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Though Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, poverty continues to be an enduring problem. A Statistics Canada report released in March 2019 noted that about 3.7 million people (or 10% of the population) in the country live below the poverty line, struggling to pay for basic living expenses, such as food, clothing, and shelter.
The percentage of low-income families in Canada has consistently remained in double-digits for the past twenty years. Children are the most affected, as they rely on their parents for care and support. Parents who experience financial hardship face constant challenges in providing their children with adequate nutrition, access to medical care, and suitable shelter.
The federal government of Canada maintains numerous financial assistance programs to help low-income families. Provincial governments also offer support, including Newfoundland and Labrador, where the percentage of low-income families during the past twenty years has ranged anywhere from 12% – 22%. One of these programs is the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit.
Find out if you qualify for the Federal Canada Child Benefit.
What Is The Newfoundland And Labrador Child Benefit?
The Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit (NLCB) is a provincial tax credit designed to provide financial aid to low-income families raising children. The tax credit was introduced in 1999 and assists nearly 10,000 families in the province. NCLB payments are bundled with the federal child benefit and sent to qualified recipients monthly. NCLB payments are not considered a form of income when determining individuals’ Income Support entitlements. Eligible recipients can collect NCLB and Income Support benefits concurrently, as payments from one don’t affect the other.
Find out if you qualify for the gst/hst tax credit.
Who Can Receive The NLCB?
If your family’s net income is $25,467 or lower and you reside in Newfoundland and Labrador with dependent children, you’re eligible for the (NCLB). Two brackets determine what level of benefits you’re entitled to:
- Net income less than $17,397 qualifies you for the maximum.
- Net income between $17,397 and $25,467 qualifies you for the reduced amount.
Your total NLCB benefit is determined based on your household income from the previous year.
Check out what tax bracket you fall into.
How Much NLCB Can You Receive?
Your NLCB entitlement is calculated using three factors:
- The number of children in your care
- The ages of your children
- Your household net income
Here is a breakdown of how much you can expect to receive monthly based on the number of children you have:
- $34.08 for the first child
- $36.16 for the second child
- $38.83 for the third child
- $41.66 for each additional child
If you have a child less than a year old or are pregnant, you can also receive the Mother-Baby Nutrition Supplement of $60 per month.
As mentioned previously, your family’s total net income is a factor that is used to determine the amount of your NCLB benefit. If your net income is less than $17,397, you’ll receive the maximum amount as listed above.
If your net income exceeds $17,397, an adjustment is made to reduce your benefit amount. The adjusted NCLB is calculated in the following way:
- Subtract the net income from $17,397.
- Multiply the difference by:
- 5.07% where there is one child
- 10.45% where there are two children
- 16.22% where there are three children
- The total of 16.22% and the amount obtained by multiplying the number of additional children above three by 6.19%
3. Subtract the product from the maximum entitlement amount.
As an example, let’s assume your family’s net income was $20,000 for the previous year, and you have one dependent child. Your total monthly benefit is calculated as follows:
- $20,000 – $17,397 = $2,603
- $2,603 x 5.07% = $131.98
- $131.98 / 12 months = $11.00 per month
- $34.08 – $11.00 = $23.08 (adjusted monthly NCLB payment)
Do you or your child have a disability? Then you should check out the disability tax credit.
NLCB 2021 Payment Schedule
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issues NCLB payments monthly together with the federal Child Care Benefit (CCB). The payment schedule runs from July to June and is updated annually to account for inflation.
Below is the payment schedule for the CCB for 2021:
- April 20, 2021
- May 20, 2021
- June 18, 2021
- July 20, 2021
- August 20, 2021
- September 20, 2021
- October 20, 2021
- November 19, 2021
- December 13, 2021
You can expect to receive your first payment within eight weeks if you applied online or within 11 weeks if you sent your application by mail.
Find out if you have any unclaimed cheque with the CRA.
How To Apply For The NLCB
To qualify for the NLCB, you and your spouse or common-law partner must file income tax returns every year. You must then complete an application to receive CCB payments, automatically enrolling you in the NCLB program. There’s no unique application process for the NCLB.
You may apply for the CCB as soon as you register your child’s birth, which is the fastest and most efficient method. Ensure you give your consent and supply your Social Insurance Number when completing your registration. The Vital Statistics Agency will share the registration directly with the CRA, with no need to apply for the CCB separately.
If you didn’t apply upon your child’s birth, you could apply online on the CRA’s website using your CRA My Account. When you log in, go to “Apply for child benefits” and fill in the required details to have your application processed. Depending on your situation, you may also be asked to provide additional documentation.
Alternatively, you can complete Form RC66 – Canada Child Benefits Application and send it by mail to your local tax center.
Living on a low income can be financially, emotionally, and psychologically stressful – and even more so if you’re raising a family. Children often bear the brunt of financial insecurity as they’re unable to work and provide for themselves. They can quickly become trapped in a cycle of poverty, which can adversely affect their health and diminish their quality of life, leaving them unable to reach their full potential.
For this reason, the NCLB is a government benefit program that you should use if you’re struggling financially. By applying for the CCB, you automatically qualify for the NCLB – there’s no further paperwork to fill out and submit. In addition, NCLB payments won’t affect your Income Support entitlements, making them a no-brainer as you work toward improving the quality of life for your family.
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