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December 2021 – 15 min read

The Child Disability Benefit (CDB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to families who have a child with a mental or physical disability.

Administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the CDB is designed to provide financial help to parents who have a child under 18. It is paid as a supplement to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)Opens in a new window, and for each eligible child, families could receive up to $2,915 ($242.91 per month) in 2021-2022.

To claim the CDB, you must meet the following criteria:

To receive the DTC, a medical practitioner must have confirmed that your child has prolonged mental and/or physical functions, and certified this by completing the Form T2201, known as the Disability Tax Credit CertificateOpens a new website in a new window. This certificate then needs to be sent to the CRA for approval, which you can do any time.
 

CDB payments are made at the same time as CCB payments. CDB payments are recalculated each July, based on:

  • The number of eligible children
  • Your marital status
  • Your adjusted family net income (AFNI)

For the period of July 2021 to June 2022, you could receive up to $2,915 ($242.91 per month) for each eligible child, however the amount you could actually receive will therefore depend on your individual circumstances. For example, the benefits start being reduced when your AFNI is over $69,395.

You can use the government child and family benefits calculatorOpens a new website in a new window to get an idea of what your payments might actually be.

If you already receive the CCB and your child is eligible for the DTC, you don’t need to apply for the CDB as you’ll start receiving it automatically. To ensure you keep receiving it, your child must remain eligible for both credits, and you must make sure your taxes are filed on time each year, even if your income is tax exempt. This is because the CRA uses your income tax to calculate your payments, so you must make sure to file every year to avoid any interruption to receiving them.

Receiving the CBD retroactively

It may be the case that you could qualify to receive the CDB retroactively. When you’re approved for your child’s Disability Tax Credit and the CBD, the CRA will assess your tax returns for the previous 10 years. If you could have been eligible before but did not receive the credit, you could receive a retroactive lump sum.

If you think you could be eligible, start by making an appointment with your doctor for an assessment. 

If you have questions about the CBD or how other government benefitsOpens in a new window might play a part in your wider financial plan, speak to an advisorOpens in a new window.

This material is for information purposes only and shouldn’t be construed as providing legal or tax advice. Every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, but errors and omissions are possible. All comments related to taxation are general in nature and are based on current Canadian tax legislation and interpretations for Canadian residents, which are subject to change. For individual circumstances, consult with your tax, legal or accounting professionals. This information is provided by The Canada Life Assurance Company and is current as of date of publication.

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