5 Benefits, Grants & Payments From The Feds That Can Help Parents With The Cost Of Raising Kids
Thousands of dollars are available for parents and their children! 💸
The government of Canada has so many federal benefits available to help parents afford to raise their children, including payments to help save for post-secondary education.
Embark, a Canadian education savings and planning company, recently shared a survey where they asked Canadian parents about saving for their children's education and the impact of rising costs of living.
There is "immense pressure" on parents to provide financially for their children's post-secondary education, which can come at the cost of their own financial well-being, according to this survey.
In fact, 52% of parents said that they would go into debt in order to pay for their child's education.
Also, 73% said it has been harder for them to save up for their child's education recently because of higher living expenses.
If parents are looking for help to pay for their children's post-secondary education, thousands of dollars are available through benefits from the federal government, including the Canada Learning Bond, Canada Child Benefit, Canada Education Savings Grant and others.
So, here are five benefits, grants and payments that the federal government is offering parents to help them afford the cost of raising their children.
Canada child benefit
The Canada child benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age.
It can also include the child disability benefit along with related provincial and territorial programs.
To be eligible for the CCB, you have to:
- live with your child who is under 18 years of age
- be primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child
- be a resident of Canada for tax purposes
Also, you or your spouse or common-law partner must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a protected person, an eligible temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the previous 18 months, or an individual who is registered or entitled to be registered under the Indian Act.
According to the federal government, parents should apply for the CCB as soon as any of these situations happens:
- your child is born
- a child starts to live with you or returns to live with you after a temporary period with someone else
- you begin, end or change a shared custody arrangement
- you get custody of a child
- you, or your spouse or common-law partner start to meet the eligibility conditions
You can apply for the CCB when you register the birth of your newborn with your province or territory, which can be done on paper or online.
If you didn't apply for the CCB when you registered the birth of your baby, you can apply online through the CRA using My Account. There is also an apply-by-mail option.
CCB payments are adjusted every July based on your adjusted family net income as reported in your previous year's tax return. They may also be adjusted throughout the benefit year — which runs from July to June — if you have a change in:
- the number of children in your care
- the age of your children
- your marital status
- your custody arrangement
If your adjusted family net income is under $32,797, you would be eligible for the maximum amount from the benefit for each child. That works out to:
- $6,997 per year ($583.08 per month) for children under six years old
- $5,903 per year ($491.91 per month) for children between 6 and 17 years old
The payments start gradually decreasing when the adjusted family net income is more than $32,797.
If you want to know exactly what you'll get, the federal government has an online calculator to help parents figure out how much money they can get from the CCB.
The remaining 2023 payment dates for the CCB are:
- June 20
- July 20
- August 18
- September 20
- October 20
- November 20
- December 13
If your total amount for the year is less than $240, you won't receive monthly payments. Instead, you'll get one lump sum on the July payment date.
To keep getting CCB payments, you have to file your tax return on time every year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they have to file their tax return on time each year as well.
Canada Learning Bond
The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is an incentive from the federal government that offers up to $2,000 to help low-income families save for their child's post-secondary education.
The CLB provides an initial payment of $500 for the first year the child is eligible.
Then, $100 will be added for each additional year of the child's eligibility up to the age of 15, which works out to a maximum of $2,000.
That money will be deposited directly into the child's registered education savings plan (RESP).
Contributions aren't required to receive the CLB, which means parents don't have to put their own money into the RESP to get money from the government.
In fact, to help cover the cost of opening an RESP, the federal government will pay an additional $25 into the RESP where the initial CLB payment is deposited.
To be eligible for the CLB, the child receiving the money must:
- be a resident of Canada
- have a social insurance number
- be named as a beneficiary in an RESP
- be born on or after January 1, 2004
- be from a family with an adjusted income of $50,197 or less (for families with 1-3 children), under $56,636 (4 children) or under $63,101 (5 children)
Also, the primary caregiver of the child needs to:
- have filed income tax returns for each year they wish to request the CLB
- be eligible to receive the CCB
The CLB is retroactive, meaning that the payments accumulate for each year of eligibility until December 31 of the year the child turns 15.
So, the primary caregiver can request the CLB for an eligible child until the day before the child turns 18.
If parents haven't opened an RESP for their child and received money through the CLB, eligible people can request the CLB for themselves once they turn 18 years old, until the day before they turn 21.
Canada Education Savings Grant
With the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), children are able to receive up to $500 toward their RESP for each year of eligibility, and children from families with middle or low income could receive up to $100 more each year.
There is a lifetime maximum of $7,200 that's available from the CESG until the calendar year when the child turns 17.
Unlike the CLB, in order to receive the CESG, parents have to make contributions to an RESP for the child and then the grant will add to it based on the contribution amount.
For all eligible individuals, regardless of income, the government will match 20% of RESP contributions of up to $2,500 per year, meaning a maximum payment of $500 a year.
Families with an adjusted income of $50,197 or less are eligible for a payment of 20% on an additional $500 in contributions (i.e., up to $100 more a year), while those with an income between $50,197 and $100,392 can receive 10% on that additional $500 (i.e., up to $50 more a year).
To be eligible for the CESG, the child must:
- be a resident of Canada
- have a social insurance number
- be named as a beneficiary in an RESP
- be 17 years old or younger
CESG amounts accumulate and can be carried forward to the current year.
So, if the maximum CESG amount in a given year isn't received, it can still be received in future years by making more contributions to the RESP.
Canada Dental Benefit
The Canada Dental Benefit is available to offset dental costs for eligible families earning less than $90,000 a year.
Parents and guardians can apply if their child is receiving dental care, is under 12 years old and doesn't have access to a private dental insurance plan.
Depending on your adjusted family net income, a tax-free payment of $260, $390 or $650 is being offered for each eligible child.
This benefit is only available for two periods, and you can get a maximum of two payments for each eligible child.
You must meet all of the criteria for each child you apply for, which are:
- Your child was born on or after July 2, 2011 (under 12 years old as of July 1, 2023).
- Your child receives dental care services in Canada within one or both of the benefit periods.
- Your child doesn't have access to a private dental insurance plan.
- Your child's dental costs are not fully covered by another government dental program.
- You are the only parent/caregiver or share custody and are receiving the CCB for your child.
- You and your spouse or common-law partner both filed your 2022 taxes.
- Your adjusted family net income was less than $90,000 in 2022.
You have to apply with the CRA either online or by phone and then the benefit money will be delivered through a direct deposit or as a cheque delivered by mail.
Climate action incentive payment
The Climate action incentive payment (CAIP) is a tax-free amount paid to help individuals and families offset the cost of federal pollution pricing.
You're eligible for this credit if you are a resident of Canada for income tax purposes in the month before and at the beginning of the month in which the CRA makes a payment.
You also have to be a resident of an eligible province on the first day of the payment month and be at least 19 years old in the month before the quarterly payment is made.
Parents can get additional money through the CAIP for their children.
You have an eligible child if all the following conditions are met at the beginning of the payment month:
- your child is under 19 years of age
- your child lives with you
- you are primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of your child
- your child is registered for the CCB
You don't need to apply to receive the CAIP. The CRA will determine your eligibility when you file your taxes and will send you payments if you're entitled to them.
For 2022, in Ontario, the annual credit is $488 for an individual, $244 for a spouse or common-law partner, $122 per child under 19 and $244 for the first child in a single-parent family.
Manitoba's CAIP provides an annual credit of $528 for an individual, $264 for a spouse or common-law partner, $132 per child under 19 and $264 for the first child in a single-parent family.
The Saskatchewan program offers an annual credit of $680 for an individual, $340 for a spouse or common-law partner, $170 per child under 19 and $340 for the first child in a single-parent family.
In Alberta, there is an annual credit of $772 for an individual, $386 for a spouse or common-law partner, $193 per child under 19 and $386 for the first child in a single-parent family.
Beginning in July 2023, three more provinces will also be eligible for the CAIP.
Newfoundland and Labrador's program will provide a quarterly (as opposed to annual) credit of $164 for an individual, $82 for a spouse or common-law partner, $41 per child under 19 and $82 for the first child in a single-parent family.
In Nova Scotia, it will be a quarterly credit of $124 for an individual, $62 for a spouse or common-law partner, $31 per child under 19 and $62 for the first child in a single-parent family.
The P.E.I. program will be a quarterly credit of $120 for an individual, $60 for a spouse or common-law partner, $30 per child under 19 and $60 for the first child in a single-parent family.
Residents of small and rural communities can also get a supplement of an additional 10% of the base amount in all the above-mentioned provinces except P.E.I., where the default amount already includes the supplement as all residents are eligible.
If you're entitled to receive this benefit, the CAIP payment dates are January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15 each year.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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