Family life

6 ways the 2018 federal budget affects families

The Liberals just released the federal budget and there are some things that will affect parents, including a change to the Child Care Benefit and extra weeks of parental leave.

By Julie Cazzin, MoneySense
6 ways the 2018 federal budget affects families

Photo: iStockPhoto

1. The Canadian Child Benefit will be indexed to inflation starting July 2018.

2. In the previous budget you were able to take additional time off for parental and caregiver care and get the EI Caregivers Benefit. This has now been extended to include maternity and sickness benefits.

3. You will be able to open an RESP and claim the $500 per year Learning Bond at the same time that you apply for a birth certificate for your child. This will automatically enroll children born into low-income families for the grant.

4. As of June of 2019, the government will offer five additional weeks of “use-it-or-lose-it” EI Parental Sharing Benefits when both parents commit to sharing parental leave. It’s available to all two-parent families, including adoptive and same-sex couples. If you’re going for the standard parental leave option of 55% of EI benefits over 12 months, you’ll have a total of 40 weeks of leave instead of just 35. As well, where families have opted for extended parental leave at 33% of earnings for 18 months, the second parent would be able to take up to 8 weeks of additional parental leave.

5. The Medical Expense Tax Credit is extended to psychiatric service dogs in order to help Canadians cope with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or autism. This is directly aimed at benefitting those in the disability community who rely on psychiatric service dogs.

6. The CPP death benefit is now $2,500 for all eligible contributors (whereas before it was pro-rated), which should help alleviate some of the stress during a difficult time.

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