Alberta Working Parents Benefit: Everything you need to know

The Government of Alberta announced an initiative called the Working Parents Benefit. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the money the provincial government should have spent on child care subsidies remain unused.

Through the benefit, the unspent funds totalling about $108 million will be given to children in low and middle-income families based on 2020 household income.

In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Alberta Working Parents Benefit.

Alberta Government Working Parents Benefit of $561 per child

What is Working Parents Benefit?

The Alberta Working Parents Benefit is a one time benefit of $561 provided by the Alberta Government to parents who paid for child care so that they could work or study in 2020 during the pandemic. The Ministry of Children’s Services will be responsible for the benefit.

Though not exactly the same, the Government of Ontario also had a similar one-time payment of $200 during the first and second wave of the pandemic to cover education-related costs.

Alberta Working Parents Benefit Eligibility

The government of Alberta estimates that about 192,000 will receive the benefit. Check below to find out if you may be eligible:

  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Alberta
  • Had a total household income of $100,000 or below for the 2020 tax year
  • Have a child that is 13 years or below (born on February 29, 2008 or after)
  • Required child care because you needed to work or study
  • Paid at least $561 for 3 months of child care in 2020 between April 1 and December 31.
  • The child care provider is licensed or unlicensed. Nannies, relatives or private day homes are also allowed. Receipts must be provided in all cases.

Documents needed to proof eligibility:

Here are some of the documents you may be required to provide to confirm your eligibility for the Working Parents benefit.

  • Proof of income
  • Proof of enrolment in an educational program, employment or self-employment.
  • Childcare provider information and receipts for payments
  • Identity documents for the children
  • Additional identification if you applied with an unverified MyAlberta Digital ID

It is not clear if the documents will be needed at the application stage or during audit. However, you’ll have to repay the benefit if you’re unable to provide the necessary documents to proof your eligibility.

How to Apply for Working Parents Benefit

Online application for the benefit will open between March 1st, 2021 to March 31st 2021. You may need to wait for a few days before you can apply depending on where you live.

DateRegionExcluded Areas
March 1Southern AlbertaAirdrie, Camrose, Calgary, Edmonton,
Leduc, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat,
Red Deer, and Wetaskiwin
March 2Northern AlbertaCold Lake, Edmonton, Fort McMurray,
Grande Prairie, and Lloydminster
March 3Urban CentresEdmonton and Calgary
March 4Edmonton Metro AreaN/A
March 5Calgary Metro AreaN/A
March 6 – 31All RegionsN/A

To apply, you’ll need to have a verified MyAlberta Digital ID account. A verified account requires a valid Alberta drivers license or identification card.

You can still apply with an unverified account, but the processing will be slower and the wait time to receive the payment may be as long as 2 months.

You should receive a confirmation of your application within 24 hours. However, the processing may take up to 30 business days. Payments will be made using Interac e-Transfer if your application is approved.

For those with an unverified MyAlberta Digital ID, a prepaid VISA card will be issued and it may take up to 2 months to receive.

FAQs: Alberta Working Parents Benefit

How much is the Working Parents Benefit?

The benefit is a one-time payment of $561 per child for eligible families.

Is the Working Parents Benefits taxable?

No, but the benefit will reduce how much you can claim as child care expense deduction when you file your income taxes.

The relevant tax line numbers, if applicable to you, are 67950 (total child care expenses) and 67954 (total expenses for kids 6 or younger). If you’re using a tax software, remember to deduct the benefit from your child care expenses before entering the numbers.

For example: Let’s assume the total child care expenses you paid in 2020 was $3,000 and you received the Working parents benefit of $561 for a child. You should enter just $2,439 in the tax software and not the full amount you have on the child care receipt.

So while the benefit itself isn’t taxable, it may reduce how much tax deduction you can claim.

Related Post: Tax Credit vs Tax Deduction

Shared Custody: Who can apply for the benefit?

The benefit is per child, but any of the parents or guardians of a child can apply for the benefit if they meet the eligibility conditions. If both parents apply, the payment will go to the first applicant. The Alberta Government has made it clear that it will not get involved in disputes about the distribution of the funds.

To learn more about the program and get the application link when it opens, check this page on the Government of Alberta website.

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Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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