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 $41,746 per year.
It is estimated that the ACB will provide $174 million in annual benefits to families across the province. Together with the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC), approximately $320 million in combined annual benefits will be provided in 2017-18.
Working families may also be eligible for the enhanced Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC). Both the ACB and the AFETC are non-taxable benefits.
To be eligible for the ACB, you must:
- be a parent of one or more children under the age of 18
- have a family net income of less than $41,746 per year
- be a resident of Alberta for at least one month prior to receiving the benefit
- file a tax return.
Families receiving AISH, Income Support, and the child care subsidy are also eligible to receive the ACB. The ACB will not affect eligibility for these programs.
Free tax clinics are available to prepare tax returns for eligible lower-income Albertans.
Changes in household status
The ACB is paid in the second month of each three-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 or you move to another province, your household may qualify for a greater or lesser benefit than you received.
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 the child for whom the benefit was received passes away
For households that receive a benefit for a child who has passed away, 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.
How to apply
You're automatically considered for both the ACB and the AFETC if you apply for, or are already enrolled in, the federal government’s Canada Child Benefit program.
New Canadians (refugee claimants, foreign workers, international students, and permanent residents) may be eligible for the ACB. Newcomers should apply for the Canada Child Benefit and you will receive the ACB and the AFETC if you meet the eligibility criteria for these programs.
The ACB program is being 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 for the ACB, 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 the age of 18.
- $1,114 maximum for families with one child
- $2,785 maximum for families with four or more children
Families with net income of up to $25,832 will receive the maximum benefits under the ACB. Benefits begin to phase out above this income level and are fully phased out once family net income reaches $41,746.
The table below displays the maximum benefit amounts for a working family receiving both the ACB and AFETC.
Maximum benefit amounts
|Number of children||ACB (max.)||AFETC (max.)||Total benefits (max.)|
|4 or more children||$2,785||$2,038||$4,823|
Benefits are phased out based on family net income.
To estimate how much you may be entitled to, you can use the child and family benefits calculator. Please note, you will need your income tax return to enter specific amounts.
The quarterly ACB payment is made mid-way through the 3-month payment period. If your family leaves Alberta during this time you may have to return some of the money recieved for those months you were not living in the province.
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Canada Revenue Agency
For information about other social supports in Alberta, call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992.