Halifax families cash in on new Canada Child Benefit
'This extra money is something that is definitely needed,' says Halifax mom Jill England
Halifax families with children under the age of 18 should check their bank accounts today. The very first Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment should be waiting for them.
The average Canadian family is expected to get $2,300 more each year through CCB, according to the federal government. Although not all families will get that much — nine out of 10 are still expected to get more money than they did under previous benefit programs like the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).
As well, income from CCB does not have any impact on income assistance or employment supports provided by the province.
- New Canada Child Benefit program payments start today
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CBC spoke to two Halifax families to find out what CCB means to them.
Jill England is a stay-at-home mother. She has four-year-old son, Jack, and she's expecting another child. England and her partner have an income of below $25,000.
"No matter what we make, it seems we're still under the level that we need to be," said England. "The basic necessities are taken care of for our family, but the extras are just not there, so this extra money is something that is definitely needed."
New maximum benefit
England expects her family to receive the new maximum benefit for one child under six with the new Canada Child Benefit, which is $6,400 per year.
"Without that … how can you survive? I mean, you can survive — just survive," said England.
England said she's hopeful the increased benefit will open doors for her and her family.
"You can put them in swimming lessons, you can do things that before you couldn't do," she said.
Jonathan Poole and his wife both work in the military in Halifax. They have two kids: Jayden, 8, and Owen, 2.
For Poole, a bump in his family's monthly benefits came as a surprise.
"I checked this morning and I noticed it was $140 more than what I normally get. So, I was pretty happy," he said.
Poole and his wife have a combined income of about $130,000.
'Didn't really know what the middle class was'
"I kind of thought it was strange that we did get it," said Poole, "I was kind of surprised, I didn't really know what the middle class was."
Poole welcomes the extra help. He said they pay close to $13,000 a year in child care costs alone for their two children.
Today, he's using the extra benefit boost to take Jayden and Owen to meet their mother for lunch.
"That was one of the things that we figured would be good for the kids. Since everything else in this province is a little overpriced," said Poole.