For some of us Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) brings to mind a portion of our pay cheques which we lose to income tax. For others, CRA brings to mind having to pay more than the advertised price because of sales taxes. Although most of CRA’s job is taking money from taxpayers, its job also involves some giving. The Canada Child Benefit (CCB), which in 2016 substituted the universal child care benefit (UCCB), is a prominent example of the giving side of CRA’s work. CCB is a monthly tax-free payment to the person principally responsible for the care of a child. CCB payments decrease as income increases. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), on behalf of the Canadian government, manages CCB.
Historically Canada has relied on natural population growth, but over the last two decades, immigration has taken over as the primary driver of population growth. Some projections suggest natural population growth in Canada may become negative in the near future. Thus it is imperative that the government offer some support for raising children to prevent natural population growth from becoming negative.
The following are the requirements for receiving CCB:
To determine if a person is primarily responsible for the care of a child, CRA uses the following questions:
In a traditional family, CRA assumes that the female parent is primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the children in the home. If this is not the case in your family, the female parent should write a letter to the CRA explaining that the father is responsible for the child's care and upbringing, and CCB should be paid to the father. In a family where both parents are of the same sex, any of them (but just one of them) can apply and receive CCB.
You can apply and might receive CCB even if your child lives with you part of the time, your income is high, your child lives with you temporarily (more than a month) or if you care for a child because of their kinship with you.
Note that CCB resembles a need-based financial aid because the amount of money paid is inversely proportional to the family’s net income. Also, the parent primarily taking care of the child is most likely the parent with a lower income. So generally, CCB is paid to the parent with a smaller income.
If the child is living approximately half the time with one parent and half the time with the other parent, the situation is considered shared custody. In this case, each parent would get half the CCB it would have gotten if they had full custody. Shared custody is the only case where the Income Tax Act permits two separate CCB payments for a child. If the child spends more time with one parent, only this parent will receive CCB.
Apply for CCB when one of the following occurs:
Whenever the custody arrangements for your child change, you should inform the CRA using either “Apply for child's benefit” in your account on the CRA website or by filling out and mailing the form RC66 to the tax centre, which processes your taxes. The tax centre processing your taxes is determined based on your place of residence.
The simplest way to apply is using Automated Benefits Application. The mother of a newborn should fill out and sign the child’s birth registration form. At this time, if she consents for her information to be shared with the CRA by the vital statistics office and provides her SIN, the CRA will start paying out CCB shortly.
It is faster and cheaper to apply electronically. You would log into your CRA account and click on “Apply for child's benefit”, following the instructions to submit your application. Alternatively, you can apply by filling out Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application. On this form, you would provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN), basic personal information, and address. Then you need to provide information about your and your partner's marital status, citizenship status and legal residential status. If your eligibility cannot be determined based on the questions on this form, the form would instruct you to fill out Form RC66SCH, Status in Canada and Income Information as well. Finally, you should provide some information about your child or children. Then, you and your spouse/partner would sign and mail the form.
Filling Form RC66SCH, Status in Canada and Income Information is necessary if either you or your partner:
To get the first CCB payment for a child born outside of Canada or older than 12 months, you need to submit proof of birth documentation for the child to CRA with your application. To apply for CCB, you and your spouse/partner must provide your SIN. If you do not have SIN, go to a Service Canada office in person and provide a primary form of identification. The Service Canada office would issue your SIN during the same visit. You can apply by mail if you live more than 100 km from the nearest Service Canada office. If your application to receive a SIN is rejected for any reason, then attach a letter to your application and explain to the CRA why you could not get your SIN.
Please avoid applying more than once, either by one or by different application methods. A double application would cause complications and delays in processing your application.
After submitting your application, CRA reviews the application, and if there is any information or documentation missing, it will ask you to provide that information or documents. After processing a complete application, CRA will send you a CCB notice. CCB notice will detail what information is used in determining your CCB and how much you will receive. Keep this notice for your records.
CRA might decide to review your information for any reason or without reason. This review involves CRA writing to you and asking for documents to confirm the information you have provided to CRA. If you do not respond in a timely manner, your benefit and credit payments could stop.
Suppose, at any time during the course of receiving CCB or during the period in which you are applying to receive CCB, your spouse or partner is a non-resident of Canada. In that case, you should fill out and submit Form CTB9, Income of Non-Resident Spouse or Common-Law Partner. Whenever your spouse or partner immigrates to Canada, they should submit the following information to CRA:
If your marital status changes, you need to reapply for CCB. Because after such a change, your adjusted family income and thus your CCB entitlement would change. Also, the person entitled to receive CCB might change after changing your marital status as there can be only one CCB payment for each family.
CRA determines the amount of CCB every July based on three factors:
CCB calculated in July will be disbursed until June next year. If both parents have filed their tax returns, following July, CRA recalculates the CCB entitlement, and the payment continues.
Your family net income is the sum of net income for you and your spouse/partner (your child's income would not be included). Net income includes income from all sources both inside and outside of Canada. Adjustments to calculate CCB include subtracting the amount of CCB and registered disability saving plan (DSP) income you have received. If you are an Indian, you should not include any income which is tax-exempt under the Indian Act in your adjusted net income.
The payment period is the year for which CCB is calculated and paid. In CCB calculation, the base year is the first calendar year prior to the payment period. The payment period starts from July 1st of the year following the base year and ends on June 30th the following year. For example, CCB payments calculated based on the 2021 tax return start on July 1st of, 2022 and end on June 30th of, 2023.
You could receive a maximum of
These amounts are paid to low-income families. As soon as your adjusted family net income (AFNI) exceeds $32,028, these amounts are reduced.
For families with one eligible child, if AFNI is less than $69,395, CCB is
If a single-child family if AFNI is greater than $69,395, CCB is
For families with two eligible children or more consult the table below
|# of eligible children||Children’s age||AFNI||Annual CCB|
|1||Younger than 6||Less than $32,028||$6,833|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$6,833 -0.07*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$4,217 -0.032*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|Between 6 and 17||Less than $32,028||$5,765|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$5,765 -0.07*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$3,149 -0.032*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|2||Both younger than 6||Less than $32,028||$13,666|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$13,666 - 0.135*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$8,622 - 0.057*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|One younger than 6, other Between 6 and 17||Less than $32,028||$12,598|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$12,598 - 0.135*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$7,554 - 0.057*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|Both between 6 and 17||Less than $32,028||$11,530|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$11,530 - 0.135*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$6,486 - 0.057*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|3||All three younger than 6||Less than $32,028||$20,499|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$20,499 - 0.19*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$13,399 - 0.08*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|Two younger than 6, one Between 6 and 17||Less than $32,028||$19,431|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$19,431 - 0.19*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$12,331 - 0.08*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|Two between 6 and 17 one younger than 6||Less than $32,028||$18,363|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$18,363 - 0.19*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$11,263 - 0.08*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|All three between 6 and 17||Less than $32,028||$17,295|
|Between $32,028 and $69,395||$17,295 - 0.19*(AFNI-$32,028)|
|Greater than $69,395||$10,195 - 0.08*(AFNI-$69,395)|
For children with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions, the child disability benefit (CDB) supplements CCB. A child under 18 years of age who is eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC) is also eligible for CDB. DTC is a non-refundable tax credit that helps a person with a disability or someone supporting them to reduce their income tax. A person can claim DTC, or a family member supporting them can claim their DTC if they have submitted Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, and the CRA has approved it.
Your doctor should fill the bulk of Form T2201. Based on the information provided by the applicant’s doctor, the CRA will determine whether they can receive DTC. In this determination, the presence of a medical condition does not suffice. CRA establishes DTC eligibility when a medical condition impairs a person's life despite using therapy and drugs.
Between July 2021 and June 2022, the child disability benefit amounts to $2,915 per annum for most families. See your family's CDB in the table below.
|# of CDB eligible children||AFNI||Annual CDB|
|1||Less than $69,395||$2,915|
|Greater than $69,395||$2,915 - 0.032*(AFNI-$69,395)|
|2||Less than $69,395||$5,830|
|Greater than $69,395||$5,830 - 0.057*(AFNI-$69,395)|
Canada child benefit young children supplement (CCBYCS) was a series of payments made by the Government of Canada in 2021 to families with children under the age of 6 who were receiving CCB. This program will not make payments during 2022 or afterwards.
CRA generally pays CCB on the 20th of each month. If the 20th coincides with a holiday or weekend in a month, then the payment is made on the last business day before the 20th. You can check your benefit amount and benefit payment date through your account on the CRA website.
Until July 2016, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administered the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). UCCB was a taxable benefit which was paid for children 18 or younger. The amount of UCCB payment was independent of income. UCCB payment was $160/month for each child under the age of 6 and $60/month for each child between the ages of 6 and 17. The eligibility requirements for UCCB were as follows:
The non-taxable Alberta child and family benefit is paid quarterly to families with children under 18 years of age who reside in Alberta. This benefit consists of a base component and a working component and has a maximum annual amount of $5,120. CRA pays the maximum base value to families with an ANFI of less than or equal to $24,467. It is $1,330 for the first qualified dependent and $665 for each of the second, third and fourth qualified dependent. Families with employment income greater than $2,760 may be entitled to the working component whose maximum value is:
This program supplements CCB payments free of tax for residents of British Columbia. This program is funded by the government of BC and operated by CRA. The maximum annual payments are made to families with AFNI of less than or equal to $25,275 and are reported below.
This is a non-taxable monthly payment to families with children under 18 who reside in the province of New Brunswick. The maximum New Brunswick child tax benefit of $20.83 per month for each child is paid if your adjusted family net income is less than or equal to $20,000. New Brunswick working income supplement (NBWIS) is an additional benefit for New Brunswick residents who, in addition to children under 18, have some working income. The maximum NBWIS of $20.83 per month for each child is paid to a family with $10,000 in working income. New Brunswick School Supplement (NBSS) payment is the last piece of support offered by the government of NB to families with children and a modest income.
NL child benefit is a non-taxable monthly payment for NL residents with children under 18 and a modest income. Families with an adjusted family net income of less than $17,397 would receive:
In Northwest territories, you might get as much as $67.91 for one child under 6, $122.25 for two children under 6, and $166.41 for three children under six, per month. You might also receive $54.33 for one child between 6 and 17, $97.83 for two children between 6 and 17 and $133.08 for three children between 6 and 17. These amounts would be reduced for families with incomes higher than $30,000.
This is a non-taxable monthly payment to modest-income families with children under 18 who reside in Nova Scotia. A family with AFNI of less than $26,000 receives monthly values of:
Nunavut families earning less than $20,921 in the previous tax year would receive $330 per year for each child under 18. These families might also benefit from the Territorial worker's supplement.
The Government of Canada pays CCB. For Ontario residents with a modest income, the government of Ontario tops up their CCB payments. The maximum monthly benefit of $122.83 is paid for each child under 18 years of age to families with ANFI less than $22,504. This program is funded by the Government of Ontario but administered by CRA. These values are for the period July 2021 to June 2022.
Yukon families may receive a benefit of $68.33 per month for each child. This amount is reduced for families with an annual income greater than $35,000.
This program supports families living in the province of Quebec. It is funded by the government of Quebec and administered by Retraite Quebec. It is tax-free and the amount of payment is determined based on: