The Canada Workers Benefit Explained

The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) is a refundable tax credit that supports low-earning, working Canadians.

You may know it under another name as well.

Prior to 2019, it was called the Working Income Tax Benefit, but it was given a major upgrade to encourage more Canadians to join the workforce, help lower income workers attain the middle-class, and help raise about 70,000 Canadians out of poverty.

Think you might qualify for the CWB? Keep reading to find out about what you need to be eligible for the CWB, what the payment amounts are, and how the government calculates them.

Eligibility for The Canada Workers Benefit

There are two parts to the CWB: the basic amount and the disability supplement.

For this first part, we’ll cover the eligibility requirements for the basic amount.

To be eligible for the CWB, you must be:

  • Earning income by working
  • A Canadian resident for income tax purposes during the year
  • 19 years or older on December 31st, or living with a spouse, common-law partner or your own child

You won’t be eligible for the CWB if you:

  • Are a full-time student enrolled at a designated educational institution for a period of over 13 weeks, apart for those that, on December 31st, have a dependent that is eligible
  • Are incarcerated in a prison or comparable institution for at least 90 days during the year
  • Aren’t required to pay tax in Canada because you, one of your family members or your employer is/are an officer or servant of another country (for example, a diplomat)
Canadian money and calculator on desk

In addition to meeting all the eligibility requirements for the CWB outlined above, an eligible spouse must:

  • Live in the same residence as you on December 31st

An eligible dependent must:

  • Be your child, your spouse’s child or common law partner’s child
  • Be under the age of 19
  • Not be eligible for the CWB

When it comes to the disability supplement, you must:

The CWB can be easily claimed when filing your income tax return electronically, or filling out and submitting Schedule 6, Canada Workers Benefit if you’re filing your taxes the old-fashioned way.

Both eligible individuals and families can forego waiting until tax season, and receive up to half of the CWB in advance.

To learn more about how to claim the CWB, you can read more about it here.

How Much Can I Expect to Receive?

When it comes to the CWB, the amount paid to you will depend on the province or territory you live in, and your income.

The maximum basic amount for single individuals is $1,381.

That said, if your adjusted net income is over $13,064, this amount is gradually reduced.

You won’t receive any CWB if your adjusted net income is above $24,573.

The maximum basic amount for families is $2,379.

If your family’s combined adjusted net income is over $17,348, this amount is gradually reduced.

You won’t receive any CWB if your adjusted net income is above $37,173.

The maximum disability amount for single individuals is $713.

If your adjusted net income is over $24,569, this amount is gradually reduced.

You won’t receive any CWB if your adjusted net income is above $30,511.

The maximum disability amount for families is $713.

If your family’s combined adjusted net income is over $37,176, this amount is gradually reduced.

If one spouse is eligible for the disability tax credit and your family’s combined adjusted net income is more than $43,118, or if both spouses are eligible for the disability tax credit and your family’s combined adjusted net income is more than $49,060, you won’t receive the credit.

Keep in mind that if you live in Quebec, the maximum CWB amount varies, for both the basic amount and the disability supplement.

How is the Canada Workers Benefit Amount Calculated?

The CRA takes a lot of information into account when calculating your CWB.

This includes your province or territory of residence, your earned working income, your family’s adjusted net income, your marital status, eligible dependents, and your eligibility for the disability tax credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who gets the Canada Workers Benefit?
  • How much do you get for Canada Workers Benefit?
  • It’ll depend on your income and your province or territory. For the best estimate, you can calculate your CWB using this handy calculation sheet or the Child and family benefits calculator.


Tara Al-Khudairi is a freelance personal finance writer who has worked in the financial services industry since 2017. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Finance and is pursuing her CFA.

She has worked at a major Canadian financial institution in various client-facing advisory roles, starting as a bank teller and working up to a Client Services Associate within the Asset Management division. She specializes in simplifying concepts of personal finance for people of various financial backgrounds.

When she’s not examining the markets looking for the next SHOP.TO, she’s either practicing yoga, planning her next vacation, or has her nose buried deep in a book.