Canadians Can Receive Payments From These Government Benefits & Credits This Winter
You could be eligible for hundreds of dollars.
The cost of living in Canada has increased exponentially and Canadians are feeling it when it comes to the price of groceries, rent and day-to-day necessities. For those looking for ways to cut costs or earn extra income, both federal and provincial governments offer a wide range of benefits and credits.
The Government of Canada is offering a variety of benefits and credits to eligible Canadians this winter season, which can provide necessary financial assistance in the face of rising living costs, particularly for low-income residents.
It is crucial to confirm your qualification for various federal and provincial programs, as you might be eligible to receive financial assistance through government credits and benefits this winter. Some of the credits disbursed in Canada this month encompass the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, the Canada Child Benefit, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Ontario Trillium Benefit, among others.
Here's everything you need to know regarding upcoming government payments:
Canada Child Benefit
The Canada child benefit is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families who require additional help with the cost of raising children. The benefit payment may also include the child disability benefit and any other related provincial or territorial financial programs, per the CRA.
To be eligible for the Canada child benefit, you must meet the following requirements:
- You live with a child under 18 years old
- You are primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child
- You are a resident of Canada for tax purposes
- You or your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a protected person or registered under the Indian Act
So, just how much can you receive from the Canada child benefit? The maximum amount for each child is $619.75 per month for kids under six years old and $522.91 per month for kids between 6 and 17 years old. The benefit is calculated based on your income.
Payment Dates: November 20 and December 13, 2023
Advanced Canada Workers' Benefit (ACWB)
Per the Canada Revenu Agency, the Canada Workers Benefit is "a refundable tax credit to help individuals and families who are working and earning a low income." Starting in July 2023 and based on the 2022 taxation year, the CWB will provide advance payments equal to 50% of the CWB across 3 payments under the Advanced Canada workers benefit (ACWB).
Anyone who received the CWB in 2022 will receive the advanced payments, there is no need to apply.
Payment Date: January 12, 2024
Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB)
The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is a consolidated payment encompassing the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, and the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, as per the guidelines of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). OTB entitlements, derived from the information provided in your 2022 tax return, are usually distributed in 12 monthly installments.
The payments, managed by the CRA on behalf of the Province of Ontario, are typically scheduled for the 10th of each month, with some exceptions, as outlined by the CRA. Funded and established by the Province of Ontario, the OTB program serves as a financial support mechanism for eligible individuals.
Payment Date: December 8, 2023
Alberta Child & Family Benefit (ACFB)
Per the Government of Canada, the Alberta child and family benefit (ACFB) is a tax-free amount paid quarterly to families with children under 18 years of age.
From July 2023 to June 2024, you may be entitled to receive up to the following amounts:
- $533 per quarter for your first child
- $340.50 per quarter for your second child
- $274.50 per quarter for your third child
- $208.75 per quarter for your fourth child
Payment Date: November 27, 2023
Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)
The Québec Pension Plan (QPP) is a mandatory public insurance program designed for individuals aged 18 and older, whose yearly earnings from employment exceed $3,500. Its primary objective is to offer fundamental financial security to individuals who have been employed in Québec and their dependents in the case of retirement, death, or disability, per Revenu Quebec.
For those who collect monthly, the pension will generally be paid on the last working day of the month.
Payment Dates: November 30 and December 28, 2023
Family Allowance is provided to eligible families with one or more dependent children under the age of 18.
If your child is born in Québec, there's no need to submit an application for Family Allowance. When your child's birth is reported to the Directeur de l'état civil, they will automatically register your child with Retraite Québec. Your initial Family Allowance payment will be processed within a maximum of 40 days after the Quebec government has received the birth declaration for your child.
You will receive Family Allowance four times a year: that is in January, April, July and October, on the scheduled payment dates. You can also choose to be paid every month, which goes out on the first day of every month.
Payment Date: January 3, 2024
Canada Pension Plan
Per the CRA, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a taxable monthly federal benefit designed to replace a portion of your income when you retire. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you'll receive the CPP pension for the entirety of your retirement. To qualify, you must:
- be at least 60 years old, and
- have made at least one valid contribution to the CPP.
Valid contributions can come from work done in Canada or as a result of receiving credits from a former spouse or former common-law partner at the end of the relationship.
It's important to note that CPP payments are not automatically provided; you must apply for them. You should apply in advance of your desired pension start date.
The amount you receive each month is determined by your average earnings over your working life, your contributions to the CPP and the age at which you choose to start your CPP retirement pension. Your contributions to the CPP are based on your earnings.
While the standard age to begin receiving the pension is 65, you have the flexibility to start as early as age 60 or as late as age 70, depending on your preference.
Payment Date: November 28, 2023
Old Age Security
The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is a monthly payment available to individuals aged 65 and older, according to the Government of Canada.
In most cases, Service Canada will automatically enroll you for the OAS pension and notify you accordingly. However, if there's insufficient information to enroll you automatically, you may need to apply for it. Your work history does not impact your eligibility, and you can receive OAS even if you have never worked or are still employed.
If you live in Canada, you must:
- be 65 years old or older,
- be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident when your OAS pension application is approved, and
- have lived in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18.
If you live outside of Canada, you must:
- be 65 years old or older,
- have been a Canadian citizen or legal resident of Canada on the day before you left Canada, and
- have resided in Canada for at least 20 years since the age of 18.
Veterans' Disability Benefits
A disability benefit is a tax-free payment to support an individual's health and well-being. To qualify for a veteran disability benefit, you must be one of the following:
- A Canadian Armed Forces member or veteran
- A current or former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
- A Second World War or Korean War veteran
- An eligible civilian who served in the Second World War
- Pain and suffering compensation: a lifetime monthly benefit or lump-sum benefit
- Disability pension: a lifetime monthly benefit
Payment Date: November 29, 2023
Shelter Allowance Program
The Shelter Allowance Program aims to help low-income individuals and families in Quebec who find themselves spending too much of their income on housing. For the period from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024, the program provides $100, $150 or $170 in financial assistance per month to eligible individuals.
Shelter Allowance payments are usually sent by cheque or direct deposit within the first five days of each month.
Solidarity Tax Credit
The solidarity tax credit is a refundable tax credit for low-income families. The calculation of this credit for the period from July 2023 to June 2024 is determined based on your financial circumstances as of December 31, 2022.
The amount of the credit will determine how often it is paid. If the credit is $240 or less, it will be paid as a lump sum in July 2023. If the credit is more than $241 but less than $799, it will be paid in quarterly instalments in July and October 2023, and January and April 2024.
If the credit is $800 or more, it will be paid in monthly instalments, from July 2023 to June 2024. To qualify for this credit, you need to file your income tax return and fulfill all the relevant criteria, per Revenu Québec
Payment Date: December 5, 2023
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.