If you live in Ontario or Alberta and have received some money in the bank from a payor named Canada Pro, you’re not the only one.
If you’re wondering what Canada Pro is, curious about how to determine your eligibility, or confused about when you should expect to receive payments in the future – we’ve got you covered.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Canada Pro?
Canada Pro is a payment made by the CRA for Child and Family Benefits.
It’s called something different depending on which province you’re in – if you are an Ontario resident, it’ll be the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB), and if you are an Alberta resident, it is the Alberta Child and Family Benefit (ACFB).
Every person has a different entitlement, and it is paid either as a lump sum or spread over the course of 12 months, from July to June.
If your entitlement is below $360, it will automatically be paid as a lump sum, usually in July.
If it is above $360, you can choose between the two payment options.
If you want to check your eligibility, you can use this handy calculator.
Who is eligible and how to apply
The OTB is meant to help you cover sales and property tax and energy costs, and is the sum of the following three credits:
- Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
- Northern Ontario Energy Credit
- Ontario Sales Tax Credit
If you’re eligible for any one of these credits, you are eligible for the OTB.
They are assessed separately, and below, we’ll walk you through each of them and their eligibility requirements.
To qualify for any of the benefits, you must be a resident of Ontario as of December 31st of the prior year, and at least one of the following at some time before June 1st of the following year:
- Over the age of 18 years old (over the age of 19 years old for the Ontario Sales Tax Credit)
- Currently or previously married or in a common-law relationship
- A parent who lives or previously lived with your child
The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC) is for low to middle-income families with property taxes and GST/HST paid on energy.
You can apply for this tax credit if you qualify for either part.
To be eligible, in addition to the criteria noted above, you must have:
- Paid rent or property tax in Ontario for your main residence in the prior tax year;
- Paid living expenses for a nursing home;
- Paid energy costs while living on an Ontario reserve; or
For the July 2021 to June 2022, you could get a maximum of:
- $1,095 if you are between the age of 18 and 64
- $1,247 if you are over the age of 65
- $243 if you live in a public long-term care home or on a reserve
- $25 if you resided in a designated college, university or private school residence
The Northern Ontario Energy Credit
The Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC) helps low to middle-income families that face increased energy costs due to residing in the North.
This tax-free benefit is eligible to those living in the following areas:
- Parry Sound
- Rainy River
- Thunder Bay
In addition to residing in one of those areas, to be eligible, you must have:
- Paid property tax or rent for your principal residence in Ontario in the prior tax year;
- Paid living expenses for a nursing home; or
- Paid energy costs while living on a Northern Ontario reserve.
If you’re single, you could receive a maximum of $158 for this credit, while families can receive a maximum of $243.
The Ontario Sales Tax Credit
The Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC) helps low to middle-income families with GST and HST paid throughout the year.
Your prior year’s household net income determines your eligibility for this non-taxable payment.
Your eligibility will vary every year based on your age, your family status, your place of residence, and your household income.
For the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, you can get up to $316.
You may be eligible to get an additional benefit of up to $316 for:
- Your common-law partner or spouse, and
- Each dependent child under 19 years old on the 1st of the payment month
If you are an Ontario resident and want to apply for the OTB, you need to follow these steps:
- File your tax return, even if you do not have any income.
- Complete Form ON-BEN for the OEPTC and NOEC payment (the OSTC gets handled automatically upon the submission of your tax return)
- Remember to apply for the OTB again every year, since it does not renew automatically
The Alberta Child and Family Benefit
The Alberta Child and Family Benefit (ACFB) is a credit funded by the Alberta provincial government for low to medium-income families residing in Alberta.
The eligibility requirements for receiving the ACFB include:
- Having an income under the set thresholds;
- Being an Alberta resident who files tax returns; and
- Having at least one child under the age of 18
For the ACFB, the maximum amount you can receive is $1,330 yearly for the first child, with an additional maximum of $665 for the second, third and fourth child – this amount decreases as your household income exceeds $24,467.
To apply for the ACFB, you need to apply for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) using this form.
The ACFB will continue until your children turn 18 or a status change within your household makes you ineligible for the benefit payment.
When can I expect payments in the future?
Wondering when to expect your OTB payments?
Here is the OTB monthly payment schedule for 2022:
- January 10, 2022
- February 10, 2022
- March 10, 2022
- April 8, 2022
- May 10, 2022
- June 10, 2022
- July 8, 2022
- August 10, 2022
- September 9, 2022
- October 7, 2022
- November 10, 2022
- December 9, 2022
Unlike OTB, the ACFB payments are made quarterly.
Here are the 2022 payment dates for ACFB:
- February 25, 2022
- May 27, 2022
- August 26, 2022
- November 25, 2022
Still have questions about Canada Pro? You can learn more about Child and Family Benefits on the Government of Canada website, and even access your personal CRA account online.