Exploring the Canada Dental Benefit Program: Benefits, Eligibility Criteria, and Application Process

Contact Macleod Trail Dental today to learn more about the Canada Dental Benefit

However, not everyone can afford to provide the best oral care for their kids; hence, to assist families who may otherwise struggle to pay for necessary dental services, the Government of Canada has implemented the interim Canada Dental Benefit to provide some financial support to help Canadian families obtain quality dental care.

With this benefit, families can start attending to some of the primary dental care their young children need. At the same time, the federal government remains committed to developing a long-term Canadian dental care program.

If your funds are already stretched thin, a trip to the dentist is unlikely to assist; however, a few hundred bucks from the government may.

This article will address your concerns about the Canada Dental Benefit, including who is eligible, what is covered, how much is paid and how to access the program.

Read on!

Who is the Canada Dental Benefit Program for?

The new provisional Canada Dental Benefit will be accessible for children under the age of 12 whose adjusted family net income is below $90,000 and who do not have access to a private dental insurance plan.

It will allow families who qualify to receive upfront, direct payments of up to $650 per kid per year for oral health care over a two-year period.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will handle the application process and payments for the benefit. The application acceptance began December 1, 2022, and this benefit, which will last until 2024, allows families to begin providing some of the fundamental dental care that their young children require while the government develops a long-term Canadian dental care plan (CDCP).

What is the first group to be eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit Program?

Given the extensive nature of this new dental plan and to ensure a successful initial deployment, the government has decided to phase in access to this new dental insurance coverage.

First up will be seniors.

Applications to enter the program will open for seniors aged 87 and older in December 2023, and those aged 77 to 86 will have the opportunity to apply in January 2024. 

In February, seniors aged 72 to 76 will get access, followed by those aged 70 to 71 in March. Seniors aged 65 to 69 can apply for the program in May.

Then, Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate, as well as children under the age of 18, can start applying as of June 2024.

All remaining eligible Canadians are scheduled to gain access in 2025.

How will the eligibility of applicants be verified?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will employ its entire suite of existing compliance tools to verify an applicant’s identity and eligibility. This includes an initial authentication of the applicant’s income, child’s age, and family relationship, as well as confirmation that they are receiving the Canada Child Benefit due to the presence and age of children. Applicants will be requested to save receipts for that child. 

To apply, parents or guardians must confirm the following:

  • Their children do not have access to private dental coverage.
  • Their child has or will get dental care service between October 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.

Parents and guardians must hold their dental receipts for six years in case the CRA contacts them later to validate eligibility. 

Applicants who are discovered to be ineligible for the benefit during the verification process will be required to repay the benefit they received.

What types of dental care does the Canada Dental Benefits program cover?

The Canada Dental Benefit covers any essential oral health care service provided by a regulated oral health professional licensed to practice in the area where care is offered, including the following:

  • Preventive services, including scaling, polishing, sealants, and fluoride
  • Diagnostic services, including examinations and X-rays
  • Restorative services, including fillings
  • Endodontic services, including root canal treatments
  • Prosthodontic services
  • Periodontal services
  • Oral surgery services, including extractions.

The specifics of what will be covered under the CDCP have yet to be released.

Note that an official receipt is required for these services, and according to Health Canada, some of these services will become available in the fall of 2024.

How much does the Canada dental benefit program pay?

The Canada Dental Benefit provides payments of up to $650 per child under 12 per benefit period for families with an adjusted net income under $90,000 annually. 

  • $650 for each eligible child is provided if the family’s adjusted net income is below $70,000. 
  • $390 is provided per eligible child if your family’s adjusted net income falls between $70,000 and $79,999. 
  • $260 is granted per eligible child if your family’s adjusted net income falls between $80,000 and $89,999.

How long does it take to receive the Canada dental benefit?

Most applicants can expect to collect their payments within five business days if they are enlisted for direct deposit and within 10-12 business days if they receive a cheque by mail.

Need to enrol for direct deposit? Follow the steps outlined on the website

Is the money from the Canada Dental Benefits program taxable?

No, the benefit is tax-free.

Do I have to pay back the Canada Dental Benefit?

You can keep the payment provided you meet the eligibility criteria. You are only required to refund the benefit if your child has no dental expenses between October 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

Does getting the Canada Dental Benefit affect other government benefits? 

No, receiving the Canada Dental Benefit will not affect your eligibility for other federal government benefits you may be receiving.

How can I apply for the Canada Dental Benefit Program?

You can apply for the Canada Dental Benefit in two main ways: by calling 1-800-715-8836 or through CRA My Account. The average processing time for online and telephone applications is 5 to 10 days. 

If you’re applying by phone, you must verify your identity. Therefore, you must provide your Social Insurance Number, full name and date of birth, complete address and a tax document like a notice of assessment or an assessed tax return. 

Before applying, a few things you can do to help the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) process your application faster include:

1. Get your information ready

You’ll need to provide the complete name, address, and phone number of each eligible child’s dental care provider, as well as the anticipated date for any eligible dental appointments. 

If applicable, you must also include contact information for your employer, spouse, or common law partner’s employer.

2. Collect your dental receipts 

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) encourages parents/guardians to hold six years’ worth of dental receipts in case an application needs to be verified. 

3. Open or update your CRA My Account

Direct deposit is the quickest way to secure your Canada Dental Benefit payments. So, make sure you open a CRA My Account and keep your direct deposit information current and accurate.

In addition to the Canada Dental Benefit, Alberta or Ontario residents may be entitled to receive the CRA’s child and family benefit payment, the Canada PRO deposit, depending on their financial situation.

How can people who don’t file income taxes, get the Canada Child Benefit, or don’t have a dentist’s address still access the dental benefit?

To receive the Canada Dental Benefit, applicants must have submitted their previous year’s income tax and be receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for their eligible kid. 

Filing taxes is simple with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (if eligible) or NETFILE-certified software. They can also file electronically through an electronic filer who is authorized to utilize the FILE service.

If a person enlisting is unable to apply for these new programs online, they can contact the CRA and conclude their application over the phone with an agent. 

Applicants should have their social insurance number, residence, date of birth, and a copy of their assessed tax return from the previous year so the CRA representative can verify their identification.

When can I apply for the Canada Dental Benefit Program?

Applications for the CDCP will be open this month, initially over the phone. Only eligible seniors aged 87 and up can apply at first. Applications for other age groups will be phased in with a staggered approach.

Starting in January 2024, seniors aged 77 to 86 can apply, followed by seniors aged 72 to 76 in February and aged 70 to 71 in March.

Seniors aged 65 to 69 can start applying in May 2024 — the same month the application process switches from telephone to online.

People with valid disability tax credit certificates and children under 18 can apply starting in June 2024. All other eligible low- and middle-income Canadians can start applying in 2025.

How many times can I apply for the Canada dental benefit program?

You can apply for a maximum of two payments per eligible child for this benefit. If you have more than one eligible child, you can apply for each simultaneously or separately. 

Each payment may also be different because your financial situation can change yearly.

Canada Dental Benefit Infographic

Why Choose Macleod Trail Dental?

Comprehensive Care

At Macleod Trail Dental, we offer comprehensive dental care for families,including those who qualify for the Canada Dental Benefit program.

Experienced and Friendly Team

Our team consists of experienced and friendly dental professionals dedicated to providing top-notch care in a comfortable environment.

State-of-the-Art Technology

We utilize advanced technology to ensure precise diagnoses and effective treatments for our patients.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Each patient at Macleod Trail Dental receives a customized treatment plan tailored to their singular needs and preferences.

Convenient Location

We’re conveniently located in Heritage Square in the Acadia neighbourhood, just across the street from the Fairview area. This makes it easy to get your child the care they need without a long commute.

Direct Billing

To support our clients, we provide direct billing, predeterminations of treatments, and financial arrangements to all our patients to ensure a simplified payment transaction. This means you’ll spend less time on paperwork and more time focusing on your child’s health.