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Chrystia Freehand speaking at press conference, Right: Canadian dollar bills.

Chrystia Freehand speaking at press conference, Right: Canadian dollar bills.

On November 4, the Government of Canada unveiled proposed changes to the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) as part of its 2022 Fall Economic Statement. The measure would mean eligible single Canadians and families receive their CWB payments in advance of the regular payment dates.

The CWB is currently a credit sent out to Canadians who qualify for the benefit via tax returns — meaning you'd have to always wait for the tax year to end before receiving the credit.

The set of proposed changes to the Canada Workers Benefit would mean that payments could be issued much sooner. If the measure receives royal assent, it could take effect as early as July 2023 (for the 2023 tax year).

The amounts sent out will then be a combination of the existing tax return payment, plus the new advance payment expected for July of next year.

Eligible Canadians living alone would receive up to $1,428 and families would receive up to $2,461. The payments would be spread across three quarterly advance payments starting in July.

The Fall Economic Statement predicts that the cost of the proposed changes would be around $4 billion over the next six years.

What is the Canada Workers Benefit?

According to the Department of Finance, the "Canada Workers Benefit is a refundable tax credit available to eligible lower-income Canadians to help ease the cost of living."

The basic maximum amount that Canadians can receive is $1,395 for single individuals and $2,403 for families.

Who is eligible for the Canadas Workers Benefit?

According to the eligibility requirements, the Canada Workers Benefit is restricted to Canadians who are 19 years of age or older on December 31 and are earning a working income.

Full-time students, Canadians who were confined to prison for at least 90 days during the year or any officer or servant of another country are not eligible for the CWB.

How do you apply for the Canada Workers Benefit?

Canadians do not need to apply for the CWB. When you file your income tax return, you will be considered for the benefit and those who are eligible will receive automatic payments.

Do you have to pay back the Canada Workers Benefit?

No, the Canada Workers Benefit is a refundable tax credit that does not need to be paid back.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Mike Chaar
    Associate Editor, MTL Blog
    Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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