In 2018, the federal government updated the Working Income Tax Benefit, making it more accessible and allowing more Canadians to apply.
If you or your family earn a low income, you may be eligible for the Canada Workers Benefit. An enhanced version of the WITB, the CWB is a quarterly payment that helps low-earning working families and individuals.
This article covers the Canada Workers Benefit, including exactly how much you can receive, the payment dates, how to apply, and more.
What is the Canada Workers Benefit?
The Canada Workers Benefit is a refundable tax credit that helps working families and individuals who earn a low income. Eligible Canadian families can earn up to $2,403, and eligible individuals can earn up to $1,395.
There are two parts to the CWB: a basic amount and a disability amount.
You can claim the CWB during tax season when filing your annual income tax return. It is available for 2019 and subsequent years.
The Canada Workers Benefit is an updated version of the previous Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB). It was for families with a working income over $3,000, available from 2007 to 2018.
The WITB has evolved significantly since 2007, and it was restructured by the 2018 Canadian federal budget. The CWB now provides increased benefits and has higher eligibility standards.
Canada Workers Benefit Payment Dates in 2023
Each year, the Canada Workers Benefit payment dates are as follows:
- January 5, 2023
- April 5th
- July 5th
- October 5th
Eligibility for the Canada Workers Benefit
The Canada Workers Benefit eligibility is as follows. To qualify, you must:
- Earn a working income
- Be a Canadian resident throughout the entire year
- Be 19 years of age or older on December 31, OR live with your spouse, common-law partner, or child
You, your spouse, or your common-law partner are not eligible if they:
- Are a full-time student at a designated educational institution for more than 13 weeks out of the year (unless you have an eligible dependant on December 31)
- Have been in prison for 90 days or more that year
- Are not eligible to pay tax in Canada (because you are a servant or officer of another country or are an employee or family member of that person)
An eligible dependant is:
- Not eligible for CWB themselves
- Your, your spouse’s, or common-law partner’s child
- Under 19 years old and lives with you on December 31
An eligible spouse is:
- A Canadian resident throughout the year
- Lives with you as your spouse or common-law partner on December 31
How is the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) Calculated?
How much you can receive for the CWB depends on your province or territory of residence and your annual income.
The maximum basic amount for single individuals is $1,395, and the maximum basic amount for families is $2,403. This amount gradually reduces based on your income.
The Canada Revenue Agency uses the following information to determine how much you will receive:
- Your marital status and if you have an eligible spouse
- The province or territory you reside in
- Your earned working income
- Your family’s net adjusted income
- Your eligible dependents
- Your eligibility for the disability tax credit
Read more below for how much you can expect to receive based on the Canada Workers Benefit income thresholds.
How Much is the CWB in 2023?
The amount you can expect from the Canadian Workers Benefit depends on your income and the province or territory you live in.
For single individuals
The maximum basic amount is $1,395, which gradually reduces if your adjusted net income exceeds $22,944.
You will not get the basic amount if you earn more than $32,244.
The maximum disability supplement is $720, which gradually reduces if your adjusted net income exceeds $32,244.
If you earn more than $37,044, you will not get the disability supplement.
The maximum basic amount is $2,403, which gradually reduces if your adjusted family net income exceeds $26,177.
You will not get the basic amount if your family earns more than $42,197.
The maximum disability supplement is $720, which gradually reduces if your adjusted family net income exceeds $42,197.
If one spouse is eligible for the disability tax credit and the net family income is greater than $46,997, or if both spouses are eligible for the disability tax credit and the net family income is greater than $51,797, you will not get the disability supplement.
The maximum basic amount and maximum disability supplement amounts will vary for those who live in Quebec.
How To Apply for the Canada Workers Benefit
You can claim the disability supplement in one of two ways:
- If you have an eligible spouse or common-law partner and only one of you is eligible for the disability tax credit, the eligible person should claim the disability supplement and the basic amount.
- If you have an eligible spouse or common-law partner and both of you are eligible for the disability tax credit, both should claim the disability supplement. However, only one can claim the basic amount.
If you are eligible, you can apply for advance payments to get up to half of your Canada Workers Benefit payments earlier than the scheduled dates. You can either:
- Sign in to your account on the CRA website, complete, and submit your application
- Fill out Form RC201 and mail it to the Sudbury Tax Centre (you must submit it by August 31)
Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) vs Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB)
In 2019, the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) replaced the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB). The WITB was available from 2007 to 2018 for individuals and families with an income over $3,000.
The CWB is an updated and restructured version of the WITB, which now automatically calculates if you are eligible for the CWB, even if you don’t claim it.
The Canada Workers Benefit has a larger maximum of $1,395 instead of $1,059 for individuals and $2,403 instead of $1,922 for families.
The CWB also has a higher income threshold before you lose eligibility. Individuals can now earn up to $32,244 instead of $19,076, and families can now earn up to $42,197 instead of $28,975.
If eligible, you could get up to half of your CWB payments in advance. To apply for Canada Workers Benefit advance payments, sign in to your account on the CRA website and complete your application, or fill out Form RC201 and mail it to the Sudbury Tax Centre.
To qualify for the CWB, you must earn a working income, be a Canadian resident, and be 19 years of age or older on December 31, OR live with your spouse, common-law partner, or child. In addition, individuals must earn between $3,000 and $32,244, and families must earn between $3,000 and $42,197.
Individuals earning between $3,000 and $32,244 and families earning between $3,000 and $42,197 are considered low income.
To get tax information for individuals, including the CWB, call 1-800-959-8281.
The Canada Workers Benefit Payment varies depending on your income. Individuals can get up to $1,395, and families can get up to $2,403 as a basic amount. The maximum disability supplement is $720 for both families and individuals.
The CWB is paid on the 5th of April, July, October, and January.