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As of January 1, 2015, the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) is now available to families with children aged 6 to 17, and includes increased payments for children under the age of 6.  Benefits now equal $160 per month for children less than 6 years of age, and up to $60 per month for children aged 6 to 17.  These benefits are also retroactive to January 1, 2015.  Therefore, if you have not yet submitted your application, you may still receive the full benefit as of this date, for all children in your care who fall between the specified age groups.

The increased benefits allows more than twice as many families to benefit from an additional bit of income – an increase from 1.6 million families to 4 million, helping to pay for such things as child care services, school supplies, extracurricular activities and more.  If you have not already done so, you should apply for the benefit as soon as your child is born, a child starts to live with you, or you become a resident of Canada.

Who qualifies?

To qualify for the UCCB, you must meet the following conditions:

  • The child must be under the age of 18.
  • You must live with the child.
  •  You must be primarily responsible for the child’s care.
  •  You must be a resident of Canada
  •  You or your spouse must be one of the following:
    • Canadian citizen
    • Permanent resident
    • Protected person
    • Temporary resident who lived in Canada who has lived in Canada for 18 months, and has a valid permit in the 19th month

Do you have to apply for the enhanced benefit?

If you are already receiving Universal Child Care Benefits, have applied for them or for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, or are the parent of a newborn and have applied in 2015, you do not have to submit an application, and should receive your benefits automatically.  Otherwise, you should apply as soon as possible.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Universal Child Care Benefits are taxable, and must be reported on the personal tax return of the person receiving the benefit.
  • Benefits are paid monthly (generally issued on the 20th of each month)
  • Families receiving the enhanced UCCB payments may also benefit from the Family Tax Cut and Child Tax Benefit.

For more information, or to apply for UCCB, please visit CRA’s website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/uccb-puge/menu-eng.html.


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Philip Hogan

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The information contained in this article is for general use only and should not be viewed as professional advice. Accounting and tax rules and regulations regularly change and individuals should contact a competent professional to obtain accounting and tax advice based on their specific situation.


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