Help Your Family Get Ahead with Government Assistance Programs

March 27, 2017
Having a child is one of the most important events in a person's life – not only on an emotional level, but also financially. Fortunately, there are many government programs to help families with children to better meet the needs. Here is an overview.
Help Your Family Get Ahead with Government Assistance Programs

Government Financial Aid Programs ... Not Just for Students

Contrary to what you might think, government financial-assistance programs are not only for students and businesses. Quite the contrary! Many provincial and federal programs have been designed to alleviate the financial burden of children. While some programs are universal, others are based on household income. It is important to remember that you can benefit from all these programs provided that:

  • your child is registered with the civil registrar;
  • you make an annual tax return. Keeping your circumstances up to date (for example, if your income changes, if you have a new spouse or additional children), you will benefit from the correct amount, adjusted according to your needs.

The Main Resources Available to You

The following are among the major government family-assistance programs:

  • Universal Childcare Benefit (federal), offering financial support of $100 per month to parents of children under six years of age. The amount available depends on your income, your location, and other financial support you receive.
  • Child assistance program (Quebec), provides a non-taxable amount determined according to the number of your children, custody (shared or not), and your civil status (couple, single, etc.). A child to which you have given birth who is entered into the civil registry is automatically eligible unless otherwise specified by the Quebec Pension Board (Régie des rentes du Quebec).
  • The Canada Child Tax Benefit program (federal) offers families a tax-free amount, determined according to the number of children, household income, place of residence, and other financial support received.

Finally, there are other specific provincial and federal government assistance programs targeting specific needs, such as Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP), support for low-income families, or those with a child having physical or mental disabilities, and support for parents going to school.

Assure Your Future and That of Your Family with Expert Advice

Of course, the guidance and support of a qualified person who is familiar with the operation of these government assistance programs is necessary to help you get the most out of them.

To understand your eligibility for the various support programs, check with your certified financial planner and start planning today for your future and that of your family to take advantage of all the help available and thereby offer your children the future they deserve.