IMPORTANT: As of July 2016, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) replaces the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), and Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). Since UCCB was a taxable benefit, you’ll need to remember to report this amount for January 2016 to June 2016 on your tax return.
If you’re a parent with children under the age of 18, you know how costly it can be to raise them. Thankfully, the tax-free monthly payments under the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is meant to help eligible families with those costs. It might also include child disability payments and any related provincial or territorial programs, depending on what your situation is.
To be eligible for CCB payments, you must live with the child and be primarily responsible for his or her care and upbringing. In addition, you must be a resident of Canada for tax purposes and you or your spouse or common-law partner must be:
- a Canadian citizen
- a permanent resident
- a protected person
- a temporary resident who’s lived in Canada for the past 18 months, and who has a valid permit in the 19th month or
- an Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act
When should I apply for the payments?
If you were receiving the UCCB or the CCTB amounts for your children, don’t worry! You’ll be automatically registered for the CCB.
You should apply for the CCB payments soon after your child is born, or as soon as you become your child’s primary caregiver, so that you don’t miss out on any payments. You can apply by:
- Using the Automated Benefits Application
- Signing up through the CRA’s My Account feature
- Mailing a completed form RC66: Canada child benefits application
If you share custody of your child and each parent lives with them for about half of the time, the CCB will be split evenly between you. Refer to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website to learn more on applying for CCB when sharing custody.
How much CCB will I get?
To determine your CCB amount, the CRA looks at factors like the number of children you have, their ages, if they qualify for the child disability amount, and your adjusted family net income. Some of this information comes from your tax return, so it’s important that you and your spouse file one each year, even if you don’t have income for the year.
Payments are calculated in July and stay in effect until June of the following year, unless there’s a change in your family situation.
For July 2016 to June 2017, the basic CCB rate is:
- $6,400 per year ($533.33 per month) for each child under the age of 6
- $5,400 per year ($450 per month) for each child between the ages of 6 and 17
However, if your adjusted family net income is over $30,000, these amounts start getting reduced.
Note: Be sure to keep your information (such as marital status, number of children in your care, your address, etc.) up to date with the CRA so that you get the right payment amount that you’re entitled to.
There are several provincial and territorial programs that are related to the Canada child benefit and administered by the CRA. Your information from the CCB application is used to determine if you’re eligible for these programs; you don’t have to apply separately. Click on the links below for more information on each of these programs:
- Alberta child benefit
- Alberta family employment tax credit
- BC early childhood tax benefit
- BC family bonus
- New Brunswick child tax benefit
- Newfoundland and Labrador child benefit
- Northwest Territories child benefit
- Nova Scotia child benefit
- Nunavut child benefit
- Ontario child benefit and
- Yukon child benefit