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Canada Child Benefit: One Year In

Social Change

On July 20, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) celebrated its first anniversary.

Today, almost 9 out of 10 families are accessing the CCB, a benefit which provided a significant increase in support for families with young children across Canada, particularly low-income, single mothers. Eligibility is based on a sliding scale with low-income earners receiving the most financial support. At the time it was launched, the new system was estimated to lift 315,000 families out of poverty.

A year later, families now receive a single, tax-free payment every month, with a maximum benefit of $6,400 per child under age 6 (that’s $575/month); and $5,400/year for children age 6-17 (that’s $450/month) — meaning a low-income woman with two children will receive up to $10,800-12,800 each year.

Taxpayers’ ombudsman Sherra Profit launched an inquest this year into the efforts made by Canada Revenue Agency to reach out to shelters regarding benefits like the CCB. Ensuring that our most vulnerable families in BC are accessing the CCB has the potential to advance economic independence for families living in poverty – including single mothers accessing YWCA programs. YWCA staff help women navigate these tax benefits.

The YWCA welcomed the changes to the Canada child care benefit that the CCB ushered in:  changes that help support single mothers and their children, particularly those on social assistance and more broadly, families raising young children. We see these benefits as part of a larger social policy shift that prioritizes families with young children. Paramount to this work includes the development of a Universal Child Care system in British Columbia. If you’d like to know more about Universal Child Care, please visit childcarenow.ca.

If you work with vulnerable women and would like to know more about the CCB please contact Monroe House at 604 734 5722

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