Millions of eligible Canadians started receiving automatic payments Friday from the federal government through its enhanced Canada Workers Benefit (CWB).
Low- and modest-income Canadian workers who received the CWB in 2022 will automatically receive their advance payments from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday.
The CWB is a refundable tax credit that tops up the earnings of eligible Canadians and is indexed to inflation each year to help keep up with the cost of living, according to the government.
“The Canada Workers Benefit tops up the income of up to 4.2 million hardworking Canadians—because no one working full-time should be struggling to put food on the table or to pay their rent,” Freeland said in the release.
Who is eligible?
Income and other circumstances are factored in when considering Canadians’ eligibility for the CWB.
Canadians are eligible for the basic amount of the CWB if they meet all the following conditions: their working income is below the net income level set for their province or territory of residence; they have been a Canadian resident throughout the year; they are 19 years or older on Dec. 31, or they live with their spouse or common-law partner or their child.
For CWB purposes, an eligible spouse is someone who lives with the person receiving benefits as their spouse or common-law partner on Dec. 31, and is a resident of Canada throughout the year.
An eligible dependent is either a Canadian’s child, or their spouse’s or common-law partner’s child; is under 19 years and lives with them on Dec. 31 and is not eligible for the CWB.
The CWB also contains a disability supplement, and Canadians are eligible for the tax credit if their net income is below accepted levels, and if they have an approved disability tax credit with the CRA.
Canadians are not eligible for the CWB if they’re enrolled as a full-time student at a designated educational institution for more than 13 weeks in the year unless, on Dec. 31, they have an eligible dependent; are confined to a prison or similar institution for at least 90 days during the year or do not pay tax in Canada because they work for another country, such as a diplomat, or they are a family member or employee of that person.
How can you claim the CWB?
Canadians can claim the CWB by either doing their taxes electronically and following the instructions in their certified tax software, or filling out and submitting a Schedule 6 when filing a paper return.
To claim the disability supplement, Canadians can indicate when filing their return, the government said.
Furthermore, Canadians don’t need to apply to receive advanced payments as the CRA will automatically include them if they’re eligible. But the government said the CRA must receive Canadians’ income tax and benefit return before Nov. 1 of the benefit period.
How much could you get?
According to the government, the maximum basic amount for the CWB is $1,518 for single Canadians and $2,616 for families.
The amount for single Canadians is less if their adjusted net income is more than $23,495. If their adjusted net income is more than $33,015, no CWB payments are made.
For families, the amount is reduced if the adjusted family net income is more than $26,805. No payments are made if the adjusted family net income is more than $43,212.
The maximum basic CWB amount will vary for residents of Quebec, Nunavut and Alberta.
As for the disability supplement, the maximum amount is $737 for single individuals and families.
For singles, the CWB is less if their adjusted net income is more than $33,018. They will not qualify if their net income is more than $37,932.
CWB disability payments for families are reduced if their net income exceeds $43,210, and are not eligible even if one spouse meets the criteria, but the family income is more than $48,124 or if both spouses are eligible but their incomes are greater than $53,037.
The maximum amount for the disability supplement will vary for residents of Quebec and Nunavut.
CWB payments will be split between July, October and January, with a final payment coming after Canadians file their 2023 tax return.
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