Meeting your basic needs and meeting the love of your life may be equally challenging to the average Canadian unless you're aware of these handy federal benefits and government programs that can help you with the former (even if the latter is a pipe dream).
The on-average rising cost of rent in Montreal and the steep prices of groceries across the province have put extra pressure on Montrealers' bank accounts, even at the most budget-friendly of establishments. Even if you're already tuned into the Canada Workers Benefit or well-versed on how Canada's GST/HST credit works, there are surely some stones in this piece you haven't overturned yet. For those with disabilities or caring for a child, many of these benefits are slightly increased to account for more financial challenges you might face. Frequently, child-related benefits will increase as the number of children under your care increases.
To receive most of the following Canadian benefits, you'll need to have been a resident of Quebec during the eligibility period and have filed taxes in Quebec and sometimes also federally. If you've done all that, you're good to go.
If you're a single parent or a single person aged 50 or over, you may be eligible to receive a monthly payment from Revenu Québec to help you maintain your housing situation. For those spending 30% to 49% of their income on housing, the amount paid is $100 monthly. For those spending 50% to 79% of their household income on housing, they'll receive $150. Those spending 80% or more will receive $170 each month.
For more information on eligibility and other aspects of the Shelter Allowance, visit the government's website here.
Solidarity Tax Credit
The Solidarity Tax Credit offers up to $800 (spread out over multiple payments) to eligible Quebecers, primarily those from low- and middle-income families.
Single people who made less than $58,527 in 2022 are eligible for the 2023 Solidarity Tax Credit, although this exact number changes each year. On top of filing regular provincial taxes, you'll need to have also filed a document titled Schedule D.
Age Amount And Amount For A Person Living Alone
This Quebec tax credit is more like two tax credits, each with a slightly different set of eligibility criteria. If you were born before January 1, 1958, you can receive a deduction in your taxes. For those who have lived alone or with minor children, you can claim an additional amount to reduce your income tax. If you're part of a single-parent family including a child over 18 and you weren't entitled to Retraite Québec's family allowance, you can receive even more. For more information, visit Revenu Québec's website here.
Refundable Cost Of Living Tax Credit
Another Quebec tax credit, this one was intended to help Quebec taxpayers manage the cost of living increases we've suffered from over the past few years. Anyone is eligible who has filed their 2021 tax return by June 30, 2023, and whose net income for that year was under $104,000.
You also have to be 18 or over in 2021, a Quebec resident and legally eligible to live in Canada. In terms of how much money you can expect to receive, those making $50,000 or less will earn the full amount of $600. Those in higher income brackets will receive a lower amount, with those earning between $100,000 and $104,000 earning between $0 and $399.99. For more information, visit the Revenu Québec website here.
Social Assistance Program
This program is for singles (or families) who are capable of being employed but aren't currently. For one adult with "no limited capacity for employment," i.e. no significant mental or physical needs that prevent you from holding a job, you'll receive a total of $770. For those experiencing a temporarily limited capacity for employment, like a bout of depression, pregnancy or an experience of abuse, you'll earn a total benefit of $923.
For more information about eligibility and payment, visit the Revenu Québec website here.
Home Buyers Amount
If you bought a new, qualifying home in 2022, you can claim up to $10,000, as long as you didn't live in another home that you owned prior to purchasing this home. If you bought a qualifying home in 2021 or earlier, you can claim up to $5,000. For more information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency's website here.
Canada Training Credit
This credit is intended to help Canadians pay for training fees. You can claim it for tuition and other fees for courses taken over the previous tax year.
You're eligible if you're between 26 and 66 years old, having filed your income tax and benefit for the previous year. You can claim up to 50% of your eligible tuition and other fees, so long as that amount is less than your Canada training credit limit, which is increased by $250 each year until a maximum of $5,000.
Eligible institutions are those which offer courses in Canada at a post-secondary level, or an institution in Canada providing occupational skills courses (it must be certified by the minister of employment and social development, too).
Child Assistance Payments
You're eligible to receive benefits for children registered with Retraite Québec, which you'll only need to do manually if your children weren't born in Quebec. The amount of support you'll receive varies by income and number of children, as well as the number of caregivers — but if you're reading this, that number is probably one.
Canada offers its own federal child benefit, the CCB, which is a tax-free monthly payment that scales based on your income, number of children and how long they spend with you. To receive the maximum amount, you'll need an adjusted family income under $34,863. In that case, you'll receive $619.75 per child under six years old monthly, and $522.91 per month for each child aged six to 17.
Canada Workers Benefit
This refundable tax credit goes to low-income Canadian workers, offering a basic maximum amount of $1,428 for single individuals making less than $23,495. If you earn more than $33,015, you won't receive the CWB.
If you're eligible for the disability supplement, you can receive up to $737 should your net income be less than $33,018. If you earn more than $37,932, you'll earn nothing from the CWB.
For more information, visit the CWB information website here.
The GST/HST credit is explained in detail here, but the TL;DR for Canadian singles is that you can receive up to $496 depending on your net income and the number of children you have. You'll receive an additional $171 for each child under the age of 19 under your care.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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