We’re diving into an essential topic for Canadian families – the Canada Dental Benefit. This interim benefit, introduced by the Canadian government, is a significant stride towards reducing dental care costs for families. Tailored for those earning less than $90,000 annually, it’s designed to support parents and guardians who bear the cost of dental care for children under 12 who lack private dental insurance. This benefit comes as a relief for many, highlighting the government’s commitment to accessible healthcare.

We’re here to break down the essentials of the Canada Dental Benefit – from eligibility criteria to application procedures. Whether you’re a parent, guardian, employer or employee, this guide is your starting point to navigate the Canada Dental Benefit with ease and confidence.

Canada Dental Benefit Eligibility Criteria

Understanding who is eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit is the first step to accessing its advantages. There are two distinct benefit periods, each with its specific criteria, depending on when your child receives dental care.

The first period spanned from October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

The second extends from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.

To qualify for the Canada Dental Benefit, you must have met several conditions. Keep in mind, eligibility is based on the 2022 tax return. These factors include:

  1. Child’s Age and Dental Care Timeline: The child must have been born on or after July 2, 2011, and received dental care within the specified periods.
  2. Insurance and Coverage: The child should not have access to a private dental insurance plan. This means they weren’t covered by any private dental insurance, whether through a parent, caregiver, or employer.
  3. Income and Tax Filing: Your adjusted family net income needs to be less than $90,000, and you should have filed your 2021 taxes (or provided an income statement if you were new to Canada in 2021). The same applies to your spouse or common-law partner.
  4. Canada Child Benefit (CCB) Connection: You must have been the recipient of the CCB for the child as of December 1, 2022. This is particularly important in shared custody situations, where benefit amounts are adjusted accordingly.

Use the eligibility checklist by the CRA to ensure that each child applied is qualified.

Eligibility extends to a range of dental care services, including orthodontic, preventative, restorative, and diagnostic services, among others. However, it’s important to remember that oral health services provided for free do not qualify for this benefit​​.

Canada dental benefit poster by the Government of Canada.

Benefit Amounts and Income Influence

The amount you can receive from the Canada Dental Benefit varies based on your family’s income, ensuring those who need it most get the most support. Here’s how it breaks down:

  1. Based on Adjusted Family Net Income: The benefit amount for each eligible child is determined by your adjusted family net income. Notably, the benefit amount remains constant regardless of your actual dental costs.
  2. Benefit Amounts: Families with an adjusted net income of less than $70,000 are eligible for $650 per child. This amount decreases as income increases, with families earning between $70,000 to $79,999 eligible for $390, and those earning $80,000 to $89,999 eligible for $260. Families earning $90,000 or more are not eligible.
  3. Shared Custody Adjustments: In shared custody scenarios, where you share the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for the child, the dental benefit amount is split equally. This means each parent can receive up to 50% of the benefit amount based on their own adjusted family net income.
Adjusted family net incomeFull custody amountShared custody amount
Less than $70,000$650$325
$70,000 to $79,999$390$195
$80,000 to $89,999$260$130
$90,000 or morenot eligiblenot eligible
Benefit amounts for the Canada Dental Benefit based on income.

The CRA uses your 2021 income information for dental care received from October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and your 2022 income information for care received from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. You can apply for a maximum of two payments per eligible child, depending on your situation and the benefit period​​.

For more information on how much you can expect to receive, view details from the CRA.

Preparing Your Application

Before applying for the Canada Dental Benefit, there are several preparatory steps to ensure a smooth process:

  1. Update Your Income Tax Information: Ensure your income tax information is current, as the benefit amount is based on your adjusted family net income.
  2. Determine the Benefit Period: Identify whether you are applying for period 1 (October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023) or period 2 (July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024). This will determine the income information required for your application.
  3. Tax Filing Status: Confirm that you have filed your 2021 and 2022 income taxes, as this is crucial for eligibility. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also need to have filed their taxes.
  4. Access to CRA My Account: Ensure you have access to your CRA My Account. This is the primary platform for applying and tracking your application.
  5. Canada Child Benefit (CCB) Status: Verify that you are receiving the CCB for the child for whom you are applying.
  6. Additional Eligibility for Period 2: If you did not apply for the first period, check if you are eligible for both the original and additional payments for Period 2​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

Canada Dental Benefit Application Process

Applying for the Canada Dental Benefit is straightforward, especially if you’re prepared. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Gather Required Information: Before applying, collect necessary details such as your child’s dental care provider’s information, dental appointment date, and employer details if applicable.
  2. Choose Your Application Method:
    • Online Application: The quickest method is through CRA My Account, with an average processing time of 5 to 10 days.
    • Phone Application: If you don’t have a CRA My Account, you can apply by phone, using the same average processing time. The phone number for general applications is 1-800-715-8836, and for those using a teletypewriter, it’s 1-800-665-0354.
  3. Keep Your Receipts: Retain your dental receipts for six years as the CRA may need them to validate your eligibility. Note that if your child’s dental appointment is rescheduled within the same benefit period, there’s no need to contact CRA​

Returning a Payment

Sometimes, circumstances change, and you might need to return the Canada Dental Benefit payment. Here’s when and how to do it:

  1. Situations Requiring Repayment: If your eligibility changes, your child’s appointment is moved or cancelled, you receive a letter from the CRA, or if your child gains access to a private dental plan or other government program coverage.
  2. No Need for Repayment in Some Cases: If your child’s dental costs are less than the benefit received, or if you meet all eligibility criteria but the costs are lower than expected, there’s no need to return the excess amount​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.
  3. Repayment Procedure: If you’re in a situation where repayment is necessary, follow the guidelines provided by the CRA, ensuring compliance and maintaining eligibility for future benefits.

New T4 and T4A Slip Additions for the Canada Dental Benefit

What is Being Reported?

This new mandate requires employers to indicate whether an employee, former employee, or a spouse of a deceased employee had eligibility as of December 31 of the reporting tax year, to access any form of dental insurance or coverage due to current or former employment.

The scope of this reporting includes ongoing dental care coverage, reimbursement, or insurance as an employee or retiree benefit. However, it’s important to note that the reporting does not cover whether an individual utilized or accepted the coverage, but rather if it was available to them.

Who is Required to Report?

The requirement to report this information extends not just to traditional employers but also includes Pension Plan Administrators and other organizations responsible for completing annual T4As and T4s. This reporting requirement is mandatory starting from the 2023 tax year and will be an annual obligation.

New Boxes and Codes on T4 and T4A Slips

For the 2023 tax year, the following new boxes along with specific codes will be added to T4 and T4A slips to facilitate this reporting:

  • T4 Box 45: Employer-Offered Dental Benefits
  • T4A Box 015: Payer-Offered Dental Benefits

The codes for these boxes are as follows:

  • Code 1: No access to any dental care insurance, or coverage of dental services of any kind.
  • Code 2: Access to dental care insurance or coverage for only the payee.
  • Code 3: Access to dental care insurance or coverage for the payee, spouse, and dependants.
  • Code 4: Access to dental care insurance or coverage for only the payee and their spouse.
  • Code 5: Access to dental care insurance or coverage for only the payee and dependants.

Significance for Employers and Employees

These new additions to the T4 and T4A slips represent a significant step in ensuring transparency and proper administration of the Canada Dental Benefit. For employers, it underscores the importance of accurate reporting of benefits offered to employees. For employees and other beneficiaries, this move ensures that their eligibility for the Canada Dental Benefit is clearly established, thereby facilitating smoother access to dental care services.

PayEvo is always up-to-date on the latest updates and tax-changes. Don’t worry about the new boxes this upcoming tax-season, our in-app generation and submission tools make it a breeze for you to take care of your T4, T4As, & Rl-1.


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