Child Benefits in Canada

What is the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)?

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) provides monthly payments to families with children under 18. Its 3 main components are the Basic benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement (also called the Baby Bonus) and the Child Disability Benefit Supplement.

Do I have to apply for it?

Yes. You can apply immediately after the birth of your child, when your child starts to live with you or when you become a resident of Canada. In several provinces, mothers of newborns can use the Automated Benefits Application to register the birth of their child and, at the same time, apply for the CCB, any related provincial or territorial program and the GST/HST credit. You will have to provide more documentation if your child was born outside of Canada or is one year old or more, or if there has been a change in citizenship or residency.

What if I make too much money?

Since the CRA recalculates who is entitled every July, it is a good idea to apply even if you think you will not receive the CCB based on your family’s income. Your financial situation might change. The information you provide is also used to determine if you can benefit from other federal, provincial and territorial programs.

How can I get the benefit?

You have to meet all these conditions:

  • Live with the child
  • The child is under 18
  • You are the child’s primary caregiver (usually the female parent)
  • You are a resident of Canada
  • You (or your spouse/common-law partner) are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a protected person or a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for 18 months or more

The CCB is also available if you have joint custody or if the male parent is primarily responsible for the child.

How much will I receive?

To calculate the amount you should expect to receive, click here. Payments are reviewed every July to take all your information into account, i.e. your family income, your province of residence, the number of children you have and your child’s eligibility for the disability amount too. A new application will be processed in 8 to 10 weeks.

What can I use child benefit money for?

You can use the money for any expense you want. Many parents choose to invest this monthly cheque for their child’s future.

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