If you are from abroad as I was in Canada, you may hear about the myth that Canada pays you for having children. This is half true because Canada does not pay for having children (it is a benefit), and it does not pay to everyone; only Canadians, permanent residents and temporal foreign workers with 18 or more months living in the country can have this benefit, and of course, being a taxpayer.
I write here about how I did to apply for this benefit.
Applying for the Child Benefit
I needed to fill the form RC66, there is not much to say about filling out the form. It asked for information about:
- when I landed
- when I became a permanent resident or citizen and
- about my family with a focus on the child or children.
I needed to back up every claim.
For the proof of residence, it was easy; sending service bills such as electricity, gas, water or lease contracts worked. The tricky part is the documentation to back up that the claiming kids are under my custody (my wife's to be exact). For this, what I did is I got reference letters from authority figures such as the family doctor, dentist, school, the landlord. In my case, I sent letters from the school board, the landlord and a migration consultant I have hired before for some processes. The letter format is simple, it just states that he/she has known you since X year and he/she can confirm that your kids are under your care. If you send any other documentation, the CRA will not accept it, they must be reference letters; I learned that the hard way.
The process was slow, it took me about three months. The communication was very slow, by mail. I think you may speed up the process if you apply through my CRA portal. But it is quite straightforward, you should have no issues if you send the correct documentation.
Let the wife be the main application, It is easier. The CRA will not ask too many questions and it will not require extra documentation to back up that a male is the main responsible for the kids.
How do I get Child Benefit Money?
Well, not myself, it was in my wife's bank account. Each year, the government posts the dates of payments at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/benefit-payment-dates.html
How Much Money Will I Get for Child Benefit?
I can't answer that question. There is a calculator at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/child-family-benefits-calculator.html which will help you to have an idea. The amount is updated yearly and it is mainly based on the number of children, their ages and your income in the tax return.