Single parents often face financial challenges two-parent households don't. Canadians should be aware that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers government assistance for single mothers to help them ease the financial burden of being sole-support parents, including those with disabilities.
Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)
The CWB is designed to assist low-income individuals and families, including sole-support mothers. To see if you qualify, use the CRA's Children and Family benefits online calculator.
For the 2018 tax year, working parents living in most parts of Canada must have a net income no more than $36,483 in order to get the full benefit. Those with an income below the minimum taxable income of $3,000 do not qualify for the benefit. If your income is between the minimum and maximum thresholds, you will receive a partial benefit. These amounts vary slightly for residents of Alberta, Quebec, Nunavut and British Columbia.
Income thresholds are also higher for those who qualify for a CWB disability supplement. To qualify for the disability supplement, you must first qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. If approved, a single parent receives an additional $700 for each qualifying family member in most provinces. Amounts vary in Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and Nunavut.
Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
The CRA offers a tax-free monthly benefit called the CCB that is meant to ease the financial burden associated with raising children under 18 years old. This program replaced the Canada Child Tax Benefit in 2016. For eligible parents, it can include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs. For parents with a net income below $30,000 , the CCB pays $6,496 per year ($541.33 per month) for each child under the age of six and $5,481 per year ($456.75 per month) for each child between 6 and 17.
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
There is an additional program available for families in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The EI program provides the Family Supplement for unemployed single parents, including single mothers. Available to single parents receiving EI benefits, the Family Supplement is reserved for low-income families with children who already receive the CCB. 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.