Table of contents

Overview

Working families have faced additional pressure and costs because of the pandemic. Some have lost their jobs, some are working fewer hours, and all families have experienced more anxiety and stress. As a result, fewer families have been using child care, which has meant that money normally used to support families through child care subsidies has not been spent.

To support working parents who need and have paid for child care so they can continue working during the pandemic, the Alberta government is providing the Working Parents Benefit, a one time payment of $561 per child. Families could apply from March 1 to March 31, 2021.

Application status

Application period is closed.

Ministry responsible

Children’s Services

Protecting lives and livelihoods wordmark

Funding

$108 million of unspent funds will be redirected under the Working Parents Benefit to support children in low and middle income families. It is estimated that approximately 192,000 children will receive the benefit.

Eligibility

You may be eligible to receive the Working Parents Benefit if:

  • you had a household income of $100,000 or less in the 2020 tax year
  • you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident living in Alberta
  • you are the parent or legal guardian of a child who was born on or after February 29, 2008
  • you paid $561 per child or more for 3 months of child care between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 (receipts required)
  • the child care you paid for was provided by (receipts, bills or invoices required) someone other than the child’s father or mother, your spouse or common law partner, or someone who is dependent on you or dependent on your spouse or common law partner, including:
    • a licensed daycare
    • a licensed out-of-school care
    • a licensed group family child care
    • an approved family day home
    • a private day home
    • a nanny
    • any other child care provider, licensed or unlicensed
  • you required the child care above because you were working or attending school

Read the Working Parents Benefit Factsheet (PDF, 418 KB) for more information about eligibility and the application process to receive your benefits.

Shared custody

Only one parent or legal guardian could apply for each child. In cases where both parents or guardians applied and meet the eligibility criteria, the payment will be made to the first applicant. The Government of Alberta will not become involved in disputes between the parents or guardians regarding distribution of the funds.

The parent or guardian receiving the benefit is responsible for determining how it is to be distributed in accordance with any court order or agreement between the parents or guardians.

After you apply

After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours indicating your application has been received.

It may take up to 30 business days for your application to be processed. As soon as your application has been processed, you will receive an email letting you know if you have been approved for the benefit or whether more information is needed to determine your eligibility.

If more information is required, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on next steps. Any additional documentation must be sent in by the due date specified in the email request, otherwise your application will be denied.

If your application is approved, the benefit payment will be made by Interac e-Transfer, which is the most convenient, secure and fast way to receive the payment.

If you applied with a basic MyAlberta Digital ID account, or if you did not provide information required to generate the e-Transfer, you will be issued a pre-paid VISA card if your application is approved. Receiving the pre-paid card will take up to 2 months. Details on when and how you will receive the pre-paid card will be provided by email.

All applicants will be informed of their application outcome by email no later than Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Tax considerations

The benefit is not taxable. However, if you or your partner claim child care expense deduction on your tax return, you are required to deduct the Working Parents Benefit you received from the child care expenses you are claiming in your 2020 income tax return.

Do this by subtracting the benefit received from the Government of Alberta from the total child care expense reported per child in Part A of page 3 on the T778 form. If you have already filed your 2020 income tax return, you must request an adjustment to your income tax return to reduce line 67950 by the total amount of the benefit, and line 67954 by the total amount of the benefit received for children 6 years of age or younger at the end of the year (if applicable.)

Audit and compliance

You must meet all eligibility criteria and be ready to provide the documented evidence to receive the benefit. The Government of Alberta will be completing an audit to verify eligibility of the applicants who receive payments.

Documents that applicants may be asked to provide include, but are not limited to:

  • receipts for child care
  • child care provider information
  • proof of employment or self-employment, or enrollment in educational program
  • proof of income claimed
  • additional identification proof (for applicants with a basic MyAlberta Digital ID account)
  • children’s identity documentation

Applicants who are not able to provide sufficient evidence of meeting the eligibility requirements will be required to repay the amount they received, and may face criminal investigation.

Contact

For Working Parents Benefit application support:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Email: [email protected]