To support working parents who need and have paid for child care, the Alberta government is providing the Working Parents Benefit, a one-time payment of $561 per child. Families can apply starting March 1, 2021 and applications close on March 31, 2021.

Eligibility

  • 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 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 a licensed daycare, a licensed out-of-school care program, a licensed preschool, a licensed group family child care program, an approved family day home, a private day home, a nanny or a relative, or any another child care provider (receipts required
  • you required the child care above because you were working or attending school

How to apply

A MyAlberta Digital ID account is needed to apply for the benefit and a verified account is required to receive the benefit by Interac e-Transfer. If you are verifying your account for the first time, you will receive an activation code through the mail to complete the verification process.

Note: you do not need to wait to receive this code to apply for the benefit – but your Alberta driver’s licence or identification card will need to be current to verify your MyAlberta Digital ID account. Make sure your ID is not expired to avoid application delays.
If you do not have a driver’s licence or ID card, you will still be able to apply for the benefit with a basic MyAlberta Digital ID account. However, there will be delay in processing of your application and up to 2 months wait time to receive the payment.

Regional application dates

From March 1 to 5, the applications will be open by region as listed below. From March 6 to 31, applications will be open to all Albertans regardless of where they live. This will help to ensure reasonable processing and delivery times for the benefit.

Monday, March 1: Southern Alberta
Excluding: Airdrie, Camrose, Calgary, Edmonton, Leduc, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Wetaskiwin

Tuesday, March 2: Northern Alberta
Excluding: Cold Lake, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, and Lloydminster

Wednesday, March 3: Urban centre
Including: Airdrie, Camrose, Cold Lake, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Leduc, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Wetaskiwin
Excluding: Edmonton and Calgary

Thursday, March 4: Edmonton metro area
Friday, March 5: Calgary metro area
March 6 to 31: Albertans from any region in the province can submit their application.

Shared custody

Only one parent or legal guardian can apply for each child. In cases where both parents or guardians apply 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

When you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail 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 e-mail letting you know if you have been approved for the benefit or whether more information is needed to determine your eligibility.

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 e-mail.

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.

For more information about the Working Parents Benefit, please contact your local office or email our Avail CPA Help Desk.

Chandra Deaust

Chandra Deaust

Chandra has a blend of specialties in the private and not-for-profit spaces. She is the team lead for audits of various Public Sector and Not-For-Profit organizations. In the private space she acts as an outsourced CFO and improves bookkeeping for Small Businesses.

Service Expertise: Audit , CFO Services , Bookkeeping
Industry Expertise: Non-Profit , Public Sector , Small Business