Canada's new dental care program kicks in today — here's how to apply

Dec 1 2022, 1:45 pm

Canada’s new dental benefit program kicks in today, finally helping families get access to much-needed dental services.

The interim Canada Dental Benefit became law after Bill C-31 received royal assent earlier this month.

It was a point of contention for NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he would end their confidence-and-supply agreement if it fell through.

Applications are now open, so here’s what you should know and how to apply.

Who’s eligible?

According to the government, the dental care plan aims to help lower dental costs for eligible families earning less than $90,000.

Although current applications are only open for parents and guardians with children under 12 years of age, it will expand to include anyone under 18, as well as seniors and people living with a disability in 2023.

Parents and guardians must meet the following criteria for each child they apply for:

  • Your child was born on or after December 2, 2010 (under 12 years old as of December 1, 2022)
  • Your adjusted family net income is less than $90,000 in 2021
  • Your child is booked for a dental appointment in Canada between October 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023
  • Your child does not have access to a private dental insurance plan
  • Your child’s dental costs are not fully covered by another dental program provided by any level of government
  • You are the only parent or caregiver receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for your child as of December 1, 2022, or you have shared custody of your child and receive half of the CCB for your child as of December 1, 2022
  • You (and your spouse or common-law partner if you have one) filed your 2021 taxes

How much can you get?

The government says Canada Dental Benefit payments are tax-free and will vary depending on your family income.

“The benefit amount for each eligible child will not change based on your dental costs,” reads the site.

Here’s how much you can get based on net income and whether you have full or shared custody.

canada dental benefit

Government of Canada

The interim dental benefit is only available for two periods — the first covers dental care from October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and the second covers July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.

You can get a maximum of two payments for each eligible child.

If you only apply for one benefit period and your child’s dental costs are over $650, you may meet the criteria for the additional payment.

You can also get an estimate of your dental benefit amount here.

How to apply

You can apply online through your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account.
The government advises that you make sure you have access to this account and that your direct deposit info is up to date with the CRA.
Before applying, ensure that you’ve filed your 2021 income taxes and that you receive the CCB as it’s required to access the dental benefit.
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