Enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit: How Will You Spend July’s Cheque?

Many Canadian parents have benefitted from the Universal Child Care Benefit over the past few years. That $100 monthly payment for children under six years old has certainly helped with our monthly expenses. And now the Enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit is on its way. And the retroactive lump sum payment coming in July is sure to make all parents smile, just in time for summer.

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For Each Child Under 6 Years Old

Currently, children under 6 received $100/month regardless of family income.

This is going to increase to $160/month. And the best news of all is that it is retroactive starting January, 2015.

So in July, Canadian parents will receive a lump sum payment of ($160-$100) x 6 months per child under 6.

For Children Between 6 and 17 Years Old

Currently, children 6-17 years old do not received a monthly subsidy under the Universal Child Care Benefit.

This is going to increase to $60/month.

So in July, Canadian parents will receive a lump sum payment of $60 x 6 months per child between 6 and 18.

UCCB

How Do I Cash In On This Benefit?

From the Canada Revenue Agency’s official website:
If your family is not currently receiving the UCCB, has never received the UCCB, or has never applied for the Canada Child Tax Benefit and you still have children under 18 in your care, please go to www.canada.ca/taxsavings to find out how you can apply. Follow this link for scenarios with various ages of children to see where you fit in.
NOTE: One parent will need to declare this as income when filing taxes next year.

Ideas for Using This Unexpected Money

Anytime unexpected money comes along, it is fun to carefully consider how to spend it. If budgets are typically tight, this is an opportunity to do something special. Here are a few of our favourite ideas.

1. RESP: What a painless way to start an RESP for your children. Throw as much into it as possible and watch the interest grow over time. Be sure to look into government matching of contributions.

Related Post: Canada Registered Educational Savings Plan

2. Big Purchases: This type of unexpected cash works perfectly when you are trying to save up for a large purchase. Now that our first son’s braces are paid for, we are saving for boy #2. Our July lump sum payment will help towards this goal.

Related Post: 5 Tips for Paying Cash for Big Purchases

3. Fun Money: Has your budget been so tight lately that you have had to say ‘no’ to most extras? This might be the perfect way to treat the family. Is there a summer adventure you can take with a bit of surprise funding? When you are disciplined with finances, you might choose a splurge when surprises like this come along.

No matter what you decide to do with your July payment, this Enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit is sure to help families breathe a bit better in 2015.

What will you do with your larger UCCB payments?

By: Karen Gauvreau

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