The cost of living is too damn high.
The bills stack up, especially when you add paying rent into the mix. It doesn’t help that many provinces have seen a drastic jump in rental prices over the last year.
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The federal government is hoping to ease the burden on people’s bank accounts through its rent top-up program, which came became law earlier this month.
It’s official: We’re providing parents up to $1,300 – per child under 12 – for dental care services over the next 2 years, and we’re helping nearly 2 million renters make ends meet with a one-time $500 top-up. Our legislation to deliver this support just received Royal Assent.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 18, 2022
Millions of Canadians can get an extra, one-time, tax-free $500 top-up from the government’s Canada Housing Benefit.
Applications open on December 12, so here’s what you should know before you apply.
The federal Canada Housing Benefit top-up aims to help low-income renters, with around 1.8 million Canadians eligible for the extra cash.
You’ll need to fit the following criteria to have access to the top-up:
- You were born on or before December 1, 2007 (at least 15 years old on December 1, 2022)
- The home, cottage, condo, or apartment where you normally live and pay rent was in Canada on December 1, 2022
- You are a resident of Canada in 2022 for tax purposes
- In 2021, you had an adjusted family net income of:
- $35,000 or less for families
- $20,000 or less for individuals
- The 2022 eligible rent that you paid was:
- paid in the 2022 calendar year
- paid for any of your qualifying principal residences in 2022
- equal to at least 30% of your 2021 adjusted family net income
What to have ready before you apply
You’ll need to ensure that you filed your 2021 income taxes and have all of your rent information on hand.
That rental information includes:
- Addresses of any principal residences in Canada in 2022
- Total rent you paid in the 2022 calendar year for these residences
- Name and contact information of your landlord
Make sure you have access to your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account, as that is the fastest way to apply for the top-up program.
The government also advises that you have your direct deposit info up to date with the CRA.
This is just one of the many national benefits that have become law in the last few months.