Thousands of parents need to apply for new child-care benefit

The parents of as many as 200,000 children will need to apply for the Harper government's new Universal Child Care Benefit before they can get any funding, according to figures supplied to CBC News Online by Canada Revenue Agency.

The parents of as many as 200,000 children will need to apply for the Harper government's newUniversal Child Care Benefit before they canget anymoney, according to figures supplied to CBC News Online by Canada Revenue Agency.

The 200,000 figure is the difference between the 2.1 million children under age six who live in Canada and the 1.9 million children already in Canada Revenue Agency's database — usually because of a previous application by their parents for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB).

The Universal Child Care Benefit will come automatically for parents who have already applied for the CCTB. For those who haven't applied, the moneywon't begin to flow until an application is sent in.

Thousands of parentsofyoung childrenhave never applied for the CCTB because their income is too high for them to be eligible.

Those parents would needtoapply for the new benefit by completing the Canada Child Tax Benefit application form, if they want to claim their share of it. Theform can be downloadedfrom theCRA website. (A link is provided at the right.)

All families in Canada with children under age six are eligible for the Universal Child Care Benefit, regardless of income. Payments of $100 a month per eligible child will be taxable in the hands of the parentwith the lower income.

The first payment will be sent outin July. The July and Augustpayments will be made by cheque. Recipients have the option of having future payments deposited directly in their bank accounts.