Politics

Canada Child Benefit recipients getting an extra $300 per child this month

If you collect the Canada Child Benefit, you'll notice a temporary boost to your bank balance today — the government is sending parents an extra $300 for each child to help offset pandemic-related costs.

It's a one-time payment and it will go to some higher-income households that don't normally qualify

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits in with kids at a Waterloo, Ont., public school library Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. (CBC News)

If you collect the Canada Child Benefit, you'll notice a temporary boost to your bank balance today — the government is sending parents an extra $300 for each child to help offset pandemic-related costs.

And some parents who normally don't qualify for the benefit — because they earn too much — also will get cheques, although they'll be smaller.

A government official, speaking on background, said the 3.7 million families who now collect the CCB — regardless of how much they normally receive — will receive the one-time payment in May. The $300 is over above what they would normally receive from Ottawa.

"No matter who you are or where you live, we're here to support you," Trudeau said today at his daily briefing. "This is money to help you get through a very tough time."

50,000 extra payments

Some parents who are just above the standard income threshold cutoff will receive a prorated amount this month as well. That's by design, the official said.

Some 50,000 families who normally don't qualify for CCB will receive a payment, the official said.

The amount you receive will be calculated based on information from the 2018 tax return you, your spouse or common-law partner filed that year.

Watch: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's full press conference for May 20:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held his daily COVID-19 briefing and took reporter questions outside Rideau Cottage on Wednesday, May 20. 34:17

Previously, a two-child household in Ontario with a net income of $215,000 in the 2018 tax year got nothing while a similar-sized family earning $212,000 was eligible for a CCB cheque. Those families just over that income line will get a modest payment this month.

The program is income-tested so the wealthiest Canadians receive nothing from the program.

The payment could be a shot in the arm for the struggling Canadian economy — an extra $2 billion in the hands of families with kids this month. Consumer spending has tanked in recent weeks as physical distancing measures have crippled sectors like tourism, restaurants and bricks-and-mortar retail.

The multi-billion dollar child benefit boost also will add to a growing federal deficit.

The parliamentary budget officer has pegged the 2020-21 deficit at roughly $250 billion. He also has warned that the federal debt load could hit $1 trillion by year's end — up from $700 billion before the pandemic hit.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced the new maximum payments for the 2020-2021 benefit year, which include a boost to help families keep up with the cost of living in the year ahead.

Starting in July 2020, the maximum benefit will be $6,765 per child under age 6 and $5,708 per child aged 6 through 17.

About the Author

John Paul Tasker

Parliamentary Bureau

John Paul (J.P.) Tasker is a reporter in the CBC's Parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. He can be reached at john.tasker@cbc.ca.

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