Canada Child Benefit gets a boost

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is about to get a little bigger two years ahead of schedule to keep pace with the cost of living.

The maximum annual amount families can receive for children under the age of six increases to $6,496, up from $6,400. Families with children aged six to 17 are now eligible to receive a maximum of $5,481 per child, up from $5,400.

A single working parent who has one child aged under six years and another aged between six and 17 years and earns $30,000 a year will receive almost $12,000 in benefits for the 2018-19 benefit year. That’s about $3,000 more than they would have received under the previous system of child benefits.

The income threshold for eligibility is also due to be adjusted. Currently, families with children and a household income that’s less than $30,450 per year receive the most money, while some higher-earning households aren’t eligible for the benefit at all.

First launched in July 2016, CCB replaced the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the Universal Child Care Benefit and income splitting. It’s touted as “simpler, tax free and more generous” than previous child benefit programs. The CCB has distributed more than $23.3 billion to about 3.7 million Canadian families and has helped lift more than 300,000 children out of poverty, according to the federal government.

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