Children’s Benefits in Canada: The CCB Explained

With the cost of raising a child in Canada on the rise, many parents are looking for ways to help offset the expense. Luckily, the government is aware of the financial challenges that families face and has created several programs intended to ease the burden. 

One such program focuses on children’s benefits in Canada, which is known as the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). If you want to learn more about it and how it can help your family, we’ve got all the information you need right here.

What is The Canada Child Benefit (CCB)?

The CCB is a monthly tax-free payment made to eligible families with children under the age of 18. The funds are provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Families can use the money however they see fit, but it is typically used for things like food, clothing, and shelter.

Even though you aren’t required to include the benefit as part of your income tax return, you will have to file your yearly taxes in order to receive the CCB payments. This is because the CRA uses your taxation information to determine your eligibility for the program.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive the child tax benefit, you’re expected to meet the following criteria:

– You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

– You must have a valid social insurance number

– You must be the primary caregiver for the child that’s under the age of 18 (or, in some cases, under the age of 19)

– You must have filed your taxes for the previous year

If you have a foster child or take care of one as part of a kinship or common-law relationship, you may also be eligible for the Canada Child Benefit. This is only applicable in cases where the Children’s Special Allowances program does not already provide financial assistance for the child in question.

It’s also important to note that only one person can claim the CCB in Canada for a particular child. In cases where both parents are eligible, only the primary caregiver can apply for the benefit. If one of the partners is female, the CRA assumes that she is the primary caregiver unless proven otherwise.

Those with joint custody of a child are subjected to special arrangements that depend on several factors. In general, the parent who spends the most time with the child is considered to be the primary caregiver and will receive the funds. However, if both parents share custody equally, then the CCB payments will be split between them.

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How to Apply for the Canada Child Benefit?

The process for requesting a child benefit in Canada is relatively straightforward, with several application options available.

Child Registration

Your first option is to start by registering your child with the government. You’re expected to fill out and sign the relevant birth certificate, which is issued by your province or territory of residence. The process and necessary documents may vary depending on where you live, so it’s best to check with your local authorities.

Next, you’ll be asked to give your consent to the appointed legal office so that your child’s information can be released to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This is required in order for the agency to calculate your universal child care benefit payments and issue a social insurance number for your child, if they don’t already have one.

Online Registration

The second option is to apply online directly through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website. To do this, you’ll need a valid CRA login ID and password. If you don’t have one yet, you can create an account using your social insurance number, date of birth, and current mailing address.

Once you’re logged in, simply select the “Apply for child benefits” option and follow the instructions on-screen. You’ll be asked to provide information about yourself, your spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), and your child. This includes information such as your contact details, income, and the type of custody arrangement you have for your child. 

Finally, you’ll be asked to consent to the release of information so that the CRA can verify your identity and confirm your eligibility for the benefit. Once everything is submitted, you should receive a confirmation notice letting you know that your application has been received and is being processed. All of this is required to properly calculate your family allowance in Canada.

Mail Registration

Your third and final option is to register by mail. To do this, simply download and print the relevant forms from the CRA website. When you’re ready, sign and date the forms before mailing them to your nearest tax centre. You can find the relevant address by visiting the CRA website and entering your postal code.

The first form you’ll need is the RC66 “Canada Child Benefits Application” form. This is used to provide information about yourself and your spouse or common-law partner, as well as your children. You’ll also be asked to provide your consent to the release of information so that the CRA can verify your identity and confirm your eligibility for the benefit.

The second form is the RC66SCH “Schedule 1 – Canada Child Tax Benefit” form. This one allows you to provide details about your family’s income and living situation so that the universal childcare benefit can be processed.

And lastly, the RC66E “Schedule 2 – Children’s Special Expenses” form is used to provide information about any special expenses related to your children, such as childcare or disability-related costs. This is optional, but if you do have expenses that you wish to be considered, this is the form you’ll need.

When Is the Best Time to Apply for the CCB?

While there aren’t any specific child tax benefit dates that you need to be aware of, it’s generally best to apply as soon as possible after your child is born. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on any payments that you may be entitled to. Keep in mind that the CRA can only process your application and issue payments retroactively for up to 12 months. So if it’s been more than a year since your child was born, you won’t be able to receive any payments for the time before you applied.

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How Much Is the CCB?

The amount of the CCB payment is based on a number of factors, including your family’s income, the number of children in your care, and whether you have any qualifying expenses. You can use the CCB calculator on the CRA website to get an estimate of how much you may be entitled.

As of 2021, the maximum benefit payment is $6,765 per child under the age of 6 and $5,708 for each child aged 6-17. Families with lower incomes may be eligible for a higher benefit payment, while those with higher incomes will receive a smaller payment.

The child care benefit may be recalculated in cases where there is a change in the relevant categories. For instance, if your family’s income goes up or down, the number of children in your care shifts, or you start paying for child care, the benefit amount may be adjusted accordingly.

Conclusion

All in all, the Canada child benefit offers a great financial helping hand to families with young children. It’s a simple and straightforward way to get some extra funds to help cover the costs of raising a child. And best of all, it’s available to all Canadian families, regardless of income. So if you’re thinking about applying for the benefit, be sure to do so as soon as possible after your child is born.

FAQ

How much is the Canada child benefit?

The specific amount may vary depending on the family’s income, number of children, and other factors, but the maximum benefit payment is $6,765 per child under the age of 6, and $5,708 for each child aged 6-17.

What benefits do children get in Canada?

There are a number of programs for children’s benefits in Canada, including the Canada child benefit, which is intended to cover the costs of taking care of children and the disability tax credit, which is available for children with disabilities.

ABOUT AUTHOR

When Angela combined her deep-seated love for linguistics with her growing interest for finance and money management, she struck a gold mine. She’s scoured the internet far and wide for all things related to money and finances, including payments, budgeting and investing. Now she’s eager to share her knowledge and skills with the world, determined to make it a better place. In her free time, she loves to read a good book.

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