Millions of dollars in unclaimed benefits

Harper Government looking for hundreds of thousands of families not currently registered for the enhanced child care benefit

CNW

An estimated 12,800 families with children in Vancouver are eligible to receive money under the Harper Government’s proposed enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), but are at risk of not receiving the benefit unless they apply. The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, along with the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), today asked for help from the media and the public to encourage families to apply for the benefit.

The majority of families with children, approximately 3.8 million, are known and will automatically receive the enhanced UCCB or be contacted by the Government to confirm their information. However, many eligible families are not currently captured by the Government’s UCCB system and may miss out on receiving money that is owed to them unless they apply. In British Columbia, an estimated 23,500 families with approximately 41,000 children are not registered. In Vancouver, as many as 12,500 families are estimated to be missing from the Government’s registry. This represents potentially millions of dollars in unclaimed benefits in this year alone.

Under the proposed enhancements to the UCCB, families would receive almost $2,000 per year for each child under six and $720 per year for each child aged six through 17. The new benefit amounts would be retroactive to January 1, 2015 and be reflected in monthly payments to families in July 2015. The proposed enhancements to the UCCB are expected to more than double the number of families that benefit from 1.6 million to more than 4 million.

If your family is not currently receiving the UCCB, has never received the UCCB, or has never applied for the Canada Child Tax Benefit and you still have children under 18 in your care, please go to www.canada.ca/taxsavings in order to find out how you can apply.

All families with children will benefit from the new Family Tax Cuts and Benefits Plan, which includes the Family Tax Cut, and enhancements to the UCCB, Child Care Expense Deduction and the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit.

Combined with tax relief introduced by the Government of Canada since 2006, a typical family of four can receive up to $6,600 in tax relief and enhanced benefits in 2015.

Low- and middle-income families will receive two-thirds of the overall benefits provided by the Government of Canada’s new family measures.

The Family Tax Cut will eliminate or significantly reduce the difference in the federal tax payable by a one-earner couple relative to a two-earner couple with a similar family income.

“Now that the Harper Government has balanced our budget, we are helping hard-working families balance theirs. That’s why we want to ensure that every family with children receives the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit. If you’ve ‎got kids under 18, you qualify. It doesn’t matter how much you make or the type of child care you choose. Apply now so you can receive the money that is owed to you,” said Poilievre.

“Our Government is making life more affordable for hard-working families in British Columbia, and across the country, by enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit. More families will now be able to benefit and have more money in their pockets to spend on their priorities as a family.”