Ontario Child Benefit: A Guide to Ontario’s Child Benefit Programs

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by Enoch Omololu

Updated

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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 administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on behalf of the Ontario Government.

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 2021 to June 2022 payment period, you qualify for full Ontario Child Benefit payments if your adjusted family net income is $22,504 or lower.

Your 2020 tax return is used to determine your eligibility for OCB payments from July 2021 to June 2022.

Benefit payments are recalculated every July, and while the program is administered by the CRA, it is fully funded by the Province of Ontario.

Ontario Child Benefit Payment Dates 2021

For the remainder of 2021, you will receive OCB and CCB payments (combined) on:

  • June 18, 2021
  • July 20, 2021
  • August 20, 2021
  • September 20, 2021
  • October 20, 2021
  • November 19, 2021
  • December 13, 2021

For the first half of 2022, the payment dates are:

  • January 20, 2022
  • February 18, 2022
  • March 18, 2022
  • April 20, 2022
  • May 20, 2022
  • June 20, 2022

How Much Ontario Child Benefit Will You Receive?

You will get up to a maximum of $1,473.96 per child per year or $122.83 per month per child under 18 years of age.

If your family net income is above $22,504, 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.

Newcomers to Canada must also complete Schedule RC66SCH and mail it alongside Form RC66 to the CRA office for your area.

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.

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. It is also referred to as the Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit.

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 (plus a top‑up of up to $1,200 for 2021)
  • $3,750 for each child between age 7 and 16 (plus a top‑up of up to $750 for 2021)
  • $8,250 for each child with a severe disability (plus a top‑up of up to $1,650 for 2021)

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:

Family IncomeRate Calculation
$0-$20,00075%
$20,000.01 to $40,00075% minus 2% for each $2,500 (or part of) above $20,000
$40,000.01 to $60,00059% minus 2% for each $5,000 (or part of) above $40,000
$60,000.01 to $150,00051% minus 2% for each $3,600 (or part of) above $60,000
$150,000.01 and over0%
Source: Ontario.ca

Examples

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 the CRA at 1-800-959-8281.

Ontario Works Child Benefits

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Ontario Child Benefit FAQs

How much is child benefit per month in Ontario?

In 2021, you can receive up to $122.83 per month for each child under 18 years of age through the Ontario Child Benefit program. This is equivalent to a maximum of $1,473.96 per child per year. In addition, you may be eligible for up to $569.41 per month per child in Canada Child Benefit payments.

Is the Ontario Child Benefit Taxable?

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.

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Credit Canada, MSN Money, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

1 thought on “Ontario Child Benefit: A Guide to Ontario’s Child Benefit Programs”

  1. I have not been receiving my Child Tax Benefit since June/20.

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