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The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) Explained

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) Explained

Let’s face it, having kids is an expensive proposition. Because of this, the federal government provides eligible families with a monthly tax-free payment to help shoulder the costs.

Aptly titled the Canada Child Benefit, or CCB, the funds can be used in any number of ways, at the parent’s discretion.

For our government, it’s considered money well spent. After all, they have a vested interest in the success of an entire generation of young Canadians.

So whether the extra money is spent on groceries, to cover the cost of soccer registration, or placed into long-term savings, their goal is simple: To help Canadian families manage the high costs of raising kids.

How Does the CCB Work?

In a way, the CCB is the product of two previous government benefits, namely the longstanding Canada Child Tax Benefit, or CCTB, and the separate Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), which was originally introduced in 2006.

The CCB replaced both the CCTB and UCCB in 2016.

Unlike the UCCB, which paid a fixed amount each month to Canadian parents of all income levels, the CCB is income-tested. This means that it’s designed to provide a larger benefit to lower-income Canadians.

Conversely, as a family’s income grows, the monthly CCB payment decreases until it is no longer available to parents at the highest income levels.

For the lowest-income families, the maximum benefit is currently $6400 per child under the age of 6 and $5400 for children between the age of 6 and 17.

The government reports that, on average, CCB-eligible families receive approximately $6800 per year in benefits.

Updates to the CCB for 2018-19

Beginning in July 2018, the CCB benefit will be indexed to inflation, meaning that annual benefits will grow in line with the increase to the cost of living.

Here’s an example. For 2018-19, the government has set indexation at 1.5% and is projecting an increase of 2.0% for 2019-20.

Using these numbers, a family currently receiving an annual benefit of $6400 can expect an increase to $6496 for 2018-19, and $6,626 for 2019-2020, should remain in line with current projections.

Is The CCB Taxable?

Another way that the CCB benefit differs from the UCCB is its tax-free status. The UCCB was considered taxable income, reported by the parent. For married or common-law couples, the lower-income earning spouse reported any UCCB income received. CCB income is non-taxable.

Additional CCB Benefits

Some families may qualify for additional benefits included with the CCB, namely the child disability benefit as well as a number of provincial and territorial benefits.

Important Canada Child Benefit Dates

When factoring the CCB benefit into your family’s budget, there are some key dates to keep in mind.

For starters, the monthly CCB payment resets every July and is based on a family’s net income from the previous year.

The annual benefit is divided into twelve equal payments, beginning in July and continuing through to the following June.

It’s also important to note that CCB payments are made on the 20th of every month, with some exceptions. Here’s a list of the current CCB payment dates.

CCB Eligibility

To be eligible for the CCB, there are a number of conditions you must meet.

For starters, you need to live with the child, and the child must be under 18 years of age. You must be the child’s primary caregiver, as well as a resident of Canada.

Finally, providing you are the parent, spouse, or common-law partner, you must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, protected person, or a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the previous 18 months.

You need to file a tax return each year if you want this benefit. Even if you don’t have any income to report, you should still file a tax return so that you can continue receiving the Canada Child Benefit. If you fail to file, CCB payments will cease.

How To Register Your Newborn For The CCB

Providing you are the birth mother and you haven’t already completed an application, CRA makes it easy for new parents to apply for the CCB.

It’s called the Automated Benefits Application. Here’s how it works.

At the time you register the birth of your newborn with your province, you can consent to have your birth registration information shared securely with the Canada Revenue Agency.

There will be a section in the birth registration that allows for this.

You will need to provide your Social Insurance Number when submitting the application, but once it’s sent, the CCB application process is complete.

If you don’t provide your consent, it means that you will need to apply for the CCB separately.

Other Ways To Apply For The CCB

If you did not use the Automated Benefits Application, there are two other ways you can apply to receive the CCB.

My Account

Using the “My Account” service through CRA’s website, you can choose an option to “Apply for Child Benefits”. From there, you will need to confirm your marital status, contact information, as well as your citizenship. You will also enter your child’s personal information.

Once you’ve submitted your application, CRA will allow you to return anytime to check the status of your application.

Form RC66

If you haven’t either of the above options, you can apply by filling out CRA Form RC66.

A link to this form can be found here.

You will be required to provide supporting documentation in the following circumstances:

If you share custody of a child, need to provide proof of birth, if you are applying for a period of time which began more than 11 months ago, or lastly, if you or your spouse or common-law partner are a new or returning resident, or citizen of Canada.

The Canada Child Benefit Calculator

On their website, the CRA allows families to see what their CCB benefits might look like using this interactive calculator.

Simply input the birthdates of your children, as well as some basic income information for you and your spouse, and the calculator will figure out the rest. It’s a great tool and only takes a few minutes to use.

Ways To Use Your CCB Benefit

As a parent, how you allot your CCB payments is up to you. But if you are looking to place the funds into long-term savings for your child, there are options. I’ve highlighted a few here:

Contribute To Your Child’s RESP

One of the most effective ways to save for your child’s education is through a Registered Education Savings Plan, or RESP. Through the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), the government provides a 20% match on annual RESP contributions to a maximum of $500 per child.

If you’re not already maximizing your contributions, consider topping them up with monies from the CCB. Another huge benefit of an RESP is that it offers tax-sheltered growth for the duration of the plan until the funds are withdrawn.

Contribute to an RDSP

If your child has a prolonged physical or mental disability and qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit, they may be eligible to open a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).

Similar to other registered savings plans, the RDSP offers tax-sheltered growth, and the contributions are eligible to be matched by the government through the Canada Disability Savings Grant as well as Canada Disability Savings Bonds.

Investing For Your Child

Funds that originate from a CCB payment can be invested in the child’s name without the income being attributed back to the parent.

This provides an opportunity to shelter additional investment income outside of an RESP or RDSP account.

Because presumably, your child will have little to no employment income to declare, their basic personal amount ($11,635) should eliminate any potential tax owing on investment income earned.


If you qualify for the Canada Child Benefit and are not currently receiving it, you may be missing out on a valuable source of income that can provide a much-needed boost to your family’s financial well-being.

A good idea is to start with the previously mentioned CCB calculator, which will help to determine your potential benefit. From there, simply select your preferred application method and you’ll be well on your way.


  1. San

    Hi i am 29 migrated to Canada on 5th Oct 2015 .I submitted child benefit form recently and i got a mail from CRA (I am not sure if it is related to CCB) stating that below
    Goods and services tax/Harmonized sales tax creditGST/HSTC notice

    WE cannot calculate the amount you may be entitled to recieve all periods because we do not have all the necessary info.If you provide the info we ask for in the detailsed exp seciton we iwll process and let you know if you are entitle

    I have no clue if it is related to CCB or no what do i do next and how do i ensure that they are processing my CCB?

  2. Juliana

    I sent in everything they asked gor for 6 years !!! Better get this progono Lawyer Tax services because they are taking still from me … Is ut mu fault mu daughter was Kidnapped … This is a joke ….

    • Juliana

      My phone needs repair sorry
      Slowly Now
      I sent everything they asked of me for 6 years My daughter turns 6 in sept. …
      One representitative says one thing another says another thing i sent for 6 years doctors letters My own letters court orders because My daughter was Kidnapped from me for papers My ex wanted papers into The country … She is with me i Pay rent for her she is on My benefits i sent them everything they asked for that i can send after The Kidnapping of My daughter shame on The Ontario canada Revenue agency !!!!! For these things .. Unexpected… i have to pay forever for what ? You say I must pay when she was gone you took it all already the 3rd year it’s paid the lump sum to this day i get letters saying I owe money but for what ??? tell My and my daughters doctor years to make letters and other people shame on them !!!! That IT had come to taking away money from her for what ??? Her and my misfortune ?? Wow how low can the government go !!!! This is for herrrrrr not me !!!
      Geez I don’t understand I sent in everything they then ask for the different specific dates here’s something weird I have a letter stating from my doctor n court order she was with me from when she got back to April 2015 where I gave him a second chance they told me to have me Doctor write those dates now they ask for Sec. To match but I have dec to April .. Haloooo march is before April !!!! Are they that evil ?!?

      • Crystal

        Yes they are and they lie too

      • Faith

        I had an issue with CRA and my daughter, they wanted proof I was really a single mom. After fighting for months and sending everything in they still wanted more. I ended up going to a local MP and made them a representative on my behalf. They had it sorted in 48 hours. Maybe try your local MP?

        • Andrew

          Going thru the same thing but as a single father. 6 months into this whole deal and I’ve submitted everything above and beyond the expectations. From police officer signed letters to daycare to sport coaches to all medical and dental bills, school address. And many more. The funny thing is I’m only Looking to claim 50% ( in reality it’s almost full time but wanted to make it easy and not cause a war with ex) but retroactive since my separation 8 years ago. Keep in mind CCB told me to do this. I’m exactly 6 months in and I’m still calling daily just to show them I’m not giving up. Every call answered by them is a different answer to what’s going on. Anyways I’m pretty sure I’m going to be shut down again. Any suggestions or case familiarities that would give a suggestion at this point would be appreciated

  3. Juliana

    I was meaning to say they said dec2012 she was with me to april 2015 where i gave Him a second chance to try to be a father ( worse choice ever )joint was dated April 2nd 2015 and sent court order doctors letter everything, everything they asked for and they Said dec 2012 to march 2015 after !!! what do they want our soul or into our / My home ?? Seriouslyyyy !!!! What else do they want Now they say Dec 2012 TO march 2015 but march is before april … I don’t want to again ask My doctor The 6th time please make a letter please this way they don’t believe and after give me a different date again for The 3rd time …are they crazy !!! Hello she was Kidnapped from me and brought back i have documrnts i sent a million times I your computerss Now what do they want to suck us dry because they can ???no a probono Lawyer, Their services !!!

  4. gabrielle

    Will we recieve back pay from jan to june 2016 or are the current new payments all we are getting starting july? I’ver heard different things and my account only shows the current amount being deposited july 20 and nothing else.

  5. kelly

    my child is 19 and in school is she still eligable for benefits

  6. Rosemarie Godina

    How many families who make above the threshold for the child care tax credits will no longer receive the funding? In the GTA, $203K is not a lot of money when you are supporting a family. And how do we know that child tax benefits even go to children to improve their quality of life? How will this be measured?

    • Carla

      Can anyone tell me if you can get the cctb in a lump sum? Just curious if that’s a possibility.

  7. Lucy

    maybe you shoukd get off your ass and get a job lady!!!!

    I have been working since I was 15, what the hell is YOUR excuse!?!

    • Tara

      We have all been working since we were kids; paper routes, cafes, transitioning into college or full time jobs. These jobs do not even begin to compete with everyday living costs; rent, groceries, bills etc. Did you know that Canadians in BC are putting 90% of their earned money to putting a roof over their head?! This is ludicrous, and the government has done nothing to help fix this issue for over 8 years. Minimum wage has gone from $7.15 in 1998 to $10.45 in 2016, while housing has dramatically increased by 500%!! Even so called good paying jobs at $45,000K per year are a poor mans salary now.

      • Sarag

        When is income tax due in order to recieve child tax for May 2017

    • Gwen

      Maybe you should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before believing you are better than anyone else. We all have stories, some are horrific.

    • Sheri

      Lucy your comment I’d derogatory and judgemental. I do agree that there are many people who could work and chose not to, costing taxpayers a significant amount of money. However Lucy there are situations that the person may have just left a relationship where the spouse earned the money. Someone could be waiting to be approved for disability for either physical and or mental health. Someone could have just lost their loved one who was they was the financial provider. Could be a teen leaving an abusive home and or lost both parents and FACS may not be able to house them. I could give you plenty more examples Lucy but hopefully you’re starting to get my point regarding your derogatory judgements of others. Want social reform start demanding that your federal and provincial officials start investing more into community services by hiring more people for starters, to ensure that the lengthy wait lists that discourage others from accessing supports is reduced significantly. Inest in better wages for people to encourage more people to seek employment as people are not eager to work to still not make ends meet. Also happy people are more productive and more likely to stay with a job and be significantly more reliable. These are just some starting points that you could address to help expand the number of people employeed and also to help those with social deficiencies achieve a healthier lifestyle. Degrading people without looking at the larger picture and contributing factors will not changethings for the better but rather keep those people down.

    • chelsy

      that is such an ignorant thing to say. people that work get this , its based on family size and income. the lowest income getting the highest and the more you make it goes down . alot of people have worked since they were 15 wtf does that have to do with anything?

  8. Al

    what if the kids didnt get his cctb since birth and his five years now and his going to file Can he still get backpay from 1-4 years?

    • sassy

      I’m wondering the same thing…anyone have an answer?

    • Shari

      Yes, you will get back pay for all those years.

  9. Brigitta pelcz

    Why is this taken off my welfare check how can i survive on 456 dollas plus 400 child rax. Horrible. How is this helping children.

  10. Daryl

    Hello im filing my taxes late, but the question is, do i have to fill out another CCTB form and send it off with my taxes as well, as of 2016 to receive CCTB through out the rest of the year, which my child has been under my care and collecting it since the day he was born?

  11. Oy

    Hello, I fell behind in registering my son for CCTB and Universal Ben. He is now 6 years of age. I’ve recently applied for the new CCB. Would I also receive a retro-active amount for the 6 years? Is that possible?

  12. Gary Norton

    My income is less then half of last year can I get my child tax benefits changed to relate to income I have now?

  13. Maria

    Could some one help me I had Gotton married last year my husband has no income I am the only one working And they stop my child benifit right after I told them that I was married Why ? I was como on law before but I was raising. My kid alone with I still do and they ask me for paper I give them and they is always something missing why? Plus on top of that I have to pay back money even though iam the only one. Supporting the family that not right iam running out of money pl help

    • Don

      They changed the rules in 2011 to punish parents that are single, divorced or gay. I haven’t got CTB in 7 years and had to pay around $2000/yr. My spouse works but I haven’t been working since a work place accident on the farm. We can thank Steven Harper for this. There are many low income families being audited and refused CTB. When you talk to the CRA they tell you a different thing every time. When you “prove” you have kids,a spouse and a home they’ll say you missed something. They suggested I have a clergy member or priest verify my claim. It’s frustrating and putting me in debt. I’ve filed a complaint with the ombudsman but their office has no authority. The Canadian government should be ashamed. The system is very descriminating to the people that need it the most.

  14. Tara

    I am interested in this. I have a 1 year old son, the father and I are not together as a couple but we live in the same house (one lives up, one lives down). We share the mortgage as we own the house together but I pay for the child, he does not. We have a mutual agreement, no custody papers, we are good friends. We live together to save money, its too expensive to live separately with a baby. CRA is asking for proof that I am a single parent. I do my taxes single as does the father. We are not together, other than owning a home together that we both share in separate suites. It sounds ridiculous in writing but it works well for us. Can I still get my child benefits in full or will CRA consider us a couple, even though we are not? Thanks for advice!


    Hi I need some facts on this situation. I am married with two sons, the oldest is with us here in Edmonton. we landed here as PR. I also applied for CCTB last August. How would I know that the government received already my application? How long can we can get his benefits?
    Now, my youngest is only 7 months old not living with us, he is in our country of origin (Philippines). He is included and declared with the documents we processed for the immigration. he is done with the medical exam, passport, and included my list of dependents. The only thing he do not have immigrant visa, we did not apply for him because we do not know when we can get him (settled here and have jobs). I would like to know if he can still avail the CCBT even if he is in the Philippines and of course he has no SIN. Is he qualified for CCBT? and be offset when he arrives here in Edmonton, Alberta? Please I need information regarding our situation. Thank you very much.

    • Glenda fox

      I have been on my own since I was 12 yrs old. Couch surfing, homeless.. I’m now an adult with 2 children but only 1 is in my care and oldest is under her dad. Someone told me I can get backpay for all those years no one was collecting for me. I was wondering if it is true and how I would go about getting backpay?

  16. Jen

    My ex is receiving half of my baby bonus now and the government is making me pay back half of what I received over the past year. He has my son 30% of the time and I have him 70%. He pays child support, why should he have his support payed for by the government while taking away money I need for my 6 year old!? Please help!

  17. krissii

    If the baby bonus goes by income and I get 530 now, when i have another baby do i also get another 530 or does it go down from the first baby bonus? Does it count as income? Please reply if you can

  18. Concerned mom

    I have been receiving the Child tax benefit for 11 years – but I did not receive the payment for October 2016??? I just got married to a Non-Canadian & reported it to CRA, he makes zero $ in Canada. Why didn’t I get the $$ no notice no phone call or letter: (( I rely on that money, it really helps

  19. QMS

    Hi I have a question? It is ok to collect or to recieve the cctb even the children is out in the country? Like I know someone who is CANADIAN citizen but married to an armed officer in India so she has been staying in India since then. The thing is that she only give birth the baby here in Canada and after 3 months or so she take her child to India and keep living there.. And she continue recieving the cctb since then, is this ok? Or no? and if not what is the penelaty for it ? She have 2 children who are canadian by birth but living with her and her husband in india. Just asking.

    • Lucy

      Umm no u have to be living in Canada

  20. M

    My brothers 16 yr old daughteris now living with him full time since june 2016…daughters choice .
    How does he collect the child tax now
    He is working .
    He does have joint guardianship and like i said now she is living with him .
    Her mother is still collecting the taxes .

    • Katherine zazulak

      Hi have a question about this if a child leaves home and lives with someone but change there mind could I hold off till they know what they want but still give them money till they the teen decide what they want then give the rights to the credit to the person that wants money that is how she is since he is not eighteen yet


  21. Gisele

    No problem with the names. Myghree children have different names then myself iv never had a problem.

  22. Gisele

    You need an adult to collect it on your behalf im pretty sure. Thats what we did for my step daughter.

  23. NGHIA

    i have a cup of question? i want to ask you about ontario child benefit(OCB). Why has my mom been canada for 4 months but my mom just received a month payment about ontario child benefit

  24. Wani

    I came to Canada in 2012 with my wife, In 2013 we had a baby. So we started getting CCB. Then my returned back to home country n 2014 but I returned back to canada in few months (CCB stopped). I also returned back to my home country in 2016 June and will return to Canada with my family in 2017 July but this time we will be staying in other province. So my question is will we be getting CCB straight away or we have to wait for 1.5 years.

  25. Dhakie Lang Sisah

    I was in a common law with a Canadian citizen. We have 3 children together plus a step daughter (his daughter from previous marriage). I came to Canada as a TFW and lost my status in 2013. My relationship broke down and we have declared legal separation in June 2013 however we shared the same household until 2016. I filed for my taxes as separated then CRA cut me off of the CCB because they said I do not have status although I am the Prime Caregiver of the 4 kids. I had another relationship with another Canadian citizen but I cannot declare him as Common law becuase my Ex-spouse is causing some trouble. I do have a child with my new spouse so I have all 5 kids under my care. WIll CRA reinstate my CCB if my new spouse and I either marry or change our marital status?

    I am still working on my immigration status I just need to resolve my issues with my ex since he is making a scene.

  26. Lisa

    It is an old post therefore the information given was correct at the time. They no longer do the icbc at all so even you could check facts lol.

  27. Lisa

    And the people you refer to don’t live pay check to pay check? And FYI many actually do work. I am one of those such people.

  28. Skylar King

    so i left my moms place while i was 17 and my mom kept on getting child tax for me even though i wasnt living with her and from what i heard from my friend i can get the money back from the goverment and my mom will have to pay it back. i just want to know how to do that cause i need the money to save up for top surgery. so if anyone knows how please reply thank you

  29. Dianne Lepage

    Did you just file this year’s taxes or did you file all three? If you only filed the one, then you would not get the back pay – f you filed all of them, then they will assess them all and give you the back pay. And they will also give you the back pay for GST if you are eligible. But remember this is government and they don’t necessarily do things quickly.

  30. Dianne Lepage

    I would suggest that you go back and file all the years of taxes from the year before your daughter was born until now. Did your husband/spouse file and claim you as a dependent? If so, then the Child Tax was determined by his income, and if you never received anything, then his income was too high. But you still would have received the UCCB. You could possibly be entitled to GST as well.

  31. Bee

    My understanding from someone who was in a similar position is that they only give you a years
    ‘s worth of back pay.

  32. Amy Bannister

    You do not get cctb for the month your child was born even of he was born on the first but you do get it the month her turns 18 which equals out to 216 payments which is 12 payments for 18 years
    If they gave it to you the month the child is born plus the month the chilsturns 18 then you would get 217 payments and we are only allowed 12 payments for 18 years which is 216 payments (12×18). They don’t figure it or by the day there for a cold born on the 15th couldn’t get a half payment at birth and a half payment on theonth they turn 18 so they give you a full month in the month they turn 18 and nothing for the first month so it equals 216 payments.
    I think it would be more helpful to get the month the child is born instead of the month the child turns 18 because when we have a baby one month we have more expenses than the month or child turns 18

  33. Cesar

    quick question: my ex girlfriend lives with her mom and our kid, he is 3 years old and she hasn’t received any child tax benefit because she missed to fill out her return for a year in the past (a yer prior to the year our kid was born). She does not seem interested in catch up with tax years nor to submit those taxes, and she is not interested in getting the CCTB. What can i do in this case? 3 years of CCTB is good money to put towards education or RESP and she does not seem to realize that. Any thoughts?

  34. June

    My other half works away and is only home 4/6 days a month. His ex sent his daughters to live with us because she couldn’t handle them. He has had them since 2013. One daughter became of age and the other one I have been her primary caregiver since 2015 to present. His ex kept claiming the girls, both for child tax and social service, even after we told her that I was going to claim her on my taxes.

    I have to prove that I am her caregiver, I have sent in letters from the school and others regarding this situation.

    The mother (ex) received the child tax, GST and other benefits for these 2 girls for 5 years. She would send the child tax over once in a while, going to guess half of the time. She received a letter from the Government stating that because I claimed the 15 year old on my taxes that she now has to pay the Government back $14,000. She claimed these girls on her own even though we told her I was claiming from 2015 on ward. She tried to tell us that her worker said she had to claim the girls because they could not go unclaimed!!! Now she wants us to pay the money back to the Government. We didn’t do anything wrong and she is the one that claimed when she knew she didn’t have a right too. Should we get a lawyer or should we just let the government handle her?

  35. ELISE

    I have dealt with same problem for 3years. they wanted me to prove where the father is after I sent every document that my ex left after I got pregnant and that I was the only parent raising my child. I had to hire a lawyer because they decided I was eligible for 4months while I never got any child tax for three years.

    • elise

      I worked hard made less than 33000 and daycare isn’t cheap while on there end decided I wasn’t telling the truth. I got letters from my dr from my daughter dr frm daycare proving that I was the only parent but they rejected everything. on top of that when I did my tax to claim dependant under 18 I was refused always had to do appeal and then they would find me right. honestly this is annoying to have to go through this.

  36. Keith

    Are new residents retroactively given CCB payments for the first 18 months they were in Canada?

  37. Ryan Stonechild

    Do families that sign a section 9 through family services still collect the CCB?

  38. Leila

    I filled child and family benenif letter (PERIOD UNDER REVIEW) late, because i did not get that on time.
    After that CRA stoped my payment, i sent upgrade information last week, but today i get 2 mail that retarn $11,000.00 .
    What should i do?

  39. Ederlyn

    Hi, i am the primary caregiver but cra indicated also shared custody. How does that affect my ccb amount?
    Thank you.

    • Ederlyn

      Hi, i have savings that i want to invest it under my daughters name who receives ccb. Is there going to be any issue with the cra in terms of tax?

  40. Mohit

    Hi, I need to ask something about Canada Child benefit as I got a PR and I came to Canada with my wife and one kid. My wife and child returned back to home country. So still I eligible to get the benefits? They both are coming on and off over here. Thanks.

  41. laura

    I faught with THEN FOR 4 YEARS. Because they said that my son wasnt not registered he did not exist. I had my son january 15 2011 . they finaly clued in that my son actually existed. And came bavk with a letter stating all my income taxs wrre not legit and i was going to be facing fraud. GFS WOW.. Good thing i had a good laywer and they disnt want to go threw with court

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