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Understanding Childcare and Family Benefits in Canada

Learn about the current childcare and family benefits that are being offered in Canada.
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With the current economic and social issues, it's essential to access several types of childcare benefits programs. After all, raising a family may affect your budget. Let's look at the various options you and your family may have access to in the great North.

What are the childcare benefits in Canada?
Various programs are available to applicable married/common law or single parents.

  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
  • Child Disability Benefit (CBD)
  • Children's Special Allowances (CSA)
  • CCB Young Child Supplement (CCBYS)
  • Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)
  • Various province-specific programs such as Alberta's Child Care Subsidy and the Alberta Child Health Benefit

There are additional programs that families can apply for even if they don't have children. These include but are not limited to the GST/HST credit, Climate Action Incentive Payment, and the Canada Worker's Benefit.

How to access the programs?
Each program has a unique application process and different acceptance requirements. Some programs have deadlines or require enrollment in additional programs. For example, the CESG pays into an existing Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). Canada.ca lists the requirements and application process for each program.

Do you have to be current with tax filings to get the benefits?
Yes. If you are behind on paying or filing your taxes, you may not qualify for benefits. Additionally, if you owe any money, you will be asked to pay it first. However, this depends on several factors, so you should not let that deter you from applying. If you are one of the many Canadians procrastinating tax filing, remember that the longer you delay, the more fines you'll pay. Ultimately, that is counterintuitive to getting ahead financially.

What if I find all this overwhelming?
On top of managing the kids' busy schedule, working, and dealing with life, combing through application forms can seem overwhelming. The good news is, you don't have to go at it alone. Some financial coaches will help you find and apply for applicable programs and websites with blogs and info-grams to help you sort through it all, like this section on Canada's family benefit plans.

If times are tough and bills are stressing you out, you may want to consider a short-term loan.

Perhaps borrowing through a credit union, or even looking into cash loans may be a good option. Just make sure you are dealing with a trusted source that has high consumer reviews, like My Canada Payday; they are well-known for their financial services.