Looking to improve your family's finances?
You can do that with the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) program which offers tax-free financial support to families with children under 18.
In this post, we will outline everything you need to know about the CCB, from CCB benefit payment dates to eligibility, the application process, and some tips to make the most of this family benefit program.
What is Canada Child Benefit (CCB)?
The Canada Child Benefit, full child tax benefit payment, or the Canada Child Tax Benefit, is a federal government benefit program. This child and family benefit helps families with children under 18 years old by providing them with a monthly tax-free payment on specified CCB payment dates.
This is only one of the several child benefit programs that help a child’s primary caregiver, middle income families, those who don’t meet a specific income threshold, and many more who need financial support.
The maximum payment you receive depends on your adjusted family net income (AFNI), which is based on your previous year’s tax return.
This year in 2024, the maximum yearly benefits for children aged 6-17 is $6,275, and for children under the age of 6 it is $7,437.
Who is Eligible?
Before you receive the CCB young child supplement, you need to qualify and have the following requirements:
1. Be a Canadian resident.
2. Children must be younger than 18 years old.
3. Your tax returns are filed correctly and all other finances are accurate because your family's combined net income is a key in determining your benefit amount.
What is Adjusted Family Net Income?
When your CCB payments and potential reduction percentage is made, your Adjusted Family Net Income (AFNI) is important in this matter.
The CCB amount is calculated based on your family’s net income from the previous year, and this information will be in your notice of assessment or tax return.
If your net income is less than $34,863, you could be eligible for a maximum CCB of $14,874.
If your income increases, the maximum annual benefit or CCB payment will potentially decrease. In other words, the higher your taxable income, the lower your CCB payment.
Child Tax Dates for 2024
The CCB benefit payment dates are usually made between the 18th and 20th of each month; however, this does not include December.
If you want to receive your CCB payments on the benefit payment dates, you need to make sure you have a registered bank account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
If you set up direct deposit, your CCB monthly payments will conveniently be deposited straight into your bank account on the designated monthly payment dates.
If you have not set up a direct deposit—don’t worry! You will receive a physical check in the mail instead and it will still be on the designated date
It may take a week or so for you to receive your payment, so kindly allow some wait time before contacting the CRA for help.
Lump Sum Payments
If your annual payable benefit falls below $240, a one-time lump sum payment is received. So, if your CCB is less than $20 per month, you will get a one-time payment in July rather than receiving the maximum monthly benefits in installments.
This approach is a practical way of collecting your CCB payments if your monthly income is below the cutoff.
It is important to remember that it is in July when this tax-free monthly payment will be given to eligible recipients who need immediate cash support at once.
How to Apply for the Canada Child Benefit?
The process of applying for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is quite straightforward.
Here is a step-by-step approach:
- If you are a resident of British Columbia, Ontario, or Quebec, you have the availability of online registration of your child's birth.
- If you are a resident of British Columbia, Ontario, or Quebec, you also have the option to apply for the CCB during the birth registration process.
- For residents of other provinces, applying by mail is just as simple:
- First, download Form RC66, complete it, and sign it.
- Second, make sure you have all of the required documents (such as proof of birth and Canadian residency).
- Lastly, once you complete your application, mail it to your tax centre. After everything is completed, your first child tax benefit payment can be expected in about 11 weeks.
Before you submit your application, make sure you have the required document that will support your eligibility:
- Proof of birth for your child (shown through a birth certificate or other official record).
- Documentation proving your Canadian residency (shown through a lease agreement, rent receipt, or utility bill)
Application Processing Time
The processing period for CCB benefit payment dates depends on the chosen application method—direct deposit or checks.
Even after completing the application, the processing period may still change.
If you chose to receive your payment through direct deposit, you can expect it in your bank account payment within about 8 weeks.
If you chose the regular postal option, it could be slightly delayed but you can expect a physical cheque in about 11 weeks.
It is important to have patience during this CCB payment period and keep a look during CCB payment dates, whether it is expected as a check or direct deposit.
How to Calculate Your Canada Child Benefit Payment?
Many factors are looked at when calculating your CCB payments, such as how many children, the ages of your children, your family’s net income, and the number of children below the age 18.
The Government of Canada provides an online calculator so you can estimate your potential benefits.
Remember, your most recent tax return is used to change the CCB amount every July.
So it's important to file your taxes correctly to make sure you're getting the right benefits.
CCB Reductions and Clawbacks
If your household's net income increases, your CCB payments can be reduced or clawed back.
The recovery rate was 19 percent for incomes between $34,863 and $75,537. Because of this percentage, your child tax benefit payment amount may gradually decrease as your income increases.
But don't panic, the child tax benefit has a built-in exemption for families with the lowest incomes. It works as a safety net to ensure they are protected from clawbacks and a reduction amount.
What is Child Disability Benefit?
The Child Disability Benefit (CDB) is helpful for low-income families with severely disabled children under the age of 18.
It is a monthly benefit that is tax-free and offers further assistance to eligible families.
Your child must be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) in order to be eligible for the CDB. You should complete Form T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate with an authorized specialist to find out your child's eligibility.
Remember, CDB payments can change based on your adjusted family net income (AFNI), similar to the CCB. This makes sure that the maximum benefit is given to those who need it the most. Your CDB payments will also change if you are no longer eligible for the program.
Tax Implications of the Canada Child Benefit
The CCB is a tax-free benefit which means that your child tax benefit payment will have any deductions; you will receive the full Canada child benefit payments.
However, if you want to qualify for the CCB, you must still submit a tax return.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will determine your eligibility and your maximum benefit amount based on your tax return from the year before.
You need to file your taxes annually if you want to receive the appropriate amount of benefits—even if you do not have an income to report.
Maximizing Your Canada Child Benefit
Here are strategies you can use to get the most out of the Canada Child Benefit payment program.
- Reduce your net income by limiting your investments and reassessing your business expenses. By using a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), you may be able to increase your CCB payment amount.
- Save money for your child's future education and get you the maximum benefits from CCB by using a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).
The Bottom Line: Child Tax Benefit
You now know what the Canada Child Benefit program is, how to qualify for it, the child tax benefit dates and schedules, as well as strategies to get the most from the program.
Don’t wait, use this valuable Canadian government assistance and apply today!
If you're looking for more help with financial or insurance planning, reach out to a Dundas Life licensed advisor today. We're happy to assist with your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if my child turns 18 while I’m receiving the benefit?
When a child hits 18, they no longer qualify for the Canada Child Benefit.
You should notify the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) so they can make the necessary changes to your benefits.
When are EI payments deposited?
When you submit your complete application, Employment Insurance (EI) payments are given within 28 days of the application, and then after the first payment, the benefit payment date is made bi-weekly.
What is FPT Canada?
FPT Canada is a tax credit benefit program that offers incentives to both individuals and organizations, encouraging them to invest in the Canadian economy.
It works to create a more just and balanced tax system that benefits all Canadians.
What qualifies as disabled or handicapped children for CCB eligibility?
The CRA considers conditions that restrict the child’s daily activities and require prolonged care and attention when determining disability eligibility.
Can I receive the CCB if I have shared custody of my child?
Yes, if your marital status leaves you sharing custody of your child, both parents may be eligible to receive the benefit. The amount will be calculated based on each parent's income and the custody arrangement.
Is there a limit to the number of children covered under the CCB?
No, there isn’t a limit on the number of children covered under the Canada Child Benefit. The maximum monthly benefit amount will depend on how many children are eligible and your adjusted family income.