The Canada dental benefit, announced in September 2022, provides up–front tax–free payments to cover dental expenses for children under age 12 without dental coverage. The program began December 1, 2022, with expenses retroactive to October 1, 2022 being covered.
The program is available for two periods: December 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, and July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. While the program expires in mid–2024, the government has stated that it is committed to fully implementing a dental program for all households with income under $90,000 by 2025.
Services that dentists, denturists or dental hygienists are lawfully able to provide, including oral surgery and diagnostic, preventative, endodontic, periodontal, prosthodontic and orthodontic services, are eligible for the benefit.
The amount of payments that are provided annually (per period) per child under age 12 are based on adjusted family net income (AFNI) as follows:
– $650/child if AFNI is under $70,000;
– $390/child if AFNI is between $70,000 and $79,999; and
– $260/child if AFNI is between $80,000 and $89,999.
AFNI for the benefit’s purpose is the same as for the Canada child benefit, with the annual income period ending on December 31, 2021 for the first period and December 31, 2022 for the second period. Shared–custody parents at the beginning of the relevant period are each eligible for 50% of the benefit, based on whether they incur or will incur eligible expenses in the period and their respective AFNI. The benefit does not reduce other federal income–tested benefits (for example, the Canada workers benefit, the Canada child benefit, and the GST credit).
To qualify, parents need to attest that the following conditions are met:
– their child does not have access to private dental care coverage (for example, through a parent’s employer or coverage that is paid for personally); and
– the child has received, or is intended to receive, dental care services during the relevant period.
Parents also need to provide documentation to verify that out–of–pocket expenses occurred (e.g. show receipts) if required by CRA. To qualify, the child must be under 12 on December 1, 2022 for the first period and under 12 on July 1, 2023 for the second period.
The application portal for the benefit is available online through CRA’s My Account. Those unable to apply online can call 1–800–715–8836 to complete their application with an agent. In addition to an individual’s standard identifying information and the above–noted attestation, parents need to provide CRA with the name, address and telephone number of their and their spouse or common–law partner’s employer. They also need to provide information about the dental service provider from which they received or intend to receive services for their child.
Eligible individuals must apply for this benefit on their own as accountants and representatives cannot apply on the client’s behalf.