The Canadian government knows that low-income families sometimes have a hard time making ends meet. Because of this, Ontario residents can apply for a child benefit. This benefit is a tax-free monthly payment designed to help ease the financial burden of raising a child. Using this benefit, Canadian families can buy food and amenities or even pay debts and apply for credit such as child tax cash loans, although the latter benefits require some extra budgeting to make sure that you don’t wind up further in debt as a result of missing a payment. If you want to take advantage of the child benefit opportunity, follow these steps.
Determine Your Eligibility
The first thing you have to do in order to get a child benefit is meet certain criteria that list you are a parent or caregiver in need of assistance. To qualify for the benefit, you need to live with at least one child under 18 years of age. You need to be the parent or primary caregiver of that child, responsible for the child’s care and upbringing. You also must be a resident of Canada for tax purposes. As the final criterion, either you or your spouse or common-law partner must be one of the following: a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for at least 18 months and has a valid permit for the coming month, an indigenous person as defined by the Indian Act, or a similarly protected person. If you meet all of these criteria, you qualify to apply for the child benefit in Ontario.
Apply for the Benefit
Once you have determined that you have eligibility, the next step is to make your application to the government. There are three different ways to apply for this benefit, each designed to cater individuals at a certain point in their lives. During this time, you should also strong consider applying for direct deposit. Doing so allows the government to deposit your funds directly into your bank account. This reduces overall paperwork and allows you to get your money much more quickly.
Applying for a New Child
You can apply for the Canada child benefit as soon as a new baby is born. To do so, you need to complete the birth registration for your child, consent to allow the Vital Statistics Agency to share your newborn’s information with the government, and provide the Vital Statistics Agency with your social insurance number. Optionally, you can choose not to consent to the sharing of information and provide the information separately on your Canada child benefit application. Completing all of these steps shortly after the birth of a new child is the best way o get the benefit as early as you possibly can.
Canadian Revenue Agency Account
You can also apply for the benefit online through the Canadian Revenue Agency website. To apply online, you need to meet any one of the following criteria: your baby needs to be newly born, a new child needs to start living with you, or you are a new Canadian resident. The online application is an ideal way for individuals who have recently adopted or moved to Canada to gain the child benefit. It also works well for those who prefer to complete the application online rather than using the automatic application provided through the Vital Statistics Agency.
Applying with Form RC66
The final way that you can apply for the Canada child benefit is through the Canadian tax centre with Form RC66. This form can be found on the Canadian government website and is specifically labeled the Canada Child Benefits Application. You can complete the form if you meet any of the criteria that would allow you to apply online through the Canadian Revenue Agency website, outline in the above section. You can also apply for benefits over a period that began up to 11 months ago, but you will need new information in this case. This is a good option for those who have complete documentation regarding citizenship and residency status but who opted not to apply through the above two methods.
Update Information as Needed
Once you have applied for the benefit, the burden of keeping your information up to date falls to you. When you change your martial status (through a marriage, separation, or divorce), move to a new address, take on parental responsibilities for additional children, or experience another major life change, you are required to reach out to the Canadian government and update your information. Failure to keep your information up to date can result in a delay or rejection of benefits. In cases where benefits were provided to you under out of date information, you may be responsible for repaying part or all of the money provided to you.
How Much is the Benefit?
Applying for the Canada child benefit also covers your application to provincial and territorial benefits, including the Ontario child benefit. Once you have been approved for the benefit, you can expect to receive up to a maximum of $6,496 per year for a child in your care under six years old and a maximum of $5,481 for a child between six and 17 years of age. If you provide your direct deposit information with your application, you can get these funds deposited directly into your bank account.
What Can You Do with the Benefit?
In most of Ontario, the child benefit works the same way as cash. This means that you can use it to purchase any essentials that your child or your family needs, including food and clothing. You can also use the benefit to pay debts or secure credit. Once you get used to the payment schedule and budget appropriately, you can even use the benefit to get a cash loan, although you should make sure that you have the ability to pay the loan off as soon as possible.
Canada’s child benefit is a great boon to Ontario residents who might need a little financial flexibility to care for their children. By following the steps outlined above, you can secure the benefit and put a little extra money in your pocket.