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Having and raising kids is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also very expensive. In fact, the average Canadian family spends anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 per year to raise a child until they hit the age of 18. That’s a hefty amount that not all Canadian parents may be able to comfortably afford.

Luckily, the provincial and federal governments have programs in place that are meant to help ease the financial burden that often comes with raising children. In Ontario, parents may be eligible for the Ontario Child Benefit to help out.

What Does The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) Cover?

The Ontario Child Benefit is a plan backed by the provincial government designed to help low-to moderate-income families with the financial responsibilities of raising children under the age of 18. Parents can receive this benefit whether or not they are employed. Payments are tax-free and are issued on a monthly basis to families who qualify. 

How Much Can You Get Through The Ontario Child Benefit?

Eligible families can receive up to $1,509 per child per year, which works out to up to $125.75 per child every month. If your adjusted family net income is above the threshold, you may receive a partial benefit.

Payment amounts are based on the following:

  • How many children you have
  • How old your children are
  • Your marital status
  • Your adjusted family net income from your previous year’s tax return

How Can You Maximize Your OCB Benefit?

The amount that you receive through the Ontario Child Benefit is based on how much you earn. As such, you may be able to increase your benefit by reducing your taxable income, which you can do by maximizing your tax return with tax deductions and credits.

For instance, things such as childcare expenses, education fees, adoption expenses, medical costs, student loan interest, and donations can be used as tax deductions and tax credits. Speak with a tax specialist to help you reduce your taxable income and thereby maximize your OCB benefit.

Ontario Child Benefit Payment Dates 2023

Payment dates for the Ontario Child Benefit in the year 2023 are as follows:

  • January 20, 2023
  • February 20, 2023
  • March 20, 2023
  • April 20, 2023
  • May 19, 2023
  • June 20, 2023
  • July 20, 2023
  • August 18, 2023
  • September 20, 2023
  • October 20, 2023
  • November 20, 2023
  • December 13, 2023

Parents can receive the Ontario Child Benefit along with their Canada Child Benefit (CCB), a federal government-backed plan that also helps families with the cost of raising children. Eligible families can receive up to $6,833 per year per child under the age of 6 years, and up to $5,765 per year per child between the ages of 6 and 17. 

Once approved, you’ll receive your benefits as monthly payments deposited directly into your bank account around the 20th of each month. The first payment will arrive within 8 weeks of completing and submitting an online application, or up to 11 weeks after applying by mail. 

Who’s Eligible For The Ontario Child Benefit?

In order to be eligible for the Ontario Child Benefit, you need to qualify for the federal Canada Child Benefit and meet the following requirements:

  • You reside with a child who is under the age of 18 
  • You are the primary caregiver of the child
  • You’re a resident of Ontario 
  • You and your spouse or partner have lived in Canada for the past 18 months and are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, Indigenous, protected persons, or temporary residents
  • You filed your tax return
  • You registered your child(ren) for the Canada Child Benefit 
  • You have a net income under the OCB income levels

How Do You Apply For The Ontario Child Benefit?

You can apply for the Ontario Child Benefit as soon as your child is born, starts to live with you after a period of time spent living with someone else, or when you get custody of your child. 

Apply for the benefit in one of the following ways:

Through Birth Registration

You can apply for the OCB and CCB when you register the birth of your baby by paper at the place of birth. If you live in Ontario, Quebec, or British Columbia, you may also register online.

You’ll need to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN) to ensure that the birth registration information is shared securely with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and to provide your consent.

Online Through My CRA Account 

You can also apply online using the My Account (your personal CRA account) on the CRA website if you did not register when your baby was born. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to register for one before applying for the benefit. 

The CRA will automatically review your qualifications for this benefit once your income tax return has been assessed and you’ve registered for the Canada Child Benefit.

Ontario Child Benefit FAQs

Is the OCB taxable?

No, the OCB is a tax-free amount paid to eligible families to provide for their children. 

How will I receive the OCB payment?

You can either receive your OCB payments through the mail or via direct deposit into your bank account. Keep an eye out for a deposit named “Federal-Provincial-Territorial” or “FPT”. The OCB is part of the FPT tax system.

Can I get a loan while receiving OCB payments?

Yes, you may still qualify for a loan while receiving OCB payments. Since these payments are considered income, the amount you receive can boost your chances of getting approved for loan approval. 

Final Thoughts

The cost of raising children can be astronomical, and while many Canadian families may be able to comfortably afford the expenses that come with parenthood, others may find it very difficult. In the case of the latter, there are programs available that can help out financially, and the Ontario Child Benefit is one of them. Find out if you qualify to receive some much-needed funds to care for your child.

Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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