Government Grants for Single Mothers in Canada

By Zoobia Ilyas
A single mother with her child.
Mother image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com

Single parents face increased financial challenges when raising children. Their families rely on a single income that does not always pay for every expense, especially families who have disabled children. However, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers some options to help single mothers ease the financial burden of being sole-support parents.

Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB)

In order for a single mother with children to be eligible for the WITB, she must fulfill certain eligibility criteria. The CRA states that she "must be a resident in Canada throughout the year and at the end of the year, the primary caregiver of a dependent child in Canada." She must earn an annual income over $3,000. If she satisfies these criteria, she can expect to receive a maximum benefit of $1,000. Once a single mother earns more than $14,500 per year, the amount received will be reduced by an amount equal to 15 percent of the net annual income.

The CRA also provides a WITB Disability Supplement for disabled single others. In order to be eligible for this benefit, the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements stated above, qualify for the Disability Tax Credit and earn an annual income of $1,750. If approved, the family receives $250 for each qualifying member. The benefit amount is reduced by an amount equal to 15 percent of the net family income in excess of $21,167.

Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)

The CRA offers a tax-free monthly benefit called the CCTB that is meant to ease the financial burden associated with raising children under 18 years old. It includes the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) and the Child Disability Benefit (CDB).

Created in July 1998, the Canadian Government created the NCBS as an addition to the CCTB. The NCBS prevents and reduces the level of child poverty while promoting family involvement in the workforce by emphasizing that families will always benefit from active involvement in the workforce.

The CDB is tax-free payment for families who care for a dependent child suffering from a severe and sustained impairment on a physical and/or mental level. The maximum benefit is $204.58 paid monthly. The child must also qualify for the Disability Tax Credit in order to be eligible for the CDB. Benefit amounts also depend on the base family income and number of dependent children.

Employment Insurance and Family Benefit

The CRA provides the Family Supplement for unemployed single parents, including single mothers. Available to single parents receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, the Family Supplement is reserved for low-income families with children who already receive the CCTB. Consideration for this benefit is automatic, and payments are consolidated with EI payments. The amount received is calculated based on a family net income of no more than $25,921, along with the quantity of children in the family and their ages.