Liberals Reveal Details of New Canada Dental Benefit | TBEN News

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The federal government has introduced legislation to implement its recently announced cost-of-living plan by helping some Canadians with dental care for children and one-time increases in housing benefits and the GST tax credit.

The government said the three measures together represent $4.5 billion in financial aid for low- and middle-income Canadians — and $3.2 billion of that is new money in addition to those announced in the budget.

The first phase of the Canada Dental Benefit – for children between the ages of two and 12 – is expected to provide dental care for 500,000 children at a cost of nearly $1 billion.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos described this first step on dental benefits as an “interim” measure. He said the program will be expanded in the coming years and the government hopes it will cooperate with provincial plans.

“This provisional dental benefit in Canada is just the beginning,” he said. “While this temporary grant is in effect, our government will take the necessary steps to build a comprehensive, longer-term dental care program.”

Earlier this year, the Liberals and New Democrats struck a deal in which the NDP committed to vote confidence votes with the minority liberal government in the House of Commons until June 2025. In return, the government agreed to comply with a number of policy metrics along the way.

That deal committed the government to the goal of expanding the dental program next year to those under 18 and all eligible Canadians by the end of 2025.

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Details of the dental care plan

Beginning this year — according to information about the program released Tuesday — children under 12 with household incomes of less than $70,000 per year could qualify for up to $650 per year in dental coverage for the next two years.

Children in families with incomes between $70,000 and $79,000 may be eligible for up to $390 per child per year for the next two years. Families with incomes between $80,000 and $89,000 can get up to $260 per child per year for the next two years.

The Liberal government says this first phase of the Canada Dental Benefit will be rolled out once the enabling legislation is passed by Parliament.

Once this is the case, parents can apply directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), either through the CRA’s “My Account” or through a CRA Contact Center.

To receive the benefit, parents and guardians must certify that their child does not have access to private dental care and that they will use the benefit to pay for dental services.

Applicants will be required to prove that they have a child in the eligible age range and that the household income is within the appropriate category. Parents are also required to provide CRA with their employer’s information.

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People using the program must also provide the CRA with the dentist’s name and the date of the appointment. They must keep their accounts for the work performed in case CRA asks them to verify that it took place.

Families who provide false information, fail to provide receipts, or fail to use the money for dental care could be fined up to $5,000.

They have proposed legislation that prints more money, borrows more money and throws gasoline on the inflationary fire the prime minister has created.– Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre

The benefit is to cover the cost of a dentist’s services, but in remote communities where there may be a shortage of dentists, some services by dental hygienists may also be covered.

The federal government says it came up with the annual maximum claim amounts by calculating the cost of various dental services for children.

Once a person has received the benefit, they must use it to pay for dental services – but if the services cost less than the total benefit amount in that year, the recipient is not required to return what is left.

Rent allowance, GST voucher

The Liberal government also introduced legislation to give a one-time boost to Canada’s 1.8 million renters struggling with the cost of living.

The $500 payout is available to singles with incomes less than $20,000 and families with incomes less than $35,000, provided they pay at least 30 percent of their adjusted net income in rent.

Canadians will be able to apply for both the dental and housing benefits once Bill C-31 has passed Parliament.

The Liberals also introduced Bill C-30, which will provide financial aid to the approximately 11 million Canadians currently receiving the GST tax credit.

C-30 doubles the credit for just six months. That means single Canadians can get an extra $234, couples with children $467 extra and seniors up to $225 this year.

Since the government announced the broad outline of these measures earlier this month, critics have argued that injecting more money into the economy now risks contributing to inflation.

“After two years of warnings by conservatives, the Trudeau administration still has no plan to restore inflation,” conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said in a statement on Tuesday.

“They have proposed legislation that prints more money, borrows more money and throws gasoline on the inflationary fire the prime minister has created.”

Associate Secretary of the Treasury Randy Boissonnault dismissed that charge Tuesday, saying the measures in the affordability plan target Canadians who don’t have the money they need to make ends meet.

“We’re talking $3.2 billion in new spending against an entire economy of about $2.6 to $2.7 trillion,” he said. “This is like throwing a rock into the lake — the lake doesn’t overflow.”

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