Alberta Child Benefit (ACB)
Lower-income families with children may be eligible to get financial aid to help provide a better quality of life for their children.
The Alberta Child Benefit (ACB) provides direct financial assistance to lower-income families with children under 18 who have a family net income less than $42,255 per year.
The ACB is expected to provide $175 million in benefits to about 120,000 families across the province in 2018-2019. Together with the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC), approximately $328 million in combined annual benefits will be provided in 2018-19. Both the ACB and the AFETC are non-taxable benefits.
Working families may also be eligible for the enhanced AFETC.
To be eligible for the ACB, you must:
- be a parent of 1 or more children under the age of 18
- have a family net income of less than $42,255 per year
- be a resident of Alberta for at least 1 month prior to receiving the benefit
- file a tax return
If you receive AISH, Income Support, and the child care subsidy you are also eligible to receive the ACB. Receiving ACB 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're automatically considered for the ACB when you file your annual tax return and if you already receive the federal government's Canada Child Benefit. No further action is required.
You can apply for the Canada Child Benefit if you meet the eligibility criteria and:
- there's a change in your household (birth, adoption or marriage), or
- you're a new Canadian (refugee claimants, foreign workers, international students and permanent residents)
The ACB program is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on the province’s behalf.
ACB payments will be mailed or direct deposited by CRA in as many as 4 installments, depending on how much you are eligible to receive. Payments are made in:
If you're eligible for less than $40 a year, you will receive either biannual or annual payments.
What you get
The amount your family receives under the ACB will depend on your income level and how many children you have who are under 18.
Families with net income less than $42,255 will be eligible for the ACB. Families with net income of up to $26,141 will receive the maximum benefit:
- $1,128 for one child
- $564 for each of the next three children
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 working family receiving both the ACB and AFETC.
|Number of children||ACB (max.)||AFETC (max.)||Total benefits (max.)|
|4 or more children||$2,820||$2,064||$4,884|
Changes in household status
The ACB is paid in the second month of each 3-month eligibility period. If your household’s status changes during the benefit period, 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
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 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.
If a child dies
For households that receive a benefit for a child who has died, the following will apply:
- amounts owing will be forgiven, so the benefit will not have to be returned
- households that have already returned the benefit will receive a repayment from CRA later this year
This applies to all payments received from January 1, 2017 onwards.
Canada Revenue Agency
For information about other social supports in Alberta, call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992.