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Canada’s new dental benefit is now accepting applications. Here’s what you need to know

Canada’s federal dental-care benefit for children is now accepting applications. Eligible families can apply for financial aid for each child. It is expected to benefit 500,000 children and cost $938 million, according to the Finance Department.

Here’s what you need to know.

Who is eligible?

The benefit helps pay for dental expenses of children under 12 whose families earn less than $90,000 a year and who do not have access to private insurance. The benefit will help cover out-of-pocket dental care expenses not fully covered by other government programs.

A family must be receiving the Canada Child Benefit to apply for the Canada Dental Benefit. The person applying for the dental benefit must have filed a 2021 tax return.

How much can you get and when?

Families can apply for a tax-free payment of $260, $390 or $650 for each eligible child. The amount paid is based on take-home income and families can receive one payment per child during each time period the program is in effect (see below). Here’s how much you can get: $650 for each eligible child if the family’s adjusted income is under $70,000; $390 for income between $70,000 and $79,999; and $260 for adjusted income between $80,000 and $89,999. Rates may vary for families which have a shared custody arrangement.

Payments are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Average payment processing time is expected to be five to 10 days.

If a family submits an incorrect application or its circumstances change, it may be disqualified from the program. Any payments not used for a child’s dental care must be returned. If a child has received dental treatment and the costs are lower than the government’s payment, the family can keep the difference.

When can I get the money?

The benefit is available for two time periods. The first period has begun and will cover dental expenses from October 2022 until the end of June 2023. The second period will begin in July 2023 and end in June 2024. Families are encouraged to apply for the benefit ahead of a child’s dental appointment.

What if my child’s dental costs are more than $650?

The program may provide an additional payment for some children who have dental costs of more than $650 in one of the benefit periods. Applications will be available starting July 1, 2023.

How to apply?

Online applications are now open on the CRA website. The portal can be accessed through CRA’s “My Account” or Service Canada account. Parents or guardians are required to fill out an eligibility form to specify when and how many of their children need dental care, and if they are covered by any other dental insurance. Families can apply for all of their children at the same time or separately. The CRA is also setting up a dedicated phone line for applicants. CRA will also be checking to confirm people are eligible for payments.


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