If you’re confused about the Canada Dental Benefit, we have you covered.

August 8, 2023

The Canada Dental Benefit was introduced last year to provide up to $650 per child under 12 not covered by private insurance to cover anticipated dental expenses. Later, the program was expanded to benefit Canadians of all ages with a family income of less than $70,000. Though the program including those over 12 years old officially launches in July 2024, there is an “interim” Canada Dental Benefit to cover children that is open currently. This benefit is paid through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The government has opened enrollment periods to accept applications for this dental coverage, to assess eligibility. The first period of enrollment, to cover treatments received between October 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, which were based on the 2021 tax return, are now closed.

The second benefit period of the Canada Dental Benefit is now open for applications.

The government has now opened enrollment for eligibility for dental treatments for children born on or after July 2, 2011, and received in Canada between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. Eligibility is based on the 2022 tax return.

Since parents/guardians are applying for this benefit before services are received, they must have an appointment booked before applying so they can include the dental provider’s details, appointment details and the appointment date.

What kind of services qualify?

The dental services must be provided by a dentist, denturist, or dental hygienist, and may include:

  • Preventative services
  • Diagnostic services
  • Orthodontic services
  • Endodontic services
  • Periodontal services
  • Restorative services
  • Prosthodontic services
  • Oral surgery

How much can you expect to receive under this plan?

Payments for this period are the same as they were for the first interim period, and are as follows:

  • $650 per child if the family’s adjusted net income on the 2022 tax return is under $70,000.
  • $390 per child if the family’s adjusted net income on the 2022 tax return is between $70,000 and $79,888.
  • $260 per child if the family’s adjusted net income on the 2022 tax return is between $80,000 and $89,999.

An additional payment could be made if the applicant is not applying for both periods and the child’s dental costs are more than $650 in the period applied for.

What would make someone ineligible for these benefits?

This is for children who aren’t covered under private insurance or have their dental work covered by some other service. Here is a list of stipulations for qualification:

  • The child can’t be covered under private insurance.
  • The dental costs can’t be fully covered by another dental program, such as another government funded program.
  • Whoever is applying for the Canada Dental Benefit for this child also needs to be receiving the Canada Child Benefit for this child as of July 1, 2023 (either full or shared custody).
  • The parent/guardian and their spouse or common law partner (if applicable) both have to have filed their 2022 tax return.
    • For newcomers to Canada who only arrived in 2023, they will need to have their statement of world income for 2022, which they would have used to file for the Canada Child Benefit already.

How do you apply for the benefit?

If you haven’t already signed up for a CRA My Account, that is one of the easiest ways to apply. Having a CRA My Account also helps when filing taxes, seeing if you have any uncashed cheques from the government (The CRA estimates that there are approximately $1.4 billion in uncashed cheques sitting with the CRA as of last summer!) or accessing any of your tax forms.

You can also apply by phone with the CRA at 1-800-715-8836.

To apply, you need to have the following information:

  • The dental care provider’s name, address, phone number
  • Date of the appointment
  • Information about the parent/guardian, including employer’s name, address and phone number, and the spouse/common law partner’s employer’s name, address, and phone number (if applicable)
  • Information from the parent/guardian’s Notice of Assessment or Reassessment for the 2022 tax season
  • You don’t need to have any receipts, since you’re likely applying before the services are received, however, once you receive the receipts for the services, you need to keep those receipts for 6 years because the CRA can ask to see them at any time in the following 6 years since the benefit is claimed.

It takes the CRA about 5-10 days to assess your claim for the benefit. You’re able to apply for more than one child at a time, or you can apply for each separately. It’s important to know that you can’t claim these dental benefits again as a medical expense.

If you’re unsure if you’re eligible for this payment, reach out to your local H&R Block Tax Expert to help you navigate and get the credits, benefits and rebates you’re entitled to.

For any questions about how to get your biggest tax refund, find an office near you to book an appointment with one of our H&R Block Tax Experts today. 

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