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July 23, 2016

Disciples Centre for Public Witness in Canada Endorses New Child Benefit for Canadian Families

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced this week that the first payments have now been made under the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB). The CCB helps families with the high costs of raising their children. The CCB replaces the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement, and the Universal Child Care Benefit. The CCB is simpler, tax-free, and better targeted to those who need it most.

"The government is making an honest effort to deal more effectively with poverty in Canada," said The Reverend Rick Myer, coordinator of the Disciples Centre for Public Witness in Canada.  "As people of faith who care about persons who are struggling economically,  we join our ecumenical and interfaith partners in applauding and supporting this effort by the government."

Parents who have received a previous child benefit and who filed their income tax and benefit return for 2015 are automatically assessed for eligibility for the CCB. Parents of newborn children can apply for the CCB using the Automated Benefits Application (ABA) service.

“Too many middle-class families struggle with the high costs of raising their children. The new Canada Child Benefit means more money for healthier groceries, kids’ summer programs, and back-to-school clothes. This new child benefit is much more generous, and will help the Canadian economy grow for years to come,” said Trudeau.

The new CCB offers several benefits to families. Now, families:
  • will receive a single payment every month;
  • will not have to pay taxes on CCB payments received when they file their tax returns;
  • with low- and middle-incomes will receive more benefits, and those with the highest incomes (generally over $150,000) will receive lower benefits than under the previous system; and
  • who are eligible will see an average increase in child benefits of almost $2,300 in the 2016-17 benefit year.
The new CCB will provide a maximum annual benefit of up to $6,400 per child under the age of 6 and up to $5,400, per child, aged 6 through 17. Families with less than $30,000 in net income will receive the maximum benefit.

Families whose children qualify for the Disability Tax Credit can receive an additional amount as part of their Canada Child Benefit, up to a maximum annual benefit of $2,730 per eligible child.

Discussing these new benefits, Myer added, "And,  of course,  we hope to see more efforts like this, and even stronger ones, in the very near future."

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