Am I eligible for the Canadian Dental Care Plan?NewUpdated February 3

The federal government has a new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP), which will help some Canadians pay for certain dental costs.

There are rules about who's eligible, what's covered, and when coverage starts.

Who can apply

To qualify for the CDCP, you must:

  • not have other dental insurance, for example, from a pension, group, employer, or personal plan,
  • have a family net income of less than $90,000,
  • be a Canadian resident for tax purposes, and
  • have filed a tax return in the past year.

If you have a spouse or , they must also qualify.

If you have dental coverage through a provincial social program, such as Healthy Smiles Ontario, Ontario Disability Support Program, or the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Plan, you can still qualify for the CDCP. The 2 plans will be coordinated. This means you will not be covered for the same service through both plans. The government will have more details on this by May 2024.

You must qualify for the CDCP each year. The government will say later how you can re-apply.

When to apply

When you can start applying for the CDCP is based on your age and whether you have a Disability Tax Credit certificate:

If you are: You can start applying in:
87 years or older December 2023
77 to 86 years January 2024
72 to 76 years February 2024
70 to 71 years March 2024
65 to 69 years May 2024
18 to 64 years and also have a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate June 2024
Younger than 18 years June 2024
18 to 64 years and do not have a Disability Tax Credit certificate 2025

Children 12 and under may be covered under the Canada Dental Benefit until they're eligible for the CDCP in June 2024. Read more in Is my child eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit?

How to apply

If you're eligible for the CDCP and are 70 years and older, you will get a letter that tells you how to apply by phone with Service Canada.

If you can start applying for the CDCP in May 2024 or after, you can apply online. You will not get a letter. The government will share more details on applying online at a later date.

If you believe you're eligible but do not get a letter:

  • you may have not filed your tax return in 2022, or
  • the (CRA) may have the wrong address for you.

There are free tax clinics that can help you file your taxes. And you can contact the CRA or use your MyAccount to update your address.

If you're applying by phone, Service Canada will ask:

  • for 2 pieces of ID, and
  • if you have dental coverage.

Service Canada lets you know if your application was accepted. And Sun Life Insurance, the company managing the plan, sends you a member card and a letter that explains how to use the benefit and when your coverage starts.

What’s covered

The CDCP only covers dental services that are:

  • included in the plan, and
  • provided by dental professionals who are part of the plan.

Dental professionals can be dentists, denturists, dental hygienists, and dental specialists. The government calls these dental professionals “oral health providers”.

The government has not given a full list of dental services that are covered, but some examples are:

  • cleaning, polishing, sealants, and fluoride treatments
  • x-rays
  • fillings
  • root canal treatments
  • complete and partial removable dentures
  • removing teeth

How much is covered

The CDCP covers a maximum amount for each included service. But the government has not yet said what those amounts will be.

If a dental professional charges more than the CDCP maximum, you must pay the difference on the day of your appointment. You must also pay for any service that is not covered by the CDCP.

Before making your appointment with a dental professional, you should ask:

  • if they're part of the CDCP
  • how much the service costs

The CDCP covers a different percentage of eligible costs based on your family :

If your family net income is: The CDCP will cover:
Less than $70,000 100%
Between $70,000 and $79,999 60%
Between $80,000 and $89,999 40%

You do not have to pay for the portion of dental services that are covered by the CDCP. Your dental professional sends that part of the claim directly to Sun Life Insurance.

When coverage starts

When your coverage starts depends on:

  • your age,
  • when you applied, and
  • when your application was accepted

You should check your Sun Life package to see the exact date your coverage starts.

Coverage for eligible people 87 years and older is expected to start in May 2024.

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