The Canada Dental Benefit Is Now Active — Here's What You Need To Know

Around 500,000 Canadian youth are expected to qualify.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​A dentist with a patient.

A dentist with a patient.

The federal government is biting down on dental costs nationwide with a new benefit that could save Canadian families hundreds of dollars on tooth care.

The Canada Dental Benefit (CDB) began accepting applications on December 1. Eligible low-income families who apply can qualify for up to $650 in tax-free financial support toward dentist visits.

The initiative stems from an agreement between the Liberals and the New Democratic Party (NDP) to keep the minority Liberal Party in power until 2025, while also addressing NDP priorities. Meanwhile, a wider insurance plan remains in the works.

We flossed out the details and here's what you need to know:

What is the Canada Dental Benefit?

The Canada Dental Benefit is a federal supplement to help cover dental care for youth in low-income families. It is available for two time periods. Applicants can receive up to two payments for every eligible child.

Who can apply for the Canada Dental Benefit?

As of December 1, 2022, low-income families with children under the age of 12 with a net income under $90k and no access to private dental insurance can apply for the Canada Dental Benefit. Eligibility must be confirmed separately for each child. Around 500,000 youth are expected to qualify for this financial assistance.

To receive CDB payments, applicants must have filed their 2021 tax return and be receiving the Canada Child Benefit.

What counts as private dental insurance under the Canada Dental Benefit?

​You do not qualify for the Canada Dental Benefit if your child's dental costs are fully or partly covered by an employer-provided dental insurance plan (from either parent or guardian). You also cannot have turned down a private insurance plan that could have covered dental care for your child.

How much money does the Canada Dental Benefit provide?

The amount provided by the Canada Dental Benefit depends on a family's net income. Eligible families that make below $70,000 can receive a tax-free payment of $650 toward an individual child. Those that make between $70,000 and $79,999 can qualify for $390 and those that make $80,000 and $89,999 can receive $260. Those amounts are halved in situations of split custody.

When can I apply for the Canada Dental Benefit?

The benefit is split into two time periods: October 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, and July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. Parents (or guardians) of children under 12 years old who receive dental care during the first period can apply for the Canada Dental Benefit as of December 1, 2022. Your child must have had an appointment within the open time periods in order to apply for one or two benefit payments.

When can I expect a Canada Dental Benefit payment?

Applicants who qualify for the Canada Dental payment can receive a direct deposit up to five business days after approval (if you have that set up with the CRA), otherwise, a mailed cheque should arrive in around 10 business days.

How can I apply for the Canada Dental Benefit?

The application for the Canada Dental Benefit is available online and by phone at 1-800-715-8836, although the latter involves much longer wait times.

If you do call, you'll need to confirm your identity with the following:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • full name and date of birth
  • complete address
  • assessed tax return, notice of assessment or reassessment, other tax document, or be signed into CRA My Account

Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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