Canada has recently introduced a new dental benefit program for low-income families.
The program, known as the Canada Dental Benefit, aims to provide affordable dental care to families who may otherwise struggle to pay for necessary dental services. This program is part of the government’s efforts to improve access to dental care and promote overall health and well-being for all Canadians. In this article, we will provide an overview of the Canada Dental Benefit, including who is eligible and how to access the program.
Who is the program for?
The new interim Canada Dental Benefit will be available for children under 12 in families who have an adjusted net income of less than $90,000 and who do not have access to private dental insurance. It will allow eligible families to receive upfront, direct payments per child of up to $650 per year, for two years, for oral health services. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be processing the applications and payments for the benefit, and applications will start being accepted starting on December 1, 2022.
With this benefit, which will run until 2024, families can start addressing some of the basic dental care that their young children need while the Government continues to develop a long-term Canadian dental care program.
Canada Dental Benefit Infographic
Who is eligible to receive the interim Canada Dental Benefit?
To be eligible, families need to meet all of the following conditions for each child they apply for:
- Have a child under 12 years of age who does not have access to private dental care coverage (employer-based or purchased through the applicant or other family member);
- Have an adjusted family net income under $90,000 per year;
- Have filed last year’s income tax and benefit return (for the taxation year 2021, to be eligible in 2022—for more information on how to file a return, visit Canada.ca/doing-your-taxes);
- Be the parent (or legal guardian) who receives the Canada Child Benefit for that child; – Have incurred—or will incur—out-of-pocket costs for the dental care of the eligible child which have not been fully reimbursed under another federal, provincial or territorial government program; and
- Provide information on the recent or planned oral health care visit that the benefit would be used to pay for, along with information about the oral health care provider.
What constitutes the definition of a child under 12? As of what date?
Eligible children need to be 11 years old or under as of December 1, 2022, for the first year of the benefit, and 11 years old or under as of July 1, 2023, for the second year of the benefit.
What types of dental care are covered by the Canada Dental Benefit?
The Canada Dental Benefit can be used for any oral health care provided by a regulated oral health professional licensed to practice in the place where care is provided.
How much money do eligible families receive?
- The interim Canada Dental Benefit provides payments of up to $650 per child under 12, per year for two years, for families with an adjusted net income under $90,000 per year.
- $650 is provided for each eligible child, per year, if the family’s adjusted net income is under $70,000. $390 is provided for each eligible child, per year, if the family’s adjusted net income is between $70,000 and $79,999.
- $260 is provided for each eligible child, per year, if the family’s adjusted net income is between $80,000 and $89,999.
Is the Canada Dental Benefit taxable?
No, the benefit is tax-free.
Would receiving the interim Canada Dental Benefit reduce any other federal income-tested benefits such as the Canada Workers Benefit, the Canada Child Benefit, or the GST Credit?
No, the benefit will not reduce other federal benefits.
When can families apply for this benefit? Will applicants be able to apply for dental care costs retroactively?
Applications opened for the interim Canada Dental Benefit on December 1, 2022. The benefit will cover dental care expenses retroactive to October 1, 2022, for qualifying children and families who were eligible as of December 1, 2022. For the second benefit period, applications will be opened on July 1, 2023.
How can families or individuals who do not file income taxes, or do not receive the Canada Child Benefit, or cannot provide an address for their oral health professional (as is the case for many vulnerable populations), receive the interim Canada Dental Benefit?
To receive the Canada Dental Benefit, applicants will need to make sure they have filed the previous year’s income tax (e.g. 2021 tax return for the first benefit year) and currently receive the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for their eligible child. Filing taxes is easy with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (if eligible) or through NETFILE-certified software. They can also file online through the services of an electronic filer certified to use our EFILE service.
If applicants are unable to apply for these new programs online, they can call the CRA and complete their application over the phone with an agent. Before calling, applicants should check the approximate wait times on Canada.ca. To validate their identity, applicants should make sure they have their social insurance number address, date of birth, and a copy of their assessed tax return from last year on hand for the CRA agent.
How will applicants’ eligibility be verified?
The CRA will use its full suite of existing compliance tools to verify an applicant’s identity and eligibility, including an up-front verification of the applicant’s income, child’s age and family relationship, and confirmation that they are in receipt of the Canada Child Benefit for the presence and age of children. Applicants will be asked to save the receipts for that child. When applying, parents or guardians of eligible children will need to attest that:
- the child does not have access to private dental care coverage;
- the child has received or will receive, dental care services between October 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023
Parents and guardians must keep their dental receipts for 6 years in case the CRA contacts them in the future to validate eligibility. Applicants that are found to be ineligible for the benefit during the verification processes will be required to repay the benefit they received.
Why Choose Sierra Dental?
EVENING & WEEKEND APPOINTMENTS
We understand that you are busy and don’t always have time to visit a dentist for a routine checkup in the middle of your Monday. That’s why we offer extended hours from 7:00 AM to 8:30 PM Monday through Thursday.
We are also open all throughout the weekend. That’s right, we’re open every day of the week.
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To support our clients, we offer direct billing, predeterminations of treatments, and financial arrangements to all our patients to ensure smooth and easy payment transactions.
PAYMENT PLANS & FINANCING AVAILABLE
We understand that dental services can be an unexpected expense. That’s why we offer flexible payment plans and options to suit our patients’ needs. Speak with one of our dental assistants to learn more.
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