What is the Ontario Child Benefit?

The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) is a tax-free monthly payment that helps low- to moderate-income families provide for their children, regardless of whether they’re working or not.

Depending on your income level, you may qualify for the OCB if you:

  • are an Ontario resident
  • are the primary caregiver of a child under 18 years of age
  • are eligible for the Canada Child Benefit
  • have filed your previous year’s income tax and benefits return (same goes for your spouse or common-law partner)

How do I apply for the Ontario Child Benefit?

There are two ways to apply for federal and provincial child benefits. If you just welcomed a newborn, you can apply by registering your child’s birth using Ontario’s newborn registration service. If you aren’t registering an infant, you can apply online through CRA’s My Account for Individuals or by completing this form. There’s no need to re-apply through the CRA if you applied through Ontario's newborn registration service – doing so may cause a delay in processing your application. You only need to apply once for each child under the age of 18 in your care.

How much can I receive from the Ontario Child Benefit?

You can collect up to $1,461 for each child under 18 years of age for the July 2020 to June 2021 benefit year. That works out to a monthly payment of up to $121.75 per child. You may receive a partial benefit if your adjusted family net income is over $22,303.

What is the Canada Child Benefit and how does it work with the Ontario Child Benefit?

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is funded by the Government of Canada and assists eligible families with the cost of raising children under 18. The maximum you can get is $6,765 per year for each child under six years of age and $5,708 per year for children aged six to 17. 

Payment amounts are determined based on:

  • the number of children you have
  • the age of your children
  • your martial status
  • your adjusted family net income from last year’s tax return

You need to be eligible for this federal benefit in order to qualify for the Ontario Child Benefit.

To get the Canada Child Benefit, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • you live with a child who is under 18 years old
  • you are primarily responsible for raising the child
  • you’re a resident of Canada
  • you and your spouse or common-law partner are Canadian citizens, Indigenous, permanent residents, protected persons, or temporary residents who have lived in Canada for the last 18 months

How is the Ontario Child Benefit paid out?

Once you’re approved for the CCB and OCB, you’ll receive both of these benefits as a single monthly payment. Payments are sent straight to your bank account around the 20th of every month (see 2020 payment dates here). Your first payment should arrive within eight weeks of submitting your application online. It can take up to 11 weeks if you apply by mail. 

Keep in mind your payments will stop if you don’t file your tax returns every year. Make sure to file before the deadline to prevent delayed payments.

How can I increase my Ontario Child Benefit?

The amount of your OCB payments is dependant on your income level, which means the easiest way to increase your benefit is to reduce your taxable income. This can be done by maximizing your tax return using tax deductions and tax credits.

For example, you can claim childcare expenses as a tax deduction and adoption expenses and education fees as tax credits. Other examples of eligible tax credits include medical expenses, interest paid on student loans, and donations (see the full list here). If you’re not sure how to take advantage of these tax benefits, it may be worth speaking with an accountant to ensure no credits or deductions are missed.

Can I get a cash advance loan while collecting the Ontario Child Benefit?

Yes, it’s possible to obtain a loan while receiving the OCB. OCB payments are considered income, which can increase the likelihood of loan approval. Read this article to learn more about online loan options from reputable lenders. You can also apply with Fresh Start Finance today or chat with one of our financial representatives at 1-888-556-6441.