For the benefit of families with children, the Canadian government had programs such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit, National Child Benefit Supplement and the Universal Child Care Benefit programs. But as of 2016, these programs have been replaced by one single program known as the Canada Child Benefit program or CCB.
The Canada Child Benefit program was designed to help parents raise their child who is below the age of 18. The program encompasses other benefits and territorial programs within it. The benefits provided to the families are tax-free.
The Eligibility Criteria for Child Benefit in Canada
The organization that oversees the program is the Canada Revenue Agency or the CRA. The agency has certain criteria that must be fulfilled by the families in order to be eligible for the Canada Child Benefit program. They are:
- The child should be below 18 years of age and must be living with the parents who have applied.
- The applicants must be solely responsible for the caretaking and upbringing of the child.
- For tax reasons, the applicant must be a Canadian Citizen.
The spouses or common-law partners or the applicants also need to be Naturalized, permanent or temporary citizens with valid permits or be a protected person or an Indian within the meaning of the Indian act.
How Canada Child Benefit Program is helpful
The program is structured in a way that all families with a varying level of income get the benefits they deserve. Adjustments are made in the payments to maximize the benefits for families with modest incomes. The benefits are calculated on the basis of the tax returns that are filed by the applying families every year. A certain amount is then calculated and then paid out on a monthly basis over a period of 12 months. The amount is recalculated every year and the payments are made accordingly. For the families that were eligible for the previous programs before 1 July 2016, they will be compensated by the agency in the form of lump-sum payments for both CCTB and UCCB.
Factors that affect the benefits of Canada Child Benefit and its calculation
The Canadian Revenue Agency corresponds with the families to make sure that they have an accurate record of information which helps them to calculate the benefits accurately. Thus, it is pertinent that people should reply to these letters or questionnaires with correct information.
If the marital status of two people changes, they should notify the agency before the end of next month. If the custody of a child is shared, equal halves of the benefits will be paid to both parents. The notification of the custody agreement should be given.
Sometimes, documents are asked for verification purposes. Instructions are given on how to submit these documents both online and via mail. Just make sure the copies of the documents are legible and can be read clearly.
To make sure you keep receiving benefits, give correct information when asked, notify the agency of any changes as soon as possible and file your income tax returns.