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With tax season coming up, it’s time to think about the credits or deductions that you may be able to claim. 

Among the dozens of tax credits you may be able to take advantage of is the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB). If you’re feeling the financial pinch of the soaring cost of living or have a qualifying disability that makes it difficult to earn a decent living, you may qualify. 

Read on to find out more about the CWB, including eligibility criteria, and how much you can get.

Key Points

  • The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) replaced the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) in 2019.
  • Single individuals can receive $1,428, and families can get $2,461 from the CWB.
  • Those with disabilities can claim $737.
  • You must earn no more than $33,015 as a single person to qualify, or $43,212 for families.

What Is The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)?

The Canada Workers Benefit was introduced by the federal government in 2019 as a replacement for the Working Income Tax Benefit, which used to provide over $1 billion in tax benefits to millions of Canadians every year. 

Today, the CWB is a refundable tax credit for individuals earning a take-home income that is less than the level set for your provincial or territorial government. 

There are two components to the CWB: a basic amount and a disability supplement. 

The CWB can be used to cover your debts, rent, and other day-to-day expenses. If the benefit is not enough to cover all your financial obligations, consider getting a personal loan to consolidate your debts. That way, you can spread your payments over a longer period, making your monthly expenses more affordable.

Just be sure to check your credit score before applying for a loan to understand what kind of interest rates you can qualify for.

Who’s Eligible For The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)?

There are two components to the CWB: the basic amount and the disability supplement. Each has its own eligibility requirements. 

The following criteria are required to qualify for the basic amount:

  • Be a resident of Canada. 
  • Be at least 19 years old on December 31, or live with your spouse, common-law partner, or your dependent child.
  • Earn a net income that is below the net income level in the province or territory that you live in.
Who is an eligible spouse/common-law partner?– They live with you throughout the current tax year.
– They meet all the other CWB eligibility requirements.
Who is an eligible child? – Your child is under the age of 19.
– The child is of your spouse or common-law partner.
– Your child is not eligible for the CWB

Factors That May Make You Ineligible For The CWB

You are not eligible for the Canada Workers Benefit if you:

  • Have been incarcerated for 90 or more days during the current tax year
  • Are a foreign officer or servant and don’t have to pay Canadian taxes
  • Are an employee or family member of a foreign officer/servant 
  • Are a full-time student for more than 13 weeks of the year and do not have a child that lives with you

Eligibility Requirements For The CWB Disability Supplement 

Before you apply for the Canada Workers Benefit, don’t forget that you may be eligible for an additional disability supplement of up to $737 per year, if you:

  • Already receive the Disability Tax Credit
  • Earn a net income under the net income level set in your province or territory of residence
  • Have filled out a Disability Tax Credit Certificate (Form T2201)

Need help filling out your form? Try using a disability tax credit consultant.

What’s The Maximum Canada Workers Benefit Payment?

There are two parts to the Canada Workers Benefit: the basic amount and the disability supplement. 

Max Basic Amount– $1,428 for single individuals
– $2,461 for families
Max Disability Supplement– $737 for single individuals
– $737 for families

Basic Amount

The size of your CWB payment amount depends on your household income, marital status, household composition and home province/territory. The maximum basic amounts are as follows:

  • $1,428 for single individuals:
  • $2,461 for families

If your income exceeds the individual or family threshold, the amount decreases until you earn a higher income and no longer qualify. 

Note: Only one person per family can receive the benefit and these maximum CWB mounts may be slightly different if your home province/territory is Quebec, Alberta or Nunavut.

Disability Supplement

Whether you’re a single individual or part of a family, you can get up to $737 through the CWB disability supplement. The amount you get will depend on your adjusted net income. As a single individual, you must have an income of $37,932 or less to receive the supplement. For families, this threshold increases to $48,124, or $53,037, if your spouse also has a disability. 

Note: These disability supplement amounts may be slightly different if your home province/territory is Quebec or Nunavut.

Who Gets The CWB Payments In A Family?

  • If both spouses don’t qualify for the disability supplement – the basic amount will go to one spouse (the one with the higher income). If your income is the same, payment goes to the first filer.
  • Only you qualify for the disability supplement – If you only qualify for the disability supplement, then you’ll get both the basic amount and disability supplement payment. 
  • If you and your spouse qualify for the disability supplement – Then one person will receive the basic amount and each of you will receive a disability supplement. 

Learn which tax bracket you fall under

Calculating Your CWB Tax Credit Amount

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) typically calculates your CWB Tax Credit based on your:

  • Province or territory of residence
  • Yearly earned working income
  • Family’s adjusted net income
  • Marital status
  • Eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit 
  • Spouse’s or common-law partner’s eligibility  
  • Dependents’ eligibility 

Other Things To Know About The CWB

  • If your spouse or partner is not eligible and you don’t have children living at home, the CRA will calculate your CWB amount as if you were single. 
  • While both spouses/partners may be eligible, only one of you will receive the CWB. You can choose the person who will receive the benefit or the CRA will do it on your behalf. 

How Do You Apply For The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) Tax Credit?

Applying for and claiming your CWB is relatively simple and can be done in one of two ways when filing your income taxes: 

  • Paper Application: If you are filing a paper income tax return, fill out and submit “Schedule 6, Canada Workers Benefit”.
  • Tax Software: If you are filing your tax return electronically, file Schedule 6 through your tax software.  

Claiming the additional CWB Disability Supplement:

  • If your spouse or common-law partner qualifies for the disability tax credit, they must claim their regular CWB and their disability supplement.
  • If both spouses/partners are eligible, only one person can claim the regular CWB, but each of you will have to claim the disability supplement by filling out a separate Schedule 6 form. 

Do you have a disability and live in Ontario? Then you should consider applying for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Payment Dates For Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)

The CWB is a tax credit, which means you would need to wait until you file your income tax return to receive any money. But to put more money in the pockets of Canadians, the Advanced Canada Workers Benefit (ACWB) was created. With this, you will receive up to 50% of your benefit amount in 3 equal payments throughout the year:

  • January 12, 2024
  • July 12, 2024
  • October 11, 2024

Once you file your income tax return for the year, you will receive any money that is still owed to you. 

Check out the payment dates for the AISH program

Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) vs. Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB)

In 2019, the Canadian government replaced the WITB with the CWB and introduced the following key changes to the tax credit program:

  • Larger Benefit – Through the WITB, a single taxpayer could only receive up to $1,059, while families could get up to $1,922. Now, singles can get up to $1,428, from the CWB and families can receive up to $2,461. 
  • Higher Allowable Income – In the past, single taxpayers weren’t eligible for the WITB if their income surpassed $19,076 annually. And families could only qualify for the WITB with a maximum income of $28,975. The CWB allows for much higher incomes for both singles ($33,015) and families ($43,212).
  • Better Clawback Rate – The WITB used to be reduced by 15% for every dollar that you made above the specified income threshold, whereas the CWB has a clawback rate of 12%. 
  • Simpler Access to the Benefit – Before 2019, single taxpayers and families had to deal with more paperwork when filing for the WITB. Thankfully, the CRA now automatically assesses eligibility and calculates the CWB for anyone who files their income taxes, even if they don’t claim it. 

Income Requirement to Receive The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)

Before you apply for the CWB, don’t forget to check the specified income limits:

  • For individuals in most provinces – Your CWB starts decreasing when your adjusted net income surpasses $23,495. You will not be eligible for any basic amount with an income over $33,015.
  • For families in most provinces – Your CWB starts decreasing when your adjusted family net income surpasses $26,805. You will not be eligible for any basic amount with an income over $43,212.

Once again, these maximum income thresholds vary depending on your home province or territory (Alberta, Nunavut and Quebec are slightly different).

Looking for more tax credits? Check out these going green tax credits and the GST/HST tax credit.

Are You Eligible For The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)?

You could be missing out on some much-needed extra income by not claiming your benefit by the time tax season arrives. Contact the CRA or visit their website to find out exactly what you need to apply for the Canada Workers Benefit and make the most out of your income tax return.   

CWB FAQs

What is the minimum amount I have to earn to claim the CWB?

You must earn at least $3,000 yearly to qualify for the CWB.

Can both eligible spouses claim the CWB?

No, only one spouse or common-law partner can claim the basic CWB amount. However, if both spouses qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, one of them can claim the basic CWB amount, and both can claim the disability amount.

How do I apply for the CWB?

You can claim the CWB when you file your income taxes, online or through the traditional paper and mail-in route.
Bryan Daly avatar on Loans Canada
Bryan Daly

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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