As most parents know, younger children and youth aren’t well known for their diligence when it comes to oral health. A trip to the dentist can be very expensive, particularly if you don’t have dental coverage. Luckily, there’s some relief for eligible families, but the deadline is approaching fast.

The interim Canada Dental Benefit (CDB) aims to ease dental expenses for qualifying families with an annual income of less than $90,000. Parents or guardians who pay for dental care for children under 12 without access to private or employee dental insurance benefits could be eligible. Unfortunately, this benefit does not apply if the child’s dental costs are fully covered by another government program. Ensure your child’s eligibility for other programs before applying.

Based on your adjusted family net income, you can receive a tax-free payment of $260, $390, or $650 per eligible child. Each child can receive a maximum of two payments. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will calculate your adjusted family net income based on your family net income, subtracting all Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) income received and adding any UCCB and RDSP amounts that have been repaid.

Benefit payments for the interim CDB are administered by the CRA.

The interim CDB has two benefit periods, each with specific eligibility criteria corresponding to the timeframe in which your child receives dental care. The first period covers from October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and has unfortunately closed as of June 30, 2023. The second period covers from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. The deadline to apply for this period is June 30, 2024.

According to the Government of Canada website (canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/dental-benefit/who-apply.html), families may be eligible for the second benefit period if they meet all of the following criteria:

· Your child was born on or after July 2, 2011 (under 12 years old as of July 1, 2023)

· Your child receives dental care services in Canada between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024 (it’s best if you book a dental appointment for your child before applying, as details about your child’s dental provider and expected appointment date must be provided for the application)

· Your child does not have access to a private dental insurance plan

· Your child’s dental costs are not fully covered by another dental program provided by any level of government

· You are the only parent or caregiver receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for your child as of July 1, 2023, or you have shared custody of your child and receive half of the CCB for your child as of July 1, 2023

· You and your spouse filed your 2022 taxes, or you do not have a spouse or common-law partner as of July 1, 2023

· Your adjusted family net income is less than $90,000 in 2022 

· No one has applied for the additional payment for your child’s dental costs for the first benefit period

Each child in a family must meet these requirements to be eligible for this benefit. 

Families may be eligible for an additional payment if they only applied for one of the benefit periods and their child’s dental costs were more than $650. They would only meet the criteria for an additional payment if they have not applied for both benefit periods for that child. For eligible families, their additional payment will be the same amount as their original dental benefit payment. 

Applications are now open for additional payments for both benefit periods, but the deadline is June 30, 2024. 

According to the Government of Canada website (canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/dental-benefit/who-apply/additional-payment.html), here are the eligibility guidelines to receive an additional payment for the first or second benefit period:

First Benefit Period (Oct 1, 2022 – Jun 30, 2023) Additional Payment

· You were eligible for and received a payment for the first benefit period 

· No one has applied for this benefit for your child in the second benefit period (July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024)

· You paid more than $650 for your child’s dental care for services received between October 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023 

Second Benefit Period (Jul 1, 2023 – Jun 30, 2024) Additional Payment

· You are eligible and applied for the second benefit period 

· No one has applied for this benefit for your child in the first benefit period (October 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023)

· You have paid or expect to pay more than $650 for your child’s dental care for services they receive during this period

· If you apply after your child receives dental care, your child must not have had access to a private dental insurance plan when they went to their appointment, or if you apply before your child receives dental care, your child must not have access to a private dental insurance plan when you apply

· You filed your 2021 taxes

· Your spouse or common-law partner filed their 2021 taxes, or you did not have a spouse or common-law partner as of December 1, 2022

· Your adjusted family net income was less than $90,000 in 2021

A family must apply for a child’s first payment for the second benefit period before applying for an additional payment.

Be mindful when filling out the application, as the CRA routinely verifies the eligibility of individuals who have received payments. If your application is chosen for review, you may be asked to provide additional information to confirm your eligibility. If you are found to be ineligible or unable to provide the necessary information, you will be required to repay any payments you have received. Additionally, if it is discovered that you misrepresented or concealed important information in your claim, you will be disqualified from receiving further benefits and will be subject to penalties. Knowingly providing false or misleading information may also result in penalties. 

To apply for the interim CDB online, visit CRA’s “My Account” portal (canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/digital-services-individuals/account-individuals.html). You can also apply by calling 1-800-715-8836.

By Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 06, 2024 at 11:19

This item reprinted with permission from   Grizzly Gazette   Swan Hills, Alberta

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