JUST ASK ANGIE
Am I eligible for the one-time rental benefit the government is advertising?
As of this week (and up until Friday, March 31, 2023), if you are a renter in B.C. (or Canada-wide, so tell your friends and family!), you may be eligible to apply for a one-time payment of $500. Officially, it’s called the “One-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit.” This benefit has no impact on your taxes or other federal benefits (such as the Canada Workers Benefit, Canada Child Benefit, Goods and Services Tax Credit, and Guaranteed Income Supplement.) That said, it’s up to individual provinces and territories to decide if the top-up impacts provincial/territorial benefits.
HOW TO QUALIFY
To qualify for this one-time payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:
1) You were born on or before Dec. 1, 2007 (That means you are at least 15 years old as of Dec. 1).
2) Your principal residence was in Canada on Dec. 1, 2022.
3) You were a resident of Canada in 2022 for tax purposes.
4) You’ve filed your 2021 income tax return or statement of income and, if you have a spouse or common-law partner, they’ve filed their 2021 income tax return or statement of income as well. Note: If a 2021 tax return still needs to be filed, you can still apply as long as all who are required to file do so before applications are closed in March 2023. The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program Volunteers here on the Coast may be able to help you file taxes for free. Contact Louis Legal at 604-886-1995.
5) In 2021, your adjusted family net income was $35,000 or less for families, or $20,000 or less for individuals.
6) The 2022 eligible rent that you paid was paid in the 2022 calendar year, paid to any of your qualifying principal residences in 2022, and equal to at least 30 percent of your 2021 adjusted family net income. Example: For a family earning $35,000/year, 30 per cent of their income would look like at least $10,500 spent on rent this year. Or, for an individual earning, say $20,000 per year, this would be like paying at least $6,000 this year on rent.
If you believe you may be eligible, there are three ways to apply here on the Coast, each with slightly different processing times:
Call the designated phone line: 1-800-282-8079, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Processing time is approximately seven to 12 business days.)
Use the online form at: https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/uisp/hbw/ntr Note: If you want the Resource Centre to send you this link by email, we can do that, or try googling “canada renters top up online form” and you may get it. (Processing time is approximately six to 12 business days.)
Apply through your CRA My Account or My Service Canada Account (This is the fastest processing time: approximately five to 10 business days.)
Teletypewriter number 1-800-665-0354 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Processing time is approximately seven to 12 business days.)
DON’T FORGET ABOUT DIRECT DEPOSIT
If you have direct deposit setup with the CRA, you’ll receive your money a bit faster than if you are expecting a cheque in the mail. To setup direct deposit, have a void cheque with you when applying. Important: Keep your records and receipts that back up the amounts reported in your application. The CRA routinely checks to confirm that recipients were entitled to the payment they received. If you have questions about eligibility or anything else, call the designated phone line at 1-800-282-8079. All of this information can be found online via www.canada.ca .
If you’d like some support with this application process, you can make an appointment with us at the Resource Centre by calling 604-885-4088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
ABOUT ASK ANGIE
Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: email@example.com or 604-885-4088.