The Liberal Government has made huge changes to the Canada Child Benefit program (CCB) last month. It was actually part of their electoral campaign.
Under the old system, the CCB -actually called CCTB-was $ 100 per month, taxable. Needless to say this didn’t get any parent far in terms of child rearing.
The new CBB also includes the child disability benefit (if applicable) as well as any provincial programs parents may be eligible for. It is also tax-free.
The amount is based on income, number of children and status in Canada. Basically, you and/or your spouse must be considered as residents of Canada and be the primary caregivers. In case of divorce/separation the CBB is split 50-50 between the parents.
If you haven’t received any child benefit before, you need to apply. After, your situation is reviewed every year by CRA in July and you don’t need to fill-in further paperwork.
In terms of amount, the maximum is $ 6 400.00 per year and child – $ 533.33/month- for children under the age of 6, and $ 5 400.00 per year and child -$ 450.00/month- for children up to 17.
If you are making over $ 30 000 per year, the amount will be reduced. The system is designed to help lower income families who need it the most.
That being said, all families will receive higher payments. If I had a child now, I would receive $ 370.00 net/month vs $ 155.00 partly taxable under the old system. It is still not much but definitely a step in the right direction.
Child-rearing in Canada is incredibly expensive. In cities like Vancouver and Toronto, daycare costs for infants can be over $ 1 000/month, basically a second mortgage or rent! After school care and activities are not cheap either.
You also have to factor in the costs of taking maternity leave, coming with a huge pay-cut, as well as the ongoing costs of food, clothes etc….Did I mention anything about saving for university?
It is no wonder more and more people decide not to have children or to have them later on.
What about you? What do you think about this new program? Does it help you and your family?