Today, December 1st 2022, is the official launch of the Canada Dental Benefit (CDB) program for children under 12 years old, with which eligible parents and guardians can apply through the Canada Revenue Agency to receive funding if the child receiving dental care does not have access to a private dental insurance plan.
Below are helpful information for parents in navigating this new public program.
What is the Canada Dental Benefit?
For now, this federal dental-care program will be offered to children under the age of 12, with an annual family income of less than $90,000, with the amount provided per child per year dependant on family income.
- $650 would be provided per child if the family’s adjusted net income is under $70,000;
- $390 would be provided per child if the family’s adjusted net income is between $70,000 and $79,999; and
- $260 would be provided per child if the family’s adjusted net income is between $80,000 and $89,999.
The amount offered is the government’s “best calibration” of how much funding is needed to cover basic dental care—exams, cleanings, X-rays, and fillings— without much left over, according to government officials who briefed reporters on the program in September.
The first phase of dental care will provide eligible parents or guardians with “direct, up-front tax-free payments to cover dental expenses.”
This interim dental benefit is only available for two periods, and parents or caregivers can receive a maximum of two payments for each eligible child.
The first period covers expenses retroactive to Oct. 1, 2022, through to June 30, 2023. The second period will cover dental services the child received between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024.
If a child’s dental care costs more than $650 and the parent or guardian has only applied for one benefit period, they may meet the criteria for an additional payment.
How to Apply
Applicants will have two options to access the online portal: either through their CRA “My Account” or through their Service Canada account.
For those without access to the online systems, the CRA is setting up a dedicated dental benefit phone line to receive applications.
Either way, those applying will have to make a series of attestations in order to determine eligibility, as well as answer security questions to verify their identity.
For example, parents or guardians making the application will have to confirm:
- Their child was born on or after Dec. 2, 2010, making them 12 years old as of Dec. 1, 2022;
- They are currently receiving the Canada Child Benefit as of Dec. 1, 2022;
- Their child does not have access to private dental care coverage nor are their costs fully covered by another dental program provided by any other level of government;
- They will have out-of-pocket dental care expenses for which they will use the benefit; and
- They have filed their 2021 income tax and benefit return.
Applicants can submit to receive this financial support ahead of appointments, but will have to provide proof of eligibility such as contact information for the dental service provider, date of the appointment, and information related to their employer and spouse or partner related to their benefit coverage.
The CRA is highly recommending signing up for direct deposit as the fastest and easiest way to receive this funding, noting that the estimated wait time for payments is five business days if signed up for direct deposit, whereas it could take 10 business days to receive a cheque by mail.
The law has also set up a process for bureaucrats to check eligibility information—including contacting employers—and there could be penalties for those who submit fraudulent claims.
The CRA is encouraging those who apply to print and save a copy of their applications as well as any relevant documentation such as receipts, in case verification is needed down the line.
For example, if for some reason a parent or guardian applies for funding in the first period but does not end up having dental care expenses during that timeframe, they will be required to repay that amount and reapply for the second eligibility period.
While only those under 12 years old will get access for now, the government says it remains committed to following through on seeing this stop-gap measure become a fully-fledged national dental care plan by 2025.
- Canada Dental Benefit (Link)
- Canada Dental Benefit – FAQ (Link)
- Infographic Poster (PDF Link)
- What You Need to Know (PDF Link)
- Canadian Dental Association media release – Dec 1st 2022 (Link)
- Canada Dental Benefit vs. Canadian Dental Care Plan (Link)
Keeping Our Patients Safe:
Under the guidance of the BC Provincial Health, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC and the BC Dental Association, we have implemented strict new clinic standards and safety measures in order to help protect our patients and staff, which include:
- Pre-screening all patients for COVID-19 prior to accepting in-person appointments.
- Providing hand sanitizing stations and following strict hand hygiene protocols.
- Increasing the frequency of sanitization of high-touch areas and surfaces.
- Limiting the number of people in the clinic at one time and practicing physical distancing protocols.
The health & safety of our patients has always been our top priority. We encourage everyone to stay safe and to follow the directions of Health Canada and your local health authorities.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us! Great thanks for your understanding and support!
Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!
Located in the heart of North Vancouver, BC, Family Care Dental Clinic is a group of passionate dentists and dental experts who are committed to providing patients with exceptional dental care in a modern and relaxing environment. We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family.
Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at email@example.com to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!