The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is one of the primary benefit programs available to residents of Ontario.
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about OTB, the eligibility, how to apply for it, how much you can receive and the OTB payment dates.
You’ll also learn about some other Ontario government benefit programs you may be eligible for.
Ontario Trillium Benefit Payment Dates 2021
The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) payment dates for 2021 and 2022 are:
|Benefit Months||OTB Payment Dates|
|October 2021||October 8, 2021|
|November 2021||November 10, 2021|
|December 2021||December 10, 2021|
|January 2022||January 10, 2022|
|February 2022||February 10, 2022|
|March 2022||March 10, 2022|
|April 2022||April 8, 2022|
|May 2022||May 10, 2022|
|June 2022||June 10, 2022|
|July 2022||July 8, 2022|
|August 2022||August 10, 2022|
|September 2022||September 9, 2022|
|October 2022||October 7, 2022|
|November 2022||November 10, 2022|
|December 2022||December 9, 2022|
OTB is paid on the 10th day of each month except when the date falls on a weekend or statutory holiday. In such cases, the OTB payment date will be on the last business day before 10th.
If you did not receive your payments on the OTB payment dates above, wait for 10 days before contacting CRA via phone.
How is OTB Payment made?
You can receive your OTB payment as a direct deposit or by cheque.
If you already receive your income tax refund or any of the other CRA administered benefits by direct deposit, then your monthly OTB payments would also be paid directly into your bank account on the OTB payment dates.
Direct deposit is quick, fast and convenient. It ensures your OTB benefit payments are always received on time in line with the payment dates above.
In some instances, you may receive your OTB payments with a caption “Canada Pro” in your bank account. Learn more about Canada Pro in the linked post.
If you choose to get your payment by cheque, you can also expect to receive the cheque by 10th of each month.
CRA usually sends out the cheques a few days earlier to allow enough time for the cheque to arrive by the OTB payment dates.
What is Ontario Trillium Benefit?
Ontario Trillium Benefit, OTB, is an Ontario government benefit program for low to medium income earners and those living in Northern Ontario.
OTB is a combined monthly payment for 3 different Ontario credits namely:
- Ontario Sales Tax Credit
- Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
- Northern Ontario Energy Credit.
The program is entirely funded by the provincial government of Ontario, but eligibility determination and benefit payments are administered by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using the income tax returns of Ontario residents.
Eligibility for Ontario Trillium Benefit
In general, only low to medium income earners in Ontario are eligible for Ontario Trillium Benefits. But there are also specific eligibility criteria for each of the 3 programs covered by OTB.
Note that your eligibility is assessed for each credit independently. So that, even if you’re ineligible for one, you can still receive OTB monthly payments if you qualify for any of the other two.
Therefore, only Ontario residents that meet the eligibility conditions for one of the 3 Ontario Trillium Benefit components are eligible for OTB.
We’ll cover these requirements in detail below:
1. Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
The Ontario Energy & Property Tax Credit (OEPTC) is meant to help with the sales tax on energy and property taxes for Ontario residents with low to moderate income.
It is an income-tested benefit like the Ontario Sales Tax credit. Meaning, the higher your income, the lower the credit you’ll receive.
There are 2 components to OEPTC:
- Energy component
- Property Tax component
You’ll be eligible for the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit if you were a resident of Ontario as at December 31, 2020 and you meet one of the requirements below in 2020:
- Rented or paid property tax for a main residence
- lived in a public long-term care home and paid for your accommodation; or
- lived on a reserve and paid for your home energy costs
And one of these apply before June 1, 2022:
- Aged 18 or older (the age of majority in Ontario)
- a parent who lives or previously lived with your child
- married (currently or previously) or in a common-law relationship
Where you live on the 1st of each month is also considered. So your OEPTC payments will stop the following month after you move out of the province.
Make sure you update your address with CRA as soon as you move to avoid OTB overpayments.
How much is Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit?
OEPTC amounts depend on how income, age and living conditions.
The table below summarizes the maximum benefit you could expect to receive as Ontario Energy and Property Credit:
|Between 18 and 64 years old||$1,095|
|Over 65 years old||$1,247|
|Live on a reserve or in a public long-term care home||$243|
|For the time you lived in a designated college, university of private school residence in 2020||$25|
To calculate how much you’ll receive based on your specific circumstances, use the CRA family benefit calculator.
2. Ontario Sales Tax Credit
Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC) is the provincial equivalent of the federal GST/HST Credit program.
It is designed for low to medium income earners and serves as a refund for some of the sales tax they pay.
Individuals or families must be residents of Ontario and satisfy one of the following conditions to be eligible for the Ontario Sales Tax Credit:
- 19 years or older
- In a common-law relationship or previously/currently married
- a parent who lives or previously lived with a child
You don’t need to apply for the Ontario Sales Tax Credit separately. Once you’ve filed your income tax, the CRA will assess your returns to know if you’re eligible.
If you are, you’ll start receiving the payments starting from the next OTB payment date.
Related: GST Payment Dates
How much is the Ontario Sales Tax Credit?
For the 2021 benefit year (July 2021 to June 2022), beneficiaries can receive up to $316.
You can also receive up to an additional $316 for your spouse/common-law partner and each dependent child that is under age 19 on the 1st of the payment month.
OSTC is income-tested so the credit is reduced once your adjusted family net income exceeds the set threshold.
For the 2021 benefit year, the adjusted family net income and the claw back rates are:
- Singles: 4% on net income above $24,332
- Single parents, married or in a common-law relationship: 4% on net income above $30,143
3. Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC)
This credit helps Northern Ontario residents with the higher energy cost they pay.
In other words, only residents of northern Ontario on December 31, 2020 are eligible for the credit for the 2021 benefit period.
To be eligible for the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, one of the following must also apply in 2020:
- rented or paid property tax for your main residence in Northern Ontario
- lived in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Northern Ontario and paid for your accommodation
- lived on a reserve and paid for your home energy costs such as heat or electricity
And at least one of the 3 conditions below apply before June 1, 2022:
- aged 18 or above
- live or previously lived with a child as the parent
- have/had a spouse or common-law partner
Northern Ontario includes the following cities and towns: Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timiskaming.
How much is Northern Ontario Energy Credit?
The amount you can get under the NOEC program depends on your family or marital status – that is, whether you’re single or a family.
The maximum amount for each category are:
- Singles: up to $158
- Families: up to $243
The NOEC amount is calculated and combined into a single payment with the Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC) and Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC).
The total amount is paid as a lump sum amount as OTB payment.
How to apply for Ontario Trillium Benefits
You need to apply for the Ontario Trillium benefit annually to continue to receive the payment.
To apply, simply complete the ON-BEN Application form that is included with the personal income tax return. The form is used to apply for the OEPTC and NOEC components of OTB.
That means, even if you don’t have any income to report, you must file your income tax return and include the Ontario benefit application form to receive OEPTC and/or NOEC.
On the other hand, the information in your tax returns are used to automatically apply for Ontario Sales tax Credit.
Applying for OTB if you have a partner
If you’re married or have a common-law partner, either partner can apply for OTB.
The first partner whose income tax return is assessed will be the one to receive the Ontario Sales Tax Credit.
On the other hand, the other OTB components are paid to the first partner that applies for OTB by completing the ON-BEN Form.
Note that your OTB amounts will be the same no matter which partner applies for the benefit.
Apply for OTB before you turn 18
Anyone turning 18 during the benefit year can apply in advance while filing the previous year’s tax returns.
For example, you can apply for OTB in your 2021 income tax returns (due April 2022) if you would be turning 18 in August 2022.
If you meet all the other eligibility conditions, your first OTB payment will be paid on the next OTB payment date after you turn 18.
OTB Rates: How much can you receive?
There are several factors that are considered in calculating how much you’ll receive as OTB.
These factors include income, age, where you live, your family size and how much you paid in rent or property tax.
The amount you’re entitled to are calculated for each of the 3 credits and combined into the single monthly or annual lump sum amount.
To estimate how much you can receive as Ontario Trillium Benefit and from the other benefit programs like CCB, check out this Family Benefit Calculator from CRA.
You’ll be prompted to provide some information about your income, family situation, residence and so on.
With this information, you’ll be shown an estimate of how much you can expect to get.
How OTB Amount is Paid
Depending on the total OTB amount you’re entitled to, you can decide on how you want your benefit to be paid.
OTB is more than $360
If the OTB amount is more than $360, you can receive the money in 12 equal installments starting in July of the current year OR as a lump sum at the end of the benefit year – i.e. June of the following year.
You can only make the election to receive a lump sum annually when you file your taxes.
If you opted for a lump sum payment, you’re allowed to change your mind and start receiving your benefits monthly. Simply call CRA at 1-877-627-6645 or write a letter to the tax centre closest to you.
You will be paid for all the past month’s OTB amounts and start receiving your benefit monthly going forward.
OTB is $360 or less
If it’s less or equal to $360, OTB is paid as a lump sum in July. You won’t have the option to receive the benefit monthly.
Note: The minimum OTB payment is $10. You will not get any OTB payment if your entitlement is $2 or less.
Here’s a table summarizing the possible OTB amounts and when you can receive them:
|OTB Amount||How OTB is Paid||OTB Lump Sum Date|
|More than $360||Monthly or Lump sum||Last benefit month (June 2022)|
|$10 to $360||Lump sum||First benefit month (July 2021)|
|Greater than $2 but less than $10||Lump sum||First benefit month (July 2021)|
|$2 or less||Not paid||N/A|
Is OTB Taxable?
Ontario Trillium Benefit is a non-taxable benefit for eligible Ontario residents.
That means, the payments are not added to your income when you file your annual income tax returns.
Also, your OTB payments are not considered when assessing how much you can receive from other income-tested benefits like GST/HST Credit, CCB and so on.
OTB Increases 2021
The Ontario government did not announce any increases or changes to the OTB payments or the maximum amount families can receive.
Other Ontario Benefits
Here are some other Ontario government benefit programs you may be eligible for:
Ontario Works: is a welfare program available to Ontario resident with a financial need. Learn more: Ontario Works Payment Dates.
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): available for those with a medical or physical disability. Learn more about the ODSP payment here.
Ontario Child Benefit: It is an extra payment that is combined with the federal Child Care Benefit (CCB) program monthly payments. Check this post about Ontario Child Benefit to know if you’re eligible.
Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant: pays up to $500 to help seniors with the property tax on their homes.
You can check here for other benefits and credits available to Ontario residents.
Some FAQs: OTB Payment Dates
No, Ontario Trillium benefit is not taxable. Your OTB entitlement is 100% tax-free.
OTB is paid on the 10th day of each month except when it falls on a weekend or holiday. You can also choose to receive it as a lump sum at the end of the benefit period (for those eligible for more than $360) or the beginning if its $360 or lower.
You can receive OTB as a direct deposit (preferred option) or as a cheque. If you go with the cheque option, the OTB cheque dates may not be coincide with the payment dates above depending on the mail service in your area.
OTB amount is a sum of your entitlement for the 3 OTB components. Use the CRA Family benefit calculator to estimate the total benefit you can expect to receive in the year.
The minimum OTB amount you can receive in a year is $10. If your entitlement is greater than $2, but less than $10, it will be increased to $10 and paid as a lump sum at the beginning of the OTB benefit period – i.e. July. If it’s lower, the benefit will not be paid.
Yes, some of the OTB components are income-tested. That is, the amount you’re eligible to receive will reduce as your income increases and be completely clawed back at higher income levels.
You can choose to receive OTB as a lump sum if your annual OTB entitlement is more than $360. For lower amounts, the only option available to you is a lump sum payment at the beginning of the benefit period in July.
If you did not apply for any of the OTB components (OEPTC, NOEC and OSTC) in previous years, you can still receive your OTB entitlements.
You don’t have to file a new income tax returns for the applicable years. Simply login to your CRA My Account and request for a reassessment of those years’ returns. You’ll also need to attach Form ON-BEN for the relevant years.
Yes, you can apply to receive any past OTB payments that is owed to you.
The income level at which your OTB payments start getting clawed back depends on each of OTB components. For example, the Ontario Sales Tax credit will be clawed back by 4% once the net income exceeds $24,332 for a single or $30,143 for those with a partner.
Like many other benefit programs in Canada, the OTB benefit period starts in July and ends in June of the following year. In July, your new OTB entitlement is calculated using your income tax returns for the previous year.
The previous year’s tax returns is used to calculate the OTB entitlement for the current OTB period. For example, your 2020 income tax return is used to calculate how much you can get for the 2021 benefit period (July 2021 to June 2022).
If you still have questions about the Ontario Trillium Benefit program, please leave a comment below.
You can also contact the responsible office of the Ontario government by phone at 1‑866‑ONT‑TAXS (1‑866‑668‑8297).
If you found this post about OTB payment dates useful, you can look around the blog for other relevant posts.