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Financial Planning  ->  Save Money  ->  Government Benefits  ->  Canada -> Child and Family Benefits

Government Child and Family Benefit Programs

On July 1, 2016, the UCCB and CCTB were replaced with the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) providing monthly tax-free benefits that are tied to income.  This was as per the Federal 2016 Budget.

The federal and provincial governments have benefit programs which provide additional income for families, and for low-income individuals.  These programs include the following benefits.

Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and Child Disability Benefit (CDB)

Income Tax Act s. 122.6 - 122.63

COVID-19 Update: The maximum annual CCB payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year were increased by $300 per child, which was paid with the May 2020 payment.  

The 2020 Fall Economic Statement included a proposal to provide

bullet$300 per quarter in 2021 for each child under the age of 6 where the family net income is less than or equal to $120,000,
bullet$150 per quarter in 2021 for each child under the age of 6 where the family net income is greater than $120,000, and
bullet$300 per quarter in 2021 for each child under the age of 6 in respect of whom a Children's Special Allowance is paid.

The CCB, a tax-free monthly payment, provides a maximum annual benefit of

    - $6,400* ($6,639 as of Jul 2019) per child under 6 and

    - $5,400* ($5,602 as of Jul 2019) per child aged 6 through 17.

The benefit is reduced when adjusted family net income (AFNI) is over $30,000* ($31,120 as of Jul 2019).  There are different % rates of reduction depending on the number of children, and when AFNI exceeds $65,000* ($67,426 as of Jul 2019) the % rates of reduction change.

See Canada Revenue Agency definitions for the meaning of Adjusted Family Net Income.  Note that CCB and CDB are not included in taxable income, so don't have to be deducted to get to AFNI.

Entitlement to the CCB for the July 2019 to June 2020 benefit year is based on AFNI for the 2018 taxation year.  

The CCB will provide an additional Child Disability Benefit (CDB) amount of up to $2,730* ($2,832 as of Jul 2019) per child eligible for the disability tax credit.  The reduction of this additional amount based on income will be made in the same manner as the reduction to the CCTB.  The additional amount will be included in the CCB payments made to eligible families.

* Indexation:  As per the Federal 2018 Budget, the Canada Child Benefit amounts were indexed annually starting July 2018.  The indexation uses the same factor as is used to index the personal income tax brackets.

Current Canada Child Benefit Thresholds / % Reductions

# of children Reduction %
Jul 2019 - Jul 2020
Over $31,120
up to $67,426
Over $67,426
1 7.0% 3.2%
2 13.5% 5.7%
3 19.0% 8.0%
4+ 23.0% 9.5%

Note:  For AFNI greater than $67,426, first the 7% reduction applies (rounded to even $), then the 3.2% reduction.

Example: AFNI of $80,000 with 1 child under 6:

     - reduction = 7% x (67,426 - 31,120) + 3.2% x (80,000 - 67,426) = $2,541 + $402.37 = $2,943.37.

     - annual payment = $6,639 - $2,943.37 = $3,695.63

See Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) Canada child benefit - How we calculate your CCB.

See the CCB Calculator on the budget website to find out how much you will receive.

Shared-Custody Parents

Legislative proposals introduced in August 2019 will change the definition of shared-custody parent to a parent who resides with the qualified dependant at least 40% of the time.  This measure will be retroactive to payments arising after June 2011.

This is discussed in the October 2019 Life in the Tax Lane video.

Change in Marital Status

A change in marital status (married, common-law, widowed, divorced, separated, single) of an individual receiving the CCB must be reported to CRA by the end of the month after the change.  If the amount of CCB changes as a result, the change will be effective in the first month after the change in marital status.

Retroactive CCB Requests

Income Tax Act s. 122.62(2)

Budget 2016 changes allow a taxpayer to request retroactive payments of the CCB, CCTB or UCCB, with a 10 year time limit, as in the Taxpayer Relief Provisions, but in a slightly different manner.  A retroactive payment request can be made in respect of a month on or before the day that is 10 years after the beginning of that month, effective for requests made after June 2016.

To apply for retroactive benefits, apply for the CCB through My Account or by filing an RC66 form (link below).

Check out all of our ideas for saving money and building wealth!

For more government benefits and resources, federal and provincial/territorial, see our Government Benefits page.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources

Canada Child Benefit

Child and Family Benefits

Child disability benefit (CDB) - tax-free benefit for families who care for a child under age 18 who is eligible for the disability amount.

How to apply for child and family benefits when registering the birth of your newborn with the Automated Benefits Application

Online Child and Family Benefits Calculator to determine your eligibility for these programs.

RC66 Canada Child Benefits Application - includes federal, provincial, and territorial programs.

Child Benefits – Retroactive Eligibility of Foreign-Born Status Indians

Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) - no longer in effect

 - taxable monthly payment, expanded and increased retroactive to Jan 1, 2015, replaced with Canada Child Benefit effective July 1, 2016.

Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) - no longer in effect

The CCTB was a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18, and was replaced by the Canada Child Benefit (see above) effective July 1, 2016.

It appears that there was some confusion over the elimination of the Child Tax Credit for 2015, with some people thinking that the Canada Child Tax Benefit was being eliminated.  This was not the case.  The Child Tax Credit was a non-refundable tax credit claimed on the tax return, and its elimination was proposed by the October 2014 Federal Tax Update in conjunction with the increase in the UCCB.

Revised: April 27, 2021

 

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