5. Find out if you have to pay back Transition Child Benefit money

The (CRA) decides if you're eligible for the Canada child benefit (CCB).

If you were eligible for the CCB for a time that has already passed, they will send you the money separately. This one-time payment is called a “retroactive payment”.

Sometimes, the CRA may also decide you were eligible for the CCB during a time you were getting Transition Child Benefit (TCB) payments.

This may mean that you will get money from the CCB that's for the same time period that you were getting the TCB.

The law says that you can't get CCB and TCB money for the same time period. So if you get a retroactive CCB payment for the same time that you got TCB payments, you'll have to pay back the TCB money.

Having money taken from OW or ODSP payments

Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) can take this TCB money that you owe by reducing your social assistance payments. They can do this for up to 3 months in a row until all the TCB money is paid back to them.

OW or ODSP starts by reducing the first social assistance payment you get after receiving the retroactive CCB payment. But, there are limits on how much they can reduce your social assistance payments.

But many people aren't prepared when OW or ODSP starts taking money from their assistance payments if they've already spent the retroactive CCB payment.

So, it's important to not spend the money you get as a retroactive CCB payment until you're sure that you don't have to pay back the TCB money.

Otherwise, when OW or ODSP reduces your assistance, you might not have enough money to pay for your basic expenses, like rent and food. So try to plan ahead if you can.

Getting help

It can be difficult to figure out whether TCB and CCB payments overlap and if you have to pay TCB money back.

Talk to your or OW or ODSP worker to help you understand how this may affect you.

A community legal clinic can also help you figure out what to do.

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