Beginning in July 2020, the Alberta Child Benefit (ACB) and the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC) are being consolidated into a single program, the new Alberta Child and Family Benefit (ACFB), with the first payment issued in August 2020. The new ACFB provides more benefits to lower-income Albertans and streamlines administration.

Final payments for the ACB and AFETC programs have already been issued, although the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will continue to issue retroactive payments for previous benefit years, if applicable.

Overview

The Alberta Child and Family Benefit (ACFB) provides direct financial assistance to lower and middle-income families with children under 18.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the ACFB, you must:

  • be a parent of one or more children under 18
  • be a resident of Alberta
  • file a tax return
  • meet the income criteria

ACFB payments are not taxable. If you receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), Income Support or the Alberta child care subsidy, you are still eligible to receive the ACFB. Receiving the ACFB will not affect your eligibility for these programs.

Free tax clinics are available to prepare tax returns for eligible lower-income Albertans.

How to apply

You are automatically considered for the ACFB when you file your annual tax return and qualify for the federal government's Canada Child Benefit. No further action is required.

If you need to, you can apply for the Canada Child Benefit online:

Apply for Canada Child Benefit

Payments

The ACFB program is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on Alberta's behalf. ACFB payments will be mailed or direct deposited by the CRA in 4 instalments. Payments are made in:

  • August
  • November
  • February
  • May

If you are eligible for amounts below $10 in any given quarter, then your payments could be consolidated and paid less frequently.

What you get

The amount your family receives under the ACFB will depend on your family’s income level and how many children under 18 you have.

The ACFB includes a base component and a working component. The ACFB’s base component is available to lower-income families with children, whether or not they earn any employment income.

Families are also eligible for the working component if their family employment income exceeds $2,760, with the amount received growing at a rate of 15% for every additional dollar of income earned over this threshold, until the maximum benefit is reached. As families work more they receive more benefits, encouraging them to join or remain in the workforce.

Use the child and family benefits calculator to find out how much you may be entitled to. Please note, you will need your income tax return to enter specific amounts.

Maximum benefit amounts

The table below displays the maximum benefit amounts for a family receiving the ACFB. Benefit amounts for the base component and working component are reduced once family net income exceeds $24,467 or $41,000.

Table 1. ACFB maximum benefit amounts

Number of
children
Base
component (max.)
Working
component (max.)
1 child $1,330 $681
2 children $1,995 $1,301
3 children $2,660 $1,672
4 or more children $3,325 $1,795

Changes in household status

If your household’s status changes, your eligibility for the benefit may change. For example:

  • if you have another child, your household may qualify for a greater benefit than you received
  • if your family leaves Alberta, you may have to return some of the money received for the months you were not living in the province
  • if your family moves to Alberta, you will become eligible in the month after you become a resident

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reassesses eligibility on a regular basis, as updated household information is received.

  • If your household qualifies for a greater benefit than what was originally paid out, the CRA will issue an additional payment for the difference.
  • If your household qualifies for a smaller benefit, or no benefit, you will receive a letter from the CRA indicating that any amount received over your entitlement will have to be returned. For information on how to return amounts owing, contact the CRA at 1-800-959-2809.

Resources

Contact

Connect with the Canada Revenue Agency about programs administered on behalf of the Alberta government:

Canada Revenue Agency
Toll free: 1-800-959-2809
Website: CRA-administered Alberta programs

For information about other social supports in Alberta, call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992.