What is the Canada Learning Bond (CLB)?
The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is a grant provided by the Canadian government to help individuals with low income pay for their children’s education in a designated post-secondary educational institution.
In addition to the money that the Canadian government provides as the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) to encourage Canadians to save through the Registered Education Saving Plan (RESP), they also support low-income families with educational expenses through the Canada Learning Bond.
The money received from a Canada Learning Bond can be used to pay for education in a college, trade or vocational school, university, CEGEPs, or apprenticeship program.
The tuition fees and total educational expenses for post-secondary education are substantially expensive and the CLB provides some financial relief for eligible Canadians.
How Much Can I Get?
Through the Canada Learning Bond, you may get up to $2,000 from the Government of Canada.
This money will be contributed to your Registered Education Savings Plan and is broken down into:
- $500, which is received for the first year that you become eligible for the grant, and
- $100 for each year that your child remains eligible until they turn 15 years of age.
Canada Learning Bond Eligibility
The amount that you receive from the Canada Learning Bond depends on your adjusted net income, including the net income of your spouse or common-law partner that you live with.
The amount also depends on the number of children in your household.
The adjusted net family income benchmark that is used to determine your eligibility increases with the number of eligible children in your household.
For example, as of 2021, if you have a maximum of three children in your household, your adjusted net income needs to be less than or equal to $49,020.
If you have up to sixteen (16) children in your household, the adjusted net income benchmark increases to $131,095.
You must have an adjusted net family income that is less than this amount to be eligible for the CLB.
A child is considered to be eligible for CLB purposes if:
- Their family is considered to be low-income
- They are a resident of Canada with a valid social insurance number (SIN)
- They are born on or after January 1, 2004
- They are named as the beneficiary in a Registered Education Savings Plan.
You do not need to make contributions to your RESP to receive the Canada Learning Bond grant.
However, you will need to file your income tax and benefit return annually to confirm that you meet the net income eligibility to continue receiving the CLB grant.
Applying for the Canada Learning Bond (CLB)
Generally, if you are the primary caregiver of a child, you can apply for the Canada Learning Bond.
Also, your spouse or common-law partner can place a request for the CLB on behalf of your eligible child.
To apply for a Canada Learning Bond as a subscriber to a Registered Education Savings Plan, you will need your social insurance number, as well as that of the eligible child.
If you have not previously opened a RESP with the child as a beneficiary, you will have to do this to receive the CLB grant from the Government of Canada.
After you submit your application through your RESP provider, the Canada Learning Bond grant will be deposited into your RESP for every year that the beneficiary is eligible.
It is important to check that this money has been deposited.
If it has not, then contact the financial institution that you have opened the RESP with.
Generally, you can leave the RESP open until 35 years after it was opened.
You can receive both the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond in your RESP.
If your child does not end up going to a designated educational institution, you will have to return any money received as a CESG or CLB back to the Canadian government.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the Canada Learning Bond taxable?
Government grants such as the Canada Learning Bond are usually taxed when withdrawn in the hands of the child who is a beneficiary to the Registered Education Savings Plan. When your child is ready for post-secondary education, a withdrawal from the CLB will count as their taxable income and an applicable tax rate will be applied. Because students are usually low-income earners, the tax on the money received will likely be low.
- Is Canada Learning Bond retroactive?
Yes, the Canada Learning Bond is retroactive. The bond provides a lifetime limit of $2,000 per eligible child and is retroactive.