The Canada Child Benefit program

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The first benefit payments for the new Canada Child Benefit program (CCB) were rolled out on July 20, 2016. The new and improved program replaced the Universal Child Care Benefit (as well as the Canada Child Tax Benefit, National Child Benefit, “income-splitting for families,” and the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and Children’s Arts Tax Credit).

Improvements to the benefit include:

  • Higher benefits – an increase of almost $2,300 will be received by families (the benefit was increased in May 2020)
  • Tax-free – payments received will not be included when families file their tax returns
  • Simpler – families receive a single payment every month
  • Better targeted to those who need it most – low and middle-income families get higher payments

Who can benefit?

Families with children under the age of 18 are eligible for the CCB. Parents must be:

  • Canadian citizens
  • permanent residents
  • refugees

How much do we get?

The amount of money a family receives will be based on the net income reported on income tax returns. This is why all families are urged to file a return each year even if they did not have income that year. The benefits will be paid monthly, over a 12-month period from July of one year to June the following year.

The CCB pays up to $6,765 per year for each child under the age of six, and up to $5,704 per year for each child aged six to 17 (2020). This is based on an annual net income of $30,000 and less. An additional benefit is given for each child who qualifies for a disability payment. Families with higher annual net incomes may receive less.

To check how much you can receive, use the Online calculator.

Do I need to apply?

If you have been receiving benefits under the Universal Child Care Benefit, you are automatically enrolled for the CCB.

If your child has not received benefits under the Universal Child Care, go to this page to check your eligibility: Canada child benefit – Who can apply.

If you are eligible, you can apply using one of the following ways:

  • Automated Benefits Application – for this, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will use the child’s birth registration information to determine your benefits
  • My Account – you will need to add your newborn’s information in your My Account page.
  • Canada Child Benefit Application (using Form RC66)

Complete instructions for each application option can be found here: Canada Child Benefit – How to apply.

For more information on the CCB, go to the new Canada Child Benefit site.
Article updated November 25, 2020.

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