The Alberta Child and Family Benefit is a direct financial assistance program that aims to support families’ well-being and provide a better quality of life to their children while still encouraging them to work.
This post provides an overview of the program, who can apply and how to apply, the ACFB payment dates for 2021 and more.
Alberta Child And Family Benefit Payment Dates 2021
The Alberta Child and Family Benefit payments are made quarterly by the Canada Revenue Service (CRA) on behalf of the Alberta Government. The ACFB payment dates for 2021 are:
|Benefit Quarter||ACFB Payment Dates|
|1st Quarter||Feb 26, 2021|
|2nd Quarter||May 27, 2021|
|3rd Quarter||August 27, 2021|
|4th Quarter||November 26, 2021|
ACFB payments can be received as direct deposit or cheque. Cheques are usually sent out earlier, but with the same payment dates. Direct deposits are the preferred option – they are quick, secure and easy to setup.
To ensure you’ll receive your benefits on the ACFB payment dates, you should enroll for direct deposits through your CRA My Account.
If you don’t receive your ACFB payments on these dates, you should wait for 5 working dates before contacting CRA.
Finally, families that are eligible for $10 or less in any quarter could have their benefits consolidated and paid less frequently. This is similar to how low CCB payments are administered by CRA.
What is Alberta Child And Family Benefit (ACFB)?
The Alberta Child and Family Benefit is a financial assistance program for lower and middle-income families with children under 18. It is administered by CRA on behalf of Alberta.
ACFB was introduced in July 2020 with the first payments issued the following month. It replaced 2 existing programs: Alberta Child Benefit (ACB) and the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC).
According to the Alberta government, the new consolidated program provides more benefits to low-income Albertans and streamlines the administration of the benefit program.
With ACFB, the average low-income Alberta family will receive up to 15 percent more in benefits than they did under the Alberta Child Benefit and Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit.
Most families’ benefits, however, decreased.
The ACFB has 2 components: a base and a working income component up to a combined maximum of $5,120 a year.
For the 2020/2021 benefit year, it is estimated that $230 million will be paid to about 190,000 eligible families.
Who is Eligible For The Alberta Child and Family Benefit (ACFB)?
Eligibility for ACFB are assessed using 4 criteria: residence, Number and age of children, income threshold and tax return filing status.
Specifically, to be eligible for ACFB, applicants must:
- Reside in Alberta
- Have one or more children under 18
- File their tax return
- Meet the income criteria.
The income criteria and how it affects how much you can receive from ACFB is covered in the next section.
Note: Receiving benefits from any of the other Alberta income support programs does not affect your eligibility for ACFB or vice versa.
That is, you can continue to receive the Income Support, Alberta child care subsidy and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) without any claw back.
If you need help with filing your tax returns, check the linked post for the free tax filing options in Canada including the CRA Free Tax Clinics.
How Much Can You Get From The ACFB?
The maximum ACFB recipients can get for the 2020/2021 benefit year is $5,120. But how much you can receive depends on your family’s net income and the number of children.
As mentioned earlier, ACFB has 2 components:
Base Component: pays a maximum of $3,325 to low-income families with children, whether they are working or not
Working Component: pays a maximum of $1,795 and available to families with total employment income exceeding $2,760. This is a top-up to the base component and is meant to encourage families to join the workforce.
The table below shows the maximum you can receive from ACFB based on your income and the number of children you have:
|Number of Children||Max. Base Component||Max Working Component|
|One (1) Child||$1,330||$681|
|Two (2) Children||$1,995||$1,301|
|Three (3) Children||$2,660||$1,672|
|Four (4) Children||$3,325||$1,795|
ACFB is an income-tested benefit, so the benefit is clawed back once your income reaches a threshold.
The benefit amounts paid for the base and working components are reduced once the family net income exceeds $24,467 and $41,000 respectively. And the working component is fully clawed back once family net income reaches $61,000.
You can use the Child and Family Benefit Calculator from CRA to calculate how much you can expect to receive in ACFB and other benefits. Note that you’ll need information from your latest tax return.
How to Apply for ACFB?
There is no separate application for ACFB. Eligible Albertans are automatically considered for ACFB when they apply for the federal Government’s child benefit program. That is, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB).
Check the post below to learn more about Canada Child Benefit, including its eligibility, how to apply and payment dates
Related Post: Canada Child Benefit (CCB) Payment Dates
ACFB Increase 2021
The ACFB is still in the first benefit year so there are no increases yet.
It is likely that the benefit will increase for the 2021/2022 benefit year to adjust for inflation. If it does, this post will be updated to reflect the increases.
However, the Alberta government has not announced any such increase.
ACFB August 2021 Payment
Did your ACFB payment on August 27, 2021 changed from what you received in previous quarters?
It is because of a reassessment of how much you’re entitled to using your 2020 income tax returns.
CRA re-computes most benefits in July using the prior years adjusted net family income. So if your 2020 income is higher than 2019 with no change in family size, then you can expect a reduction in your ACFB payments.
If your income dropped or the number of children increases, then you should see an increase in your quarterly ACFB benefit payments.
How Changes in Family Status Affects ACFB Benefits
Like many other benefit programs, your eligibility and how much you can receive is assessed on a regular basis by CRA.
That means it is important to inform CRA of any change in your family status as soon as possible. This includes having a new child, relocating to another province, or moving to Alberta.
You can always update most of your information using CRA My Account.
After a CRA assessment, you may be eligible for higher benefit payments. If that happens, you’ll receive an extra payment to account for the difference.
On the other hand, a reassessment could reduce or completely eliminate your ACFB benefits. In that case, CRA will send you a letter with information on how much you have to return.
Alberta Child Benefit Dates 2021
The Alberta Child Benefit program has been consolidated into the Alberta Child and Family Benefit (ACFB) program. The last payment under the old program has been made though families can still apply for retroactive payments if they qualify.
Therefore, with ACB now ACFB, the Alberta Child Benefit dates for 2021 are:
- Feb 26 2021
- May 27 2021
- August 27, 2021
- November 26, 2021
How ACFB affects other Government Benefits
If you qualify for ACFB payments, your other government benefits will not be affected.
That means, your quarterly ACFB payments are not considered as income and would not be used in calculating how much you can receive or your eligibility for other Alberta and federal government benefits.
Some of these programs in AISH, Child Care subsidy, Income Support, CCB, GST/HST and many other government benefits.
Some FAQs: ACFB Payment Dates
Are ACFB payments taxable?
Like Canada Child Benefit, ACFB is a non-taxable benefit. You won’t have to include them in your income tax returns when you file your taxes.
Is ACFB paid monthly?
No, ACFB recipients get their benefits quarterly in February, May, August and November. However, your CCB payments will continue to be received monthly.
How often do you get Alberta Child and Family benefit
The Alberta Child and Family Benefit payments are received 4 times in a year in February, May, August and November. Eligible families will receive their payment from CRA through the usual payment method they have setup.
How much is child benefit in Alberta?
The Alberta Child Benefit is now included in the Alberta Child and Family Benefit and pays a maximum of $5,120 to low and middle-income Alberta families.
Who is eligible for Alberta Child Benefit?
To be eligible for the ACFB, applicants must have one or more children aged 18 and below, be residents of Alberta, file their tax returns and meet the income criteria.
Where can I get an Alberta child and family benefit calculator?
To calculate exactly how much you can receive from ACFB, you can use the CRA Child and family benefits calculator. You’ll need to provide some information about your residency status, family status and so on.
Will I continue to receive CCB if I’m eligible for ACFB?
ACFB is a top-up to the federal government Canada Child Benefit program. That means you’ll continue to receive CCB if you remain eligible for it and your amount will not reduced because you also receive ACFB.
I didn’t receive my ACFB payment, what should I do?
It could be because you’re no longer eligible, e.g. your income is high and the benefit was fully clawed back.
If you meet all the eligibility requirements but you did not receive the payment, you call CRA to understand what happened. But wait for 5 days before contacting them.
For those that qualify, the ACFB provides some income support to cover some of the cost of raising children.
This post has covered the available benefits, how to apply and the ACFB payment dates for 2021.
To learn more about the AISH program, another social assistance program from the Alberta government, check the post below.
If you have any specific questions about the program or any of the other Alberta programs administered by CRA, you can contact CRA by calling 1-800-959-2809.