Changes to N.W.T. child benefit program mean more money for families

The government has raised the income cap for who can receive the money to $80,000, and stopped counting other federal benefits as income.

Gov't raises income cap to $80,000 a year, stops counting other federal benefits as income

The N.W.T. child benefit program will soon be available to more families in the territory. The cap has been increased by $10,000 to include families making $80,000 a year or less.

Andy Bevan, assistant deputy minister for Labour and Income Security, said there's no need to apply: the monthly benefit is based on tax returns from the previous year.

The amount of money each family receives is calculated based on income, the number of children, and the age of the children.

One goal of the program, Bevan said, is to assure that families retained the money from "any federal benefit that was intended to assist [N.W.T. residents] with raising a family."

The program used to include money from other child benefit programs in the income calculation. That money is no longer counted as income, another change that increases the overall amount of money families can receive from the program.

"We've increased the number of people who are eligible," said Bevan. "And we've made sure anybody who is earning $80,000 or less is receiving more money under the program as well."

The first cheques with the increased benefits will go out on July 20.