The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) provides money to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children.
Similar to the popular Canada Child Benefit, Ontario Child Benefit payments are dependent on your family’s net income and the number of children under the age of 18.
It is also administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Besides the OCB, the following child-related tax credits and benefits are also available to Ontarians:
- Ontario Child Tax Credit
- Ontario Works child-related benefits (Newborn Allowance, Child Care Start-Up Benefit and Transition Child Benefit).
Ontario Child Benefit
The Ontario Child Benefit is a tax-free monthly payment to eligible family’s with low to moderate income.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be a resident of Ontario
- Be a primary caregiver for one or more children under 18 years of age
- File a personal income Tax return for the previous year, even if you didn’t earn any taxable income.
- Have registered your child for the Canada Child Benefit
You must also meet the income threshold required to qualify for OCB payments.
For the July 2020 to July 2021 payment period, you qualify for full Ontario Child Benefit payments if your adjusted family net income is $22,303 or lower.
Your 2019 tax return is used to determine your eligibility for OCB payments from July 2020 to June 2021.
Benefit payments are recalculated every July, and while the program is administered by the CRA, it is fully funded by the Province of Ontario.
How Much Ontario Child Benefit Will You Receive?
You will get up to a maximum of $1,461 per child per year or $121.75 per month per child under 18 years of age.
If your family net income is above $22,303, you may receive a partial benefit.
OCB payments are paid with Canada Child Benefit (CCB) as a single payment each month.
How to Apply
The CRA will automatically assess your eligibility for the OCB when you register for the Canada Child Benefit.
To apply for the CCB, you can either do so:
- At the time of registering the birth of your newborn
- Online through your CRA My Account.
- By mail when you complete Form RC66 and send it to your tax centre.
You should start receiving payments within 8-11 weeks of submitting your application.
For questions relating to the OCB, contact CRA at 1-800-387-1193.
Learn about how to maximize your Canada Child Benefit here.
Ontario Child Benefit Payment Dates 2020
For 2020, you will receive OCB and CCB payments (combined) on:
- January 20, 2020
- February 20, 2020
- March 20, 2020
- April 20, 2020
- May 20, 2020
- June 20, 2020
- July 19, 2020
- August 20, 2020
- September 18, 2020
- October 20, 2020
- November 20, 2020
- December 11, 2020
Ontario Child Care Tax Credit
The Ontario Child Care Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit available to families to help them with child care costs.
To be eligible for this tax credit, you must:
- Have a family income of $150,000 or lower
- Be a resident of Ontario
- Be able to claim the Child Care Expense Deduction
Eligible families can claim up to 75% of their eligible child care expenses including child care fees at a day nursery school or day-care centre, day camp, boarding school, camp or educational institution.
Tuition fees and transportation costs are not eligible deductions.
How much can you receive?
A family can get up to:
- $6,000 for each child under age 7
- $3,750 for each child between age 7 and 16
- $8,250 for each child with a severe disability
A refundable tax credit reduces or eliminates the taxes you owe at the end of the year. If you have excess credits, you may get a tax refund.
Your family income level determines the percentage of eligible child care expenses you can claim on your tax return.
Here is how the credit rate for determining your child care expense deduction is calculated:
$20,000.01 to $40,000
75% minus 2% for each $2,500 (or part of) above $20,000
$40,000.01 to $60,000
59% minus 2% for each $5,000 (or part of) above $40,000
$60,000.01 to $150,000
51% minus 2% for each $3,600 ( or part of)above $60,000
$150,000.01 and over
If your family income is $15,000, you can claim 75% of eligible child care expenses when you file your tax return (up to the maximum limit per child).
If your family income is $65,000 for the year, you can claim 47% (51% minus 2% x 2) of eligible child care expenses on your return.
For questions about the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit, contact CRA at 1-800-959-8281.
Ontario Works Child Benefit
Ontarians who are recipients of financial or employment assistance through Ontario Works may be eligible for child-related benefits.
In general, to qualify for Ontario Works, you must be a resident of Ontario, need assistance to pay for food and shelter, and show you are making reasonable attempts to find a job.
Child Care Start-Up Benefit
A one-month advance payment for child care is available if required to help you start work.
The maximum benefit is $600 per child for an unlicensed child care and there is no maximum for licensed child care. You can only apply for this benefit once in a 12-month period.
To apply, contact your case worker.
Money for Newborns
You may be eligible to receive financial assistance towards purchasing baby gear and clothing of a new child. The benefit includes up to $260 for the purchase of a new crib and up to$100 for clothing and bedding.
You can apply through a case worker starting from four months before delivery or up to one year after the birth of the child.
Transition Child Benefit
Families on Ontario Works who are not yet receiving the Ontario Child Benefit may qualify for the Transition Child Benefit (TCB) if they have children under 18 years of age.
The TCB amount is $230 per child per month.
You do not need to apply separately for the Transition Child Benefit as it is automatically added to your Ontario Works monthly payment.
For questions relating to Ontario Works social assistance, you can find the contact information for your local office here.
Ontario Child Benefit FAQ
In 2020, you can receive up to $121.75 per month for each child under 18 years of age through the Ontario Child Benefit program. This is equivalent to a maximum of $1,461 per child per year. In addition, you may be eligible for up to $563.75 per month per child in Canada Child Benefit payments.
The OCB is a tax-free benefit paid to families with children under age 18 who meet the residency and income threshold requirements. OCB payments are not reported on your tax return; however, you need to file a tax return in order for CRA to assess your eligibility.
Have questions about child benefit programs in Ontario? Leave them in the comments.