What are you going to do with the possible $467 you get from the federal budget grocery rebate to feed your family of 4? How far will it go? When will you get it?
Canadians are really feeling the pinch when they head to the grocery store, as food costs continue to skyrocket. Will the federal budget help at all?
The Cost of Milk and Eggs
At the time of writing, a 2 litre carton of 1% milk ($5.18) and a dozen house-brand large eggs ($3.68) cost $8.86 before tax at a Hamilton Wal-Mart Supercentre. If you only buy that once a week, your $467 can cover grocery costs for 52 weeks or 1 year – until you add tax. When you add 8% tax, it drops to 48 weeks.
The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that the cost of food had increased 10.6% year-over-year by February 2023. The grocery inflation rate has been in the double digits since August 2022. The federal government is taking notice and has tabled a new grocery rebate as part of their federal budget for 2023.
What Is The Federal Budget Grocery Rebate?
The 2023 federal budget tabled by the Canadian government announced a new grocery rebate. The rebate is aimed at providing $2.5 billion in targeted relief for Canadians who are finding it nearly impossible to comfortably cover grocery bills every month due to soaring food prices.
What Is The Payment Date For the Federal Grocery Rebate?
The payment date for the federal budget’s federal grocery rebate coincides with the GST/HST payment dates. That means that the one time grocery rebate m payment date is July 5, 2023.
How Much Will You Receive From The Grocery Rebate?
The rebate involves providing a one-time payment to eligible Canadians and families in the low-income bracket, as follows:
- Couples with 2 children may qualify for up to $467
- Single Canadians with no children may qualify for up to $234
- Seniors may qualify for $225
How Will The Grocery Rebate Help Canadians?
There are currently over 11 million Canadians who fall under the low- to modest-income bracket that are finding it extremely difficult to cover their grocery bills. The new federal budget’s grocery rebate was designed specifically to make groceries more affordable for these Canadians.
The rebate will be distributed through the GST/HST tax credit from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Food banks have been busier than ever over the recent past as inflation has wreaked havoc on Canadians’ budgets. Some Canadians may have even contemplated taking out a personal loan or payday loan to keep up with their grocery expenses, as well as other bill payments.
But adding a loan to the books will only exacerbate Canadians’ debt, especially when it comes to payday loans that typically come with extremely high-interest rates. The hope is that these Canadians will find the little bit of extra cash from the rebate beneficial without having to resort to taking out a loan.
However, because the price of groceries continues to increase at a rapid pace, perhaps a one-time payment may not be enough. According to Canada’s Food Price Report, the cost of groceries is expected to increase up to 7% in 2023. And by 2024, the average annual grocery bill is estimated to hit $16,288.
The government may eventually want to revisit this rebate the following year when food prices are even more expensive than they are today.
When Will You Receive The Federal Grocery Rebate Money?
Unfortunately, the grocery rebate is an idea right now. Parliament has to approve the 2023 federal budget. After its approval, without any major changes to the grocery rebate plan, the money will arrive.
The money won’t be a separate cheque. As mentioned previously, the grocery rebate gets rolled into the GST/HST credit payment.
Like the Canada Federal Deposit Payments rolls the CCB, CWB and GST/HST payment together. The expected payment date July 5, 2023.
Even after the money comes in, there are other federal programs in place that help with today’s high cost of living.
Other Federal Budget Programs That Help With High Cost Of Living
Inflated costs are not just reserved for groceries. The federal budget’s 2023 grocery rebate is one of a handful of ways the federal government is taking steps to alleviate the effects of the high cost of living. The following are additional federal programs available to eligible Canadians:
Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
This tax-free benefit is available to eligible families with children under the age of 18. Qualifying Canadians with an adjusted family net income (AFNI) less than $32,797 can receive up to $583.08 per month for children under 6, and $491.91 per month for children between the ages of 6 and 17.
GST/HST Tax Credit
Low- and modest-income families may be eligible for the GST/HST tax credit, which is issued by the CRA as tax-free, quarterly payments. The purpose of the credit is to offset the amount of GST or HST paid throughout the year. Maximum GST/HST tax credit amounts are $456 for single adults. Each child in a household under the age of 19 will receive up to $161. And $612 for married or common-law couples.
Compassionate Care Benefits
This type of benefit is paid to Canadians who must take time off work to care for a family member who is ill and is at risk of dying within 6 months. You can receive up to 55% of your income with a maximum of $638 a week for up to 6 weeks.
Disability Tax Credit
This federal non-refundable tax credit is available to Canadians with disabilities or their caregivers. If eligible, you can use the tax credit to reduce your income taxes. The disability tax credit for eligible Canadians at least 18 years of age and older is $8,870. And for those 17 and under, the credit is $14,044.
Beware of Grocery Rebate Scams
Like other government programs, scammers are using the federal grocery rebate to defraud Canadians. Texts and emails claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The texts and emails either send a link for users to click to get their money or they offer a form to fill out. These are scams.
As stated earlier, the rebate comes as part of your GST/HST payment. It is linked to your tax filing. The CRA does not send out texts or emails with links or forms to fill out.
Millions of Canadians will appreciate the extra funds that they’ll receive through the new grocery rebate. Particularly, given the continued increase in the cost of food. The goal of the rebate is to help offset the higher prices when shopping for food, without worsening inflation.
If you file your taxes on time and apply for the GST/HST credit, your money will arrive automatically. Of course, if you don’t see a bump in your benefit for the Grocery Rebate, check in with the CRA.