December 2016

5.6 Federal and Provincial Benefits for Families with Children

Legislative Authority

Sections 7(1), 16(1), and 19(2) of the Act.
Sections 53(3), 53(3.1), 53(3.2), 54.1(1) and 54.1(2) of Regulation 134/98.

Audit Requirements

Random file reviews are completed to ensure that:

  • all documents have been visually verified;
  • overpayments are established where a recipient has received financial assistance that they were not entitled to; and
  • all visually verified documents have been documented in the Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) or file system used by a First Nations delivery agent.

Application of Policy

The federal and provincial governments provide a number of financial benefits to assist families with children. Financial benefits provided by the federal government include the:

  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
  • Children's Special Allowance (CSA)

Financial benefits provided by the provincial government include the:

  • Ontario Child Benefit (OCB)
  • Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families (OCCS)

All of these federal and provincial benefits are exempt as income when determining eligibility and budgetary requirements of a benefit unit.

Federal Benefits

Canada Child Benefit

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment from the CRA to assist eligible families with the cost of raising children under the age of 18.  As of July 1, 2016, the CCB replaces the Canada Child Tax Benefit, including the National Child Benefit Supplement, and the Universal Child Care Benefit. The Child Disability Benefit will continue to be provided, where applicable.

The CCB is exempt as income when determining eligibility and budgetary requirements for a benefit unit.

For detailed information regarding the CCB, including rates, refer to the Canada Revenue Agency’s website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.

Note: While the NCBS is being consolidated into the Canada Child Benefit beginning July 2016, notional NCBS amounts will continue to be provided by the CRA to enable the calculation of the Transition Child Benefit.

CCB Overpayments and Underpayments

CCB overpayments or underpayments may occur during the period of time required by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to process entitlement adjustments caused by changes in family status and/or income tax assessments.

Any financial assistance adjustments necessary for a benefit unit caused by a CCB overpayment or underpayment will be calculated and adjustments will be made to the recipient’s budgetary requirements (see Directives 6.14: Recovery of Transition Child Benefit and 7.6: Transition Child Benefit ).

Parents with Shared Custody

In situations of shared custody, both parents may receive CCB payments every month, where eligible (see Directive 3.9: Dependent Children for more information).

Children's Special Allowance

The CSA is a monthly payment that is made to a federal or provincial department or ministry, an agency, or an institution to assist with the costs of maintaining care for a child under the age of 18.

The CSA is an amount equivalent to the maximum basic amount of CCB. For eligible children, the CSA payment may also include the Child Disability Benefit (DSB). The CSA is considered exempt as income when determining eligibility and budgetary requirements for a benefit unit.

If an application for the CSA is received by CRA, payment of the CCB is ceased.

Retroactive Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) Payments

Any retroactive CCTB, including NCBS, and/or the UCCB payments received by families following the implementation of the CCB on July 1, 2016, will continue to be exempt as income.

Provincial Benefits

Ontario Child Benefit

The OCB is a non-taxable, income-tested monthly benefit for families with children under age 18. The OCB is exempt as income when determining eligibility and budgetary requirements for a benefit unit. As of November 2015, the maximum monthly amount of OCB available for eligible families is $111.33 per child.

Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families

The OCCS is a tax-free monthly payment to help with the costs of raising children under the age of seven. A family does not have to have a child in daycare to apply for the OCCS, but must have the appropriate income level or qualifying child care expenses.

The OCCS has been consolidated into the OCB effective July 2008. Currently, families whose OCCS entitlement exceeds their OCB payment will continue to receive a supplementary OCCS payment until their dependent child turns seven or the family is no longer entitled to the benefit.

Families with a child born on or after July 1, 2011 will not receive OCCS benefits. Supplementary OCCS benefits will be phased out completely by 2018.