Canada Grants


We’ve talked extensively about American Grants for Single Mothers, US State Assistance programs, and other financial help agencies for American women. However, there are a number of Canadian assistance programs for Canadian Moms/Dads. The Canadian assistance programs work quite a bit different than the US assistance programs. Frankly, there’s just a lot more of a social net in Canada than the US, which means there are way more grants for personal assistance and other government programs. Canada, as a socialist country, has a complete Welfare system while the US does not.

Note, you might want to check out our Canadian Federal Assistance page and our Canadian Provincial Assistance for Single Mothers page for more related information on Canadian Assistance Programs.

Raising a family can be a challenge when there doesn’t seem to be enough money to go around. But there are a number of government Canada grants available in a number of important areas that will help you live better right now, or prepare for a better future.

TRAINING

Apprenticeship Grants

Apprenticeship grants are designed to make a career in the trades more attractive and to reward those who persevere in and complete an apprenticeship. The money is intended to cover costs related to training, such as tuition, tools and travel.

Skilled tradespeople have an advantage in the job market, and, even better, as a journeyman in one of the Red Seal trades your skills are recognized and transportable throughout Canada.

More than 50 trades are included in the Red Seal program, from automotive painter or baker to glaziers, plumbers, roofers and welders. To see a complete list of recognized trades, see the program’s website.

Just remember that not all trades carry the Red Seal in all provinces—those in your province may be different from those in other parts of Canada. So before deciding on a trade, consider where you may end up practicing it.

Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG)

This grant encourages you to “stick with” the apprenticeship you’ve chosen and embarked upon. Once you’ve successfully completed your second year or level of apprenticeship program in one of the Red Seal trades, you will receive a taxable grant of $1000 per year (for a maximum of $2000).

You are eligible for this grant if:

  • You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person
  • You are not a high school student
  • Your apprenticeship is registered (with an employer, a training trust fund, union training centre, or similar recognized apprenticeship sponsor)
  • The program you are following is designated as Red Seal in the same province where your apprenticeship is registered
  • You have supporting documentation that proves you have completed the first and second years and/or levels (or equivalent) of the program in which you are registered
  • You are applying for the grant within the deadline: June 30 of the calendar year following your completion of required apprenticeship term

It’s easiest to apply online—if you meet the eligibility guidelines above, apply here. You can expect your grant within about a month after your application is complete.

Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG)

Once you have completed your apprenticeship and become a certified journeyperson, you can apply for this $2000 taxable grant as well.

The eligibility criteria for this grant are the same as for the Incentive Grant, except that, of course, your documentation will include proof that you have successfully completed an apprenticeship program in one of the Red Seal trades.

Apply here for the Apprenticeship Completion Grant.

It is not necessary to have received the AIG in order to apply for the ACG. Similarly, you may apply for both if your apprenticeship was completed after 2 years of training.

EDUCATION

One of the richest sources of grants is money made available for continuing education and lifelong learning. People who are better educated qualify for better-paying jobs. The government recognizes this simple fact in the clearest way possible: by providing lots of financial help for people who want to improve their prospects for rewarding and productive employment.

Whether you’re looking for financial aid so that you may find a better job, or need help financing a good education for your children, there is likely a grant that fits your circumstances in the list below.

For each of the following grants, eligibility starts with an application for a Canada Student Loan.  All applications for loans and grants are processed at the provincial level, so make sure you inquire about procedures and send all paperwork to the appropriate student financial assistance office for your area. Most provinces will provide an online application process for the Canada Student Loan.

At the time your loan application is processed, your case will be evaluated for any available grants, which are awards that do not have to be repaid. Familiarize yourself with the list of grants below and, if a grant amount you were expecting is not included in your Certificate of Eligibility, you will be able to make inquiries as to why.

Remember that any student loans you receive—as opposed to a grant—must be repaid with interest. Make sure you understand your entire Certificate of Eligibility and its implications before signing it. Signing this document means you agree to pay back any loan amount plus interest.

Grant for Students from Low Income Families

Available for undergraduate studies only

Eligibility for this grant hinges on your family income related to family size. These figures are unique for each province—you can see what qualifies as low income on Table A of  this chart.

The grant is for full-time students in a program of at least two years at a designated post-secondary institution (contact your provincial/territorial student financial assistance office to find out if the school you want to attend qualifies).

Up to $3000 per academic year is available under this grant ($250 per month of study), disbursed at the beginning and middle of the school year. Since grant amounts are fixed, it is possible that you will receive a grant that meets or exceeds your assessed need amount, in which case you will not need a student loan.

For example, if your application for a Canada Student Loan assesses your need at $1400,  and you qualify for this Low Income grant, the grant amount of $2000 makes any loan unnecessary. You do not have to pay back the difference.

Grant for Students from Middle Income Families

Available for undergraduate studies only.

This grant is also based on family size and income, as determined by Table B in this matrix. It is also for full-time students engaged in at least two years of study at an eligible post-secondary institution (you will have to contact your student financial assistance office to make sure your institution qualifies).

The award is $100 per month of study, up to $1200 per academic year, and is also disbursed twice per academic year. Similar to the grant for Low Income Families, if your assessed need is lower than the grant amount, you will not have to contract for a student loan to finance your education.

Grant for Students with Dependants

Available for studies beyond the undergraduate level.

With this grant, the type of program you are enrolled in expands. It can be a degree, certificate or diploma program of at least 12 weeks within a period of 15 consecutive weeks. You are eligible if your family qualifies as low income and you have at least one dependant under age 12 at the beginning of the study period.

If you have a dependant child over age 12 who is disabled, you may also qualify for this program.

The grant amount is $200 per month of study for each dependant child. This grant program builds on the Grant for Students from Low Income families—the amount for your dependant children is added to the $250 per month you already qualify for under that program.

Grant for Part-Time Studies

Available for studies beyond the undergraduate level.

Students from low-income families enrolled in a part-time program of at least 12 weeks within 15 consecutive weeks qualify for this grant, which provides up to $1200 per academic year.

This grant is different from those listed earlier in that it will not exceed your assessed need: if your need is evaluated at $800, you will receive that amount, not a fixed amount of $1200.

Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants

Available for studies beyond the undergraduate level.

Eligibility for this grant is the same as for the Grant for Part-Time Studies, except that:

  • You have a dependant younger than age 12 at the beginning of the study period (exceptions for older children who are disabled)
  • Your assessed needs exceeds the Grant for Part-Time Studies (maximum of $1200)
  • You have borrowed at least $4000 in Canada Student Loans

If those criteria are met, you will receive a maximum of $1920 per academic year, depending on the number of dependants you claim. The grant is calculated on a per-week basis ( up to $40 per week of study for one or two dependants; up to $60 for three or more). The grant amount will not exceed your assessed need.

Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities

Available for studies beyond the undergraduate level.

This grant offers $2000 per academic year for disabled students enrolled in a part-time or full-time program of 32 weeks or more.

Proof of your permanent disability is supplied with any of:

  • A medical certificate
  • A psycho-educational assessment
  • Documentation that you receive federal or provincial disability assistance

As with all the other grants, your course of study must be taken at a designated post-secondary educational institution.

Find the student financial assistance office for your area to verify your eligibility for this grant and to apply.

Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities

Available for studies beyond the undergraduate level.

If you qualify for the Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities, and in addition can provide written confirmation and the exact cost of necessary education-related services and/or equipment, you may be eligible for a grant of up to $8000 per academic year to fund those exceptional expenses.

Saving for Education

Planning ahead for your child’s education costs can save you big money down the road. The first, and easiest, step is to make use of the programs the Federal government has in place to help.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Having an RESP in place makes your child eligible for various grants that can then be deposited into the RESP. Income generated from the contributions is not taxable as long as it remains in the RESP. Parents, relatives, and friends of a beneficiary may also contribute, up to a lifetime limit of $50,000 per child.

Funds from the RESP are disbursed for qualified educational purposes: full- or part-time studies in an apprenticeship program, a CEGEP, trade school, college or university. Students will pay taxes on income disbursed from the fund, but not on contribution amounts.

The RESP account remains open for 36 years from inception, so there’s no pressure on you or your child to start or finish school on a tight schedule. If for some reason the funds are not used for your child’s education, the contributions are returned to you as tax-free income.

Eligibility:

Both the subscriber and the beneficiary(ies) must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

How To Apply:

You (the subscriber) need to choose a promoter (the entity that will administer the savings plan and disburse funds). Information on RESP application procedures is available from most financial institutions.

  • Important: research your options first. Some promoters may not offer all the programs for which you are eligible. This can mean giving up free money for your child, or embarking on a longish process of changing promoters and transferring your account. Visit this website to see what you need to know before choosing a promoter.

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

This federal grant makes a payment of 20% on RESP contributions for an eligible beneficiary, up until the age of 17.

For families with low to middle-income, there is also an Additional CESG (A-CESG) over and above the basic CESG described above. This grant will add either 10% or 20%, depending on family income, to the first $500 contributed to the beneficiary’s RESP each calendar year, up until the end of the year in which the child turns 17. Year 2010 income limits are $41,544.00 (for the 20% grant) and $83,088 (for the 10% grant).

Eligibility:

All children up to age 17 are eligible for the basic CESG, as long as they are Canadian residents and have an RESP. There are special rules for children age 15-17. These rules and other information can be found at the link above.

How To Apply:

Your RESP provider should automatically ensure that the basic CESG grant is being deposited in your child’s RESP.

One of the considerations when choosing a provider (also known as a promoter) is to ensure they offer the A-CESG if you qualify by income. If you’ve already opened an RESP and your provider does not offer this grant, you will have to transfer the RESP to one who does, in order to apply.

Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

Another incentive program from the federal government to help make starting an RESP an easy choice for families on a limited budget.

This program will deposit $500 into your child’s RESP regardless of any contributions you do or do not make. Each year thereafter until your child reaches age 15, $100 will be deposited into the RESP. (An extra $25 will be provided to help offset any costs associated with setting up the RESP.) That’s up to $2000 plus interest provided for your child’s education after high school.

Eligibility

To qualify for this bond program:

  • · Your child must have been born after December 31, 2003
  • · You receive the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) as part of the Canada Child Tax Benefit (also known as “family allowance” or “baby bonus”).

How To Apply

Just open an RESP for your child (a SIN will be required). When selecting an RESP provider/promoter, remember to verify that they offer this bond first. If you anticipate contributing to your child’s RESP at any point in the future, make sure the RESP provider also offers the A-CESG if you believe your income will qualify you for that additional grant amount.

HOUSING

Emergency Repair Program

This program funds emergency housing repairs to homeowners and tenants in rural areas.  Your application for aid must be approved before any repairs are carried out.

There are two types of eligibility to be considered:

  • Your income must be below the ceiling established for the area in which you live
  • The repairs must be necessary for safety reasons, such as to chimneys, heating systems, doors and windows, foundation, plumbing or electrical systems.

Grant amounts vary based on geographic location and type of repair; maximum amounts available are:

  • Southern Canada: $6000
  • Northern Canada: $9000
  • Far Northern Canada: $11,000

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation administers this grant, and has other similar programs for home modification or renovation for the disabled and elderly. A pre-qualification tool can be found at their website to see more details on these programs and their requirements.

Energy efficiency grants and incentives

You may qualify for federal grants for home improvements that lower energy costs, improve comfort and reduce environmental impacts.

You will need to procure an energy advisor to conduct an audit of your home or multi-unit residential building first. Their evaluation of the buildings energy use will highlight retrofits to improve efficiency, which are used as a basis for determining grant amounts.

The maximum grant amount for a home is $5000 (for a multi-unit residential building, $5000 per unit).

Some of the retrofits provided under this program are replacing heating system units, cooling system units, insulation for walls, floors, attics and more, air sealing, doors, windows and skylights, and water conservation improvements.

A complete list of eligible retrofits, as well as application and eligibility information, is available at the link above.


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