Getting All Your Benefits
Canada generous system of benefits has expanded to include the new Canada Dental Benefit and a top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit.
The Canada Dental Benefit provides financial support for eligible families earning less than $90,000 per year. Parents and guardians with children under 12 years-old may be eligible to receive up-front, direct payments totaling up to $1,300 per child (up to $650 per year) if they obtain dental care for which the parent has out of pocket costs and no access to a private dental insurance plan.
The one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit provides a $500 payment to low-income renters facing housing affordability challenges. It is available to renters who had an adjusted net income for 2021 of $35,000 or less for families, or $20,000 or less for individuals, and pay at least 30% of their adjusted net income on rent for their own principal residence in Canada.
While some benefits are automatic, many benefits require that Canadians submit an application in order to receive them. The Government of Canada has a very useful online tool available that makes sure you are aware of these benefits. Visit www.canadabenefits.gc.ca and use the online ‘Benefits Finder’ which generates personalized results based on a few simple multiple-choice questions.
I would encourage you to try this tool even if you do not think you may be entitled to any benefits. Very often life circumstances change and you may qualify for a program that you previously did not.
Most assistance programs require up-to-date tax filings, so it is also very important that those looking to access benefits keep up-to-date on their taxes. The Canada Revenue Agency has thousands of volunteers who can also assist with this task. Learn more at www.canada.ca/taxes.