OTTAWA – The federal government’s new child benefit will arrive in bank accounts and mailboxes starting Wednesday, and replaces the universal child care benefit, the Canada child tax benefit and the national child benefit supplement.
Here are three things to know about the new program:
1) If you already receive the universal child care benefit, or the child tax benefit, you don’t need to apply for the new one. Your information is already on file and all you have to do is file your 2015 tax return. Payments will be made by direct deposit if you’re signed up for it, or by cheque if that is how you received the universal child care benefit around the 20th of each month.
2) The new child benefit won’t count as income, meaning it won’t count against your tax return next year and be taxed like the previous universal child care benefit. Provinces have also said they won’t count the new money when calculating income-tested benefits like rent and child care supplements.
3) How much you receive is based on two things: the number of children under age 18 in your household and your net family income. Families with a net income of less than $30,000 receive the full benefit of $533 per month for a child under six and $450 per month for children six to 17. Benefit levels drop as income rises. Most families, on average, will receive about $191 per month. An extra $227 per month is added for a child who qualifies for a disability payment.