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 CRA to help families with children. In the sections below, we examine 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?

The Canada Child Benefit is precisely what the name suggests. It 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 required to file taxes

  • You or your partner is a Canadian citizen, or permanent resident, protected person, a temporary person (in Canada for the past 18 months with a valid permit for the 19th month), or an indigenous person 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 childcare when necessary.

Canada Child Benefit is calculated based on your adjusted family net income (AFNI), the number of children under 18 years of age, the age of each child, and the child's eligibility for child disability benefit. Your net income is the amount reported on line 23600 of your annual T1 return. The adjusted family net income 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.

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 adjusted family net income falls below the $31,711 threshold, you will receive the following amounts for the 2019 tax year:

  • For every child under 6 years of age - $563.75 per month ($6,765 per year)

  • For every child 6 to 17 years of age - $475.66 per month ($5,708 per year)

These are the maximum payments allowed per child. However, you may get lower amounts if your adjusted family net income exceeds $31,711 per year. For families with a AFNI of $31,711 to $68,708, the benefit will be reduced by 7% of the income above the threshold as follows:

a) (Adjusted family net income) - (income threshold for maximum benefit ($31,711)) = Income over threshold. If your AFNI is $40,000, the income over threshold will be ($40,000-$31,711), or $8,289.

b) (Income over threshold) x (7%) = Total reduction. Going by the above example, your total reduction will be ($8,289) x (7%) = $580.23.

c) Benefit = maximum benefit – Total reduction. In our example, your CCB will be $31,711 - $580.23 = $31,130.77

If your AFNI exceeds $68,708, your CCB will be reduced by $2,590 plus 3.2% of the income above $68,708 (AFNI - $68,708). There are several other calculations for taxpayers with two, three, or four children. Check out all CCB calculations here. The CRA will split payments in half for a 50-50 percentage if you are considered to have shared custody, regardless of who spends the most time with the child.

You can also qualify for Child Disability Benefit if your child is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. The disability benefit offers up to $2,886 ($240.50 per month) per child with a disability. Some provinces and territories, including Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, etc., also provide unique benefits to help families raise children. You can receive these benefits separately or together with the federal CCB.

How To Apply For CCB?

There are three different ways to apply for the Canada Child Benefit. The first is through your birth registration. This is completed at the hospital when you register the birth of your child. Some provinces allow online registration. You should consent to give your social insurance number (SIN) 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, date and place of birth. Review your application and submit it. 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 8 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, CRA will issue payment in one lump sum with the July payment. Those with CCB above $240 will receive monthly payments per due dates set by the CRA.

2020 payments for January, February, March, April, May, July, August, October, and November will be made on the 20th day of the month. The other months are as follows:

  • June 19

  • September 18

  • December 11

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.

Last Updated January 11, 2021

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