To focus benefits on Albertans most in need and to streamline administration, government will consolidate the Alberta Child Benefit and the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit into a single program, the new Alberta Child and Family Benefit (ACFB), beginning in July 2020. The ACFB will focus dollars more effectively on families with lower incomes, with many lower income families receiving higher benefits than they did under the old programs. The ACFB will be non-taxable and will not affect eligibility for other benefit programs.
The Alberta Child Benefit (ACB) provides direct financial assistance to lower-income families with children under 18.
Working families may also be eligible for the AFETC.
To be eligible for the ACB, you must:
- be a parent of one or more children under the age of 18
- be a resident of Alberta
- file a tax return
- meet the income criteria
If you receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (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 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 the CRA in as many as 4 instalments, depending on how much you are eligible to receive. Payments are made in:
If you're 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 ACB will depend on your income level and how many children you have who are under 18.
Families with net income of up to $26,769 will receive the maximum benefits under the ACB. Benefits begin to phase out if you earn more than this, and will be fully phased out once your family net income reaches $43,260.
- $1,155 for one child
- $2,886 maximum for families with 4 or more 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.)|
|4 or more children||$2,886||$2,112|
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.
If a child dies
For households that receive a benefit for a child who has died, the amounts owing will be forgiven and the benefit will not have to be returned.
Canada Revenue Agency
Toll free: 1-800-959-2809
For information about other social supports in Alberta, call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992.