New Canada Workers Benefit Payments Are Coming & Families Can Get Almost $2,500
Eligible families and individuals will begin receiving payments as of this week.
If you're somebody who qualifies for the Canada Workers Benefit, you can expect to receive the first of your new quarterly payments as early as this week.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the recently expanded and enhanced CWB would begin to be distributed on Friday.
It's the first of the new quarterly payments, which will be distributed in advance to ensure eligible people can get their benefits earlier than before.
As of July 2023, eligible single workers can get up to $1,428 as a basic quarterly payment, while families can get up to $2,461 depending on their income.
Canadian workers who qualify will also be able to receive up to $737 as a disability supplement, in addition to the basic CWB payment.
With the new advance payments set to arrive in bank accounts before the end of the week, here's everything you need to know about the Canada Workers Benefit, exactly how much you can get and how to claim the money.
What is the Canada Workers Benefit?
The Canada Workers Benefit, also known as the CWB, is a refundable tax credit that aims to help individuals and families who are working but that earn a low income.
The federal benefit has two parts, a basic amount and a disability supplement. Some individuals may qualify for both.
As of July 2023, the CWB will automatically provide advance payments to beneficiaries based on their eligibility in the 2022 tax year.
Previously, the Canada Revenue Agency determined CWB eligibility based on tax returns, which meant eligible people would have to wait until the year after they became eligible to claim the benefit for that year (because the tax return deadline in Canada is always in April of the following year).
The change means that those who were eligible for the CWB in 2022 won't have to wait until the 2023 tax filing season (in 2024) to get paid. Instead, the CRA will use information from 2022 to deliver three advance payments – equal to 50% of the CWB – in 2023, ahead of the tax return deadline in 2024.
These payments are called the Advanced Canada Workers Benefit — or ACWB.
The government says this change will "put more money in the workers' pockets to help cope with the rising cost of living."
Anyone who received the CWB in 2022 will receive the advance payments automatically, so there is no need to apply.
Those who are entitled to receive the disability supplement will also get 50% of their disability supplement amount alongside their basic advanced payments.
Who qualifies for the Canada Workers Benefit?
To qualify for the Canada Workers Benefit, you must be a resident of Canada throughout the year, and you must be at least 19 years old on December 31 of the year you apply (or live with your spouse or common-law partner, or your child).
You must also earn a working income, although your net income must be below the net income level set for your specific province or territory.
Full-time students do not qualify unless they have an eligible dependant, and you also can't get the CWB if you've been incarcerated for at least 90 days of the year.
Those who have a qualifying income and an approved T2201 Form (Disability Tax Credit Certificate) on file with the CRA will be able to claim the CWB disability supplement as well.
You can find the full CWB eligibility requirements on the Government of Canada's website.
How much can you get via the Canada Workers Benefit?
Exactly how much you can get via the Canada Workers Benefit varies, depending on factors like your income and your province or territory of residence, as well as your marital status and whether you have eligible dependants.
The maximum basic CWB amount that single individuals can get in most provinces and territories is $1,428 as of July, 2023. This figure gradually decreases if your adjusted net income is over $23,495.
If you earn over $33,015, no basic amount is paid.
When it comes to families, the maximum basic CWB amount is $2,461. This figure is reduced if your adjusted family net income (AFNI) is over $26,805.
If your AFNI is more than $43,212, no basic amount will be paid.
The maximum basic CWB amount is different for residents of Quebec, Nunavut and Alberta.
The maximum amount for the disability supplement is $737 for single individuals, with a gradual reduction for those earning over $33,018. No disability supplement is paid if your adjusted net income is more than $37,932.
The same maximum amount applies for families, with the figure gradually reducing if your AFNI is more than $43,210.
It's worth adding that no disability supplement is paid if one spouse is eligible for the disability tax credit and has an AFNI of more than $48,124, or if both spouses are eligible and have an AFNI of more than $53,037.
The maximum amount for the disability supplement will vary for residents of Quebec and Nunavut.
If you're unsure what this means for you, you can use the government's child and family benefit calculator to estimate your advance payments. Keep in mind that you must give information based on your situation as of December 31 in the previous year.
How to claim the Canada Workers Benefit
There are two easy ways to claim the Canada Workers Benefit, according to the CRA's website.
You can either file your taxes electronically and follow the instructions in your certified tax software, or fill out a paper return and submit the Schedule 6, Canada Workers Benefit form.
If you're claiming the disability supplement, fill out the same form again (via your tax filing software or on paper).
"If you have an eligible spouse and one of you is eligible for the disability tax credit, that person should claim both the basic amount and the disability supplement," the CRA explains.
If you and your spouse are both eligible for the disability tax credit, only one of you can claim the basic amount. You must, however, both claim the disability supplement on a separate Schedule 6 form.
It's not necessary to apply for advance payments, as the CRA will determine your eligibility when you file your income tax and benefit return. Instead, payments will be distributed automatically.
"To receive the advanced payments, the CRA must receive your income tax and benefit return before November 1 of the benefit period," the CRA adds.
Those who believe they qualify for the CWB are asked to wait 10 business days after the expected payment date before contacting the CRA about late or missed payments.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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