you calculate your family benefits yourself?

To get an estimate of the CCB amounts you are entitled to, you can use the child and family benefits calculator.

By completing a short questionnaire, you will receive both a dollar amount and a relatively accurate overview of your current familial situation. You will be asked, among other things, the name and date of birth of each child under your care and your and your partner’s income. The result, however, does not consider provincial benefits or child disability benefits.

Are you expecting a child?

Firstly, congratulations! If you are the biological mother, you can submit an Automatic Benefits Application. You can register your child for your province on the birth registration form. At the same time, you can fill out applications for the Canada Child Benefit, the GST/HST credit and programs specific to each province and territory.

You can sign up for direct deposit before the birth of your child by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency website.

What happens in the event of a death?

In the event of a death, if the other parent is still the spouse, payments are usually transferred to this person according to their income. However, if the person responsible for the child is neither the mother nor the father, they must contact the Canada Revenue Agency to get a better overview suited to their new reality.

Learn more about the Canada Child Benefit

You can consult the information online on the Government of Canada website. There you will find a variety of information related to child benefits and other connected programs for which you could be eligible, such as the Child Disability Benefit, the Working Income Tax Benefit (if you are a low-income worker) or the Family Caregiver Benefit for Children (for critically ill or injured children).

Obviously, these sums are first allocated for children’s needs, especially for food, clothing and education. In this regard, as in many other cases, your financial advisor can help you optimize your budget and financial strategies.

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