The Ontario child benefit (OCB) is for families with children—particularly families who need a little help financially. Raising kids raises the bills. Snowball fights and tobogganing are fun and inexpensive, but those little hands and feet need thick gloves, toques, food, daycare and more – all of which cost money!

And that’s what the OCB is for. It’s designed to help low- and moderate-income families handle the costs associated with raising children. So settle those kiddos in with some butter tarts, grab a hot double-double, and let’s dig into the details of this tax benefit so you can get the most out of your taxes.

Key Takeaways
  1. The Ontario child benefit provides low- and moderate-income families with up to $133.91 monthly per eligible child in 2024, in addition to the federal amount.
  2. Families are assessed for OCB when they apply for federal CCB.
  3. The monthly payment amount is based on family size and income.

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What is the Ontario child benefit (OCB)?

The OCB is a tax benefit for low- to moderate-income families who care for children under the age of 18. It’s designed to help cover the costs associated with raising children. This benefit is available even if you work full or part time, and even if you don’t work at all.

For those who share 50% custody, the OCB payments are split 50-50 between parents.

The benefit begins in July and is based on the net family income reported on your tax returns from the prior year. That means that OCB payments distributed July 2023 through June 2024 are based on your 2022 income tax return.

Who qualifies for the OCB?

The OCB is for low- and moderate-income families with children. Anyone who lives in the Province of Ontario and has children under the age of 18 may qualify for the OCB if their family falls under the income threshold.

In 2024, the maximum benefit is available for families with a combined income of less than $24,542. As the family income increases, the OCB benefit decreases.

How much is the child benefit in Ontario?

The OCB pays up to $1,606.92 per year—$133.91 monthly—for each eligible child. This benefit amount decreases as your combined family income goes above $24,542.

If you don’t already know, there is a federal benefit, too. And it’s in addition to the OCB. The Canada child benefit (CCB) is a federal program that pays a maximum of $619.75 per month for children under 6, and $522.91 per month maximum for children ages 6-17. So if you live in the kid-friendly Province of Ontario, you’ll get the OCB benefit delivered along with the CCB, if you qualify.

The amount of child benefit you receive from the Ontario province depends on two things:

  • How many children under the age of 18 you care for
  • The combined net income of your family

Family income does not include benefit payments, such as the CCB and OCB.

The CRA’s child and family benefits calculator can help you determine how much you’ll get to better plan your budget.

How do I apply for the OCB?

When you apply for the Canada child benefit, your family is automatically assessed to see whether you also can receive the OCB.

Often, simply registering your child’s birth will automatically register you for the CCB, but you can also apply directly through the CRA My Accounts portal. If you’d rather submit an application by mail, you can fill out and mail Form RC66 or RC66SCH instead. You’ll find the full details in our handy CCB guide!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) handles OCB payment distributions as well. So if your family qualifies, those payments will be added to the CCB monthly distribution.

What are Ontario’s child benefit payment dates?

OCB payments are distributed July 2023 through June 2024, and they’re based on the family net income reported for the 2022 tax year.

The Ontario child benefit and Canada child benefit programs are linked together. Families qualify for the OCB when applying and qualifying for the CCB, and the CRA distributes the payments together. This means the Ontario child benefit dates are the same as the Canada child benefit dates. Here are the CCB payment dates in 2024:

  • January 19, 2024
  • February 20, 2024
  • March 20, 2024
  • April 19, 2024
  • May 17, 2024
  • June 20, 2024
  • July 19, 2024
  • August 20, 2024
  • September 20, 2024
  • October 18, 2024
  • November 20, 2024
  • December 13, 2024

Be sure to file your return on time

Since the OCB benefit is meant to help low- and moderate-income families, it’s important to file income tax returns each year even if you’ve earned no income. By filing, you’re able to get registered for these and similar benefits that can help with family finances.

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