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How do I apply for child tax benefits?

How do I apply for child tax benefits?
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Reviewed: 
March 1, 2017
Answer

You must be eligible for the Canada child benefit (CCB) before you can apply.

When you don’t need to apply

In July 2016, the CCB replaced the Canada child tax benefit, the national child benefit supplement, and the universal child care benefit.

You don’t need to apply for the CCB if you had been getting:

  • the Canada child tax benefit 
  • the universal child care benefit 

The Canada Revenue Agency will decide whether you can get the CCB after you file your tax return.

When you need to apply

If you weren’t getting the Canada child tax benefit or universal child care benefit, you need to apply for the CCB.

You should also apply for the CCB as soon as possible after:

  • your child is born
  • your child starts to live with you
  • you begin to have shared custody of your child

Sometimes, it can be hard for you to tell if you’re eligible.

If you’re not sure, you should still apply for the CCB. That way, the Canada Revenue Agency will decide if you’re eligible. For example, you should still apply if:

  • your child only lives with you part of the time
  • you think your income is too high
  • your child is living with you for a temporary period of time, for example, the summer holidays

Getting your Canada child benefit payments

You start getting your CCB payment the month after you become eligible.

You usually get CCB payments on the 20th day of each month. This means that you get 12 payments of the same amount, which add up to the total you get for the year.

If your total benefit for the year is less than $20, you’ll get this in one payment.

If you don’t get your payment by the 20th day of the month, wait 5 business days. Business days are Monday to Friday. Then if you still don’t have it, call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-387-1193.

If you were eligible for the CCB for a period of time before your first regular payment, the Canada Revenue Agency sends you this money separately.

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