Everything You Need to Know About the Canada Child Benefit

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If you live in Canada and have a child below the age of 18, you may be eligible for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), a monthly tax-exempt payment administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to help families with children. In the sections below, we cover everything you should know about the CCB, including what it is, how much you can get, and how to apply.

What is the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)?

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a benefit the Canadian government offers to families with children. The benefit is paid monthly from July to June of the next year and is based on various factors, including adjusted family net income. There are four main conditions you must meet to qualify for the CCB. These include:

  • You live with a child under the age of 18

  • You are primarily responsible for the child's care and upbringing

  • You are a Canadian resident for tax purposes

  • You or your partner is any of the following: a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a protected person, a temporary person (in Canada for the past 18 months with a valid permit for the 19th month that doesn't state "does not confer status"), or a person registered or entitled to be registered under the Indian Act

You are considered primarily responsible for the child's care if you are involved in supervising the child's daily activities and needs, ensuring their medical needs are met, and arranging for child care when necessary. In cases where there is shared custody, the percentage of time you have custody will determine what portion of the CCB payment for the child you will receive.

The CCB is calculated based on your adjusted family net income (AFNI), the number of children under 18 years of age in your care, the age of each child, and your marital status. Your net income is the amount reported on line 23600 of your annual T1 return. The AFNI consists of your family net income minus any universal child care benefit (UCCB) and registered disability savings plan (RDSP) income received plus any UCCB and RDSP amounts repaid. The CRA will use the net income calculated from the previous year. If a child is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit and eligible for the CCB, you may also receive an additional payment under the Child Disability Benefit.

How much can I get?

Various factors influence how much you can get from the CCB. However, your AFNI and number of eligible children are vital. The CRA has two age groups: below 6 years and 6-17 years. If your AFNI falls below the $34,863 threshold in the 2022 tax year, you will receive the following amounts for the July 2023 to June 2024 payment period:

  • For every child under 6 years of age: $619.75 per month ($7,437 per year)

  • For every child 6-17 years of age: $522.91 per month ($6,275 per year)

These are the maximum payments allowed per child. However, you may get lower amounts if your AFNI exceeds $34,863 per year. For families with an AFNI of $34,863 to $75,537, the benefit for one child will be reduced by 7% of the income above the threshold. Here's an example of the reduction when you have one child under the age of 6:

a) (Adjusted family net income) - (income threshold for maximum benefit ($34,863)) = Income over threshold. If your AFNI is $40,000, the income over threshold will be ($40,000-$34,863), or $5,137.

b) (Income over threshold) x (7%) = Total reduction. Going by the above example, your total reduction will be ($5,137) x (7%) = $359.59.

c) Benefit = maximum benefit – Total reduction. In our example, your CCB will be $7,437 - $359.59 = $7,077.41

If you have one child, and your AFNI exceeds $75,537, your CCB will be reduced by $2,847 plus 3.2% of the income above $75,537 (AFNI - $75,537). The percentages and reduction amounts are different for taxpayers with two, three, or four or more children. Check out all CCB calculations here.

You can also qualify for Child Disability Benefit if your child is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit and the CCB. The disability benefit offers up to $3,173 ($264.41 per month) per child with a disability.

Most provinces and territories, including Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec, also provide unique benefits to help families raise children. In some provinces/territories, these benefits are administered and paid separately from the CCB. In others, they are administered by the CRA and paid together with the federal CCB.

How do I apply for the CCB?

There are three different ways to apply for the CCB. The first is through your birth registration. This is completed at the hospital when you register the birth of your child. Some provinces and territories allow online registration. You should consent to give your social insurance number to allow the Vital Statistics Agency to share the birth registration number with the CRA.

The second method is through CRA "My Account." Once logged in, navigate to "Apply for child benefits" and confirm your contact, marital status, citizenship, child's name, gender, and date and place of birth. Review your application and submit it. The CRA may request additional documents, which you can complete by going to "submit documents" in your CRA "My Account" portal.

The last method is mail applications. You can download and fill out form RC66 (Canada Child Benefits Application), attach other required documents, and mail the completed and signed form to your tax center.

When are CCB payments received?

The CRA will process all applications and send out your first payment within eight weeks of submitting online forms. If you apply via mail, expect your first payment within 11 weeks. If your total CCB for the tax year is less than $240, the CRA will issue payment in one lump sum with the July payment. Those with a CCB above $240 will receive monthly payments per due dates set by the CRA.

2023 payments for January, February, March, April, June, July, September, October, and November will be made on the 20th day of the month. The other months are as follows:

  • May 19

  • August 18

  • December 13

You can see when your next payment will be made from CRA "My Account." If you don't receive payments five days after the due date, contact the CRA.

How do I continue getting my CCB payments?

To keep getting your CCB and related payments, you must file your tax return on time every year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they must do the same. 

If your situation changes, such as a different marital status, custody arrangement, changed bank accounts, or outdated personal information, tell the CRA as soon as possible. Your payments may stop if you don’t.

Last Updated November 16, 2023

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