New measures were introduced in the 2016 Federal Budget which revamped child benefits programs in Canada. Effective July, 2016, the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) replaced the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).
Similarities to Previous Child Care Benefit Programs
- If you’ve previously received UCCB or CCTB benefits and have filed your tax return for the previous tax year (both yours and your spouse’s if applicable), no additional action is required to apply for the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB). Eligibility for the new benefit will be determined by your net income listed on your tax return(s) submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.
- Parents of children with disabilities (who are eligible for the disability amount) will continue to receive an additional benefit as long as the family net income falls within the limits. The Child Disability Benefit (CDB) begins to be scaled back at the $65,000 net income point.
- For new parents who haven’t yet received any child benefits, the application process for the CCB is identical to the current CCTB process.
- Benefit payments will continue to be paid on the 20th of each month. If you share custody of your children, the rules remain the same.
The Two Main Differences in CCB
The CCB is much different from previous benefits programs in two ways:
- Income Based: In the past, the UCCB was paid to parents of all minor children regardless of income. Eligibility for the new CCB is based completely on your family’s net income. To find out how much your family will receive, use the Child and Family Benefits calculator.
- Non-taxable: Although the CCTB and NCBS have historically been tax-free, the UCCB was a taxable benefit and was paid until June 2016. The new CCB is completely tax-free, meaning the payments are not reported on your tax return or factored into your tax payable calculation. You are required to file an annual tax return to determine your eligibility for the CCB.
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