The Canada Workers Benefit Can Give Eligible Canadians Up To $2,461 — Here's How To Claim It

It's as easy as filing your taxes in the first place.

Staff Writer
The sign outside the CRA's headquarters.

The sign outside the CRA's headquarters.

Tax season is frustrating and inevitable, like piles of snow on the street or your weird relative oversharing at a holiday dinner. On the bright side of all the bureaucracy is the potential to earn a little windfall from the government in the form of tax credits, depending on your employment status and income, among other things. The Canada Worker's Benefit (CWB) is one such windfall, offering up to $1,428 to eligible individuals and $2,461 to eligible families. Let's take a look at this credit, how you can secure it, and what the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does to determine how much you'll get.

Who is eligible for the Canada Worker's Benefit (CWB)?

You are eligible for the CWB if you pay taxes, earn a working income, are a Canadian resident and are 19 or older on December 31 of the year for which you're filing, according to the government's official site.

Full-time students are not eligible for the CWB unless they have an eligible dependant. If you've been incarcerated for at least 90 days of the year, you're also ineligible. The government determines incarceration as being "confined to a prison or similar institution."

For your or your partner's child to be eligible, they'll need to be under the age of 19 and living with you on December 31.

There's an additional supplement for disabled people, who are eligible as long as they have an approved T2201 Form (Disability Tax Credit Certificate) on file with the CRA.

How do you claim the CWB?

Claiming the CWB is as easy as following the instructions in the online software you're using to file your taxes, per the CRA's website, but if you're filing a paper return for some reason, you must fill out and submit the Schedule 6 Canada workers benefit form.

To claim the disability supplement, you'll need to file Schedule 6 (again, either through your software or on paper). If you have a CWB-eligible spouse and one of you gets the disability credit, you'll both be able to claim the basic amount as well as you receiving your disability supplement.

But, if you and your spouse are both eligible for the disability credit, only one of you can claim the basic amount. This might sound nonsensical — if both partners are eligible for government funding, and in fact both eligible for EXTRA funding, you'd think the ethical thing to do would be to provide both partners with the basic and the supplemental amounts.

I'm not in charge, though.

How much will you receive from the CWB by revenue?

For single individuals, the maximum basic CWB amount is $1,428. You'll receive this amount if you make $23,495 or less annually, and as your income increases, the amount you receive goes down. If your adjusted net income is above $33,015, you won't receive anything.

For families, the maximum is $2,461, which is the amount you'll receive if your adjusted family net income is under $26,805. If your net income is above $43,212, you won't receive anything.

The maximum disability supplement for single people is $737, which you'll receive if you make less than $33,018. If your income is above $37,932, you won't receive anything. For families, the maximum you could receive is also $737. That's the amount you'll receive if your net income is under $43,210, and it is gradually reduced as you make more than that amount. If your net income is above $53,037, you won't receive anything.

The specific amount you'll receive is dependent on the CRA's assessment of the following criteria:

  • "marital status - eligible spouse
  • province or territory of residence
  • earned working income
  • adjusted family net income
  • eligible dependant
  • eligibility for the disability tax credit"

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

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog, often found covering weird and wonderful real estate and local politics from her home base in Montreal.
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