Financial Assistance for Single Mothers in Quebec


The governments of Canada and Quebec provide many programs and services to support your efforts to take care of your family, whether your children are newly born, in preschool or daycare, elementary or high school and beyond. Browse through the list below and see how your government can help.

Federal program titles are preceded by (CAN), while provincial program titles are preceded by (PQ).

This listing focuses on family-related services. For a full listing of benefits, programs and services, see the websites of Benefits Canada or Service Canada.

Education Savings

(CAN) Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Toll-Free: 1-800-267-3100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-267-3100 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

An RESP is a great way to start saving early for your child’s education. For one thing, having an RESP in place makes your child eligible for various grants that can then be deposited into the RESP; for another, 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.

(CAN) Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Toll-Free:1- 800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1- 800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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.

(CAN) Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

Toll-Free:1- 800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1- 800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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.

Pension and Employment

(PQ) Pension for a Disabled Person’s Child

Toll-Free: 1-800-667-9625 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-667-9625 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

If you are receiving a disability pension under the Quebec Pension Plan, any of your dependent children under 18 are also entitled to a pension amount, even if they have a job.

The monthly amount is $69.38 for each child, and accrues to the child’s personal income (not the pensioner’s).

Eligibility

If the child lives with you, the benefit is combined with your own pension amount each month. If not, the payment is sent to the person caring for the child.

How To Apply

You can fill out the application online, then print and mail to Régie des rentes du Québec. Or you can pick up an application at a Régie Client Service Centre, at your Centre local de services communautaires (CLSC), or from Services Québec.

(PQ) Quebec Parental Insurance Plan

Toll-Free: 1-888-610-7727 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-610-7727 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This is an income replacement plan designed to support parents with newborn and young children. It pays benefits to all eligible workers taking maternal, paternal, parental or adoption leave.

Maximum earnings to be eligible for this plan is $64,000 (the amount is re-calculated in January each year), and benefits can be up to 75% of average weekly income. The plan has two options: a lower payment for a longer period of time, or a higher payment for a shorter period. The choice of plan is fixed once the first person benefits, so review your options carefully. Use the benefits calculator to try different scenarios.

It is also important to apply at your earliest opportunity (see next paragraph), since a delay can mean loss of benefits.

For mothers, your benefits can begin as early as 16 weeks before the expected delivery date; for paternal and parental (shared) plans, the benefit period can begin no earlier than the week the child is born. The start of benefits for adoptive parents depends on the type of adoption, but it is generally the week during which either:

  • a placement order was filed
  • the child is physically welcomed into the home

Eligibility

You must be a wager earner, a self-employed earner, or a wage-earner who is also self-employed, to be eligible for this program. Minimum earnings must be $2000, and the maximum you can earn to be eligible is $64,000.

How To Apply

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online. You will first need a special ID number that allows you to access Quebec government online services.

You will need the following information:

  • SINs and birth date for both parents and/or spouse
  • Expected date of birth for the child; if the birth has already occurred, birth certificate information
  • The date the applicant stopped working, or when pay/remunerated work activity was reduced by at least 40%
  • Earnings information, including records of employment, for at least the last 26 weeks. If you are a self-employed wager-earner, you may need information from last year’s tax return.

You can also apply over the phone at the number listed above.

(CAN) Employment Insurance Family Supplement

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-206-7218 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Family Supplement is a feature of Employment Insurance (EI) that provides additional benefits to low-income families with children when a caregiver loses his or her job.

The maximum Family Supplement will reach as high as 80% of your average insurable earnings.

As your income level rises, the Family Supplement gradually decreases, so that when the maximum income of $25,921 is reached no supplement is payable.

Eligibility

If your family receives the Canada Child Tax Benefit, then you are eligible to receive the supplement on qualifying income levels.

How To Apply

No application is necessary—if you are eligible, the Family Supplement will automatically be added to your EI benefit.

(CAN) Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Children’s Benefits

Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9914 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-277-9914 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

CPP Children’s Benefits provide a monthly benefit to the dependent children of disabled or deceased contributors. Your rates will vary based on your parent’s contributions, but averages and maximums can be investigated at this link.

Eligibility:

For you to be eligible for Children’s Benefits, your parent must have made sufficient contributions to the CPP. Also, if you are between 18 and 25, you must be attending school full time at a recognized institution. Children under 18 do not have to be in school to be eligible.

How To Apply

You should apply when you first become aware that your parent has applied for a disability benefit, or should your parent die.

Information and links to application forms can be found here.

(CAN) Employment Insurance (EI)

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-206-7218 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Employment Insurance provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job. There’s no way to tell in advance of application what your benefit will be, but the basic rate is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. At present, the maximum amount is $468 per week (based on the maximum yearly insurable amount of $44, 200).

Benefits are provided for a period of from 14 to 45 weeks, depending on unemployment rates in your region and the number of insurable work hours you accumulated during the 52 weeks preceding your claim. If you should find work before exhausting your benefit, the remainder can be “reactivated” for you to use again should another layoff occur.

While you are receiving benefits, you must be actively looking for work and keeping a written record of employer contacts.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for this benefit if you:

  • Have paid EI premiums (through paycheck deductions during periods of employment)
  • Lost your employment through no fault of your own
  • Have been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks
  • Have worked for the required number of insurance hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim (whichever is shorter)

How To Apply

The application for EI regular benefits is completed online (whether you do it from home, from a Service Canada Centre, or from some public internet access point) and could take up to an hour. Review the instructions beforehand to make sure you have all required information and documentation.

(CAN) Child Rearing Drop-Out Provision (CRDP)

Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9114 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-277-9114 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

When you retire or become disabled, you become eligible to receive basic benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). In the event of your death, these benefits transfer to your partner and/or children. Naturally, you will want this monthly benefit to be calculated to your advantage wherever possible.

The benefit amount is calculated on how much and how long you paid into the pension plan; however, certain life events cause people to “drop out” of earning at their full potential for some period of time. One of these events is child rearing. The CRDP is a provision to exclude such a period from your earnings calculations, so that your ultimate CPP benefit is not reduced

Eligibility

The CRDP can only be used for months where:

  • Your family received National Child Benefit Supplement (also known as “family allowance” or “baby bonus”) payments or were eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (even if you did not receive the benefit)

And

  • Your earnings were lower because you either stopped working, or worked fewer hours to be the primary caregiver of a dependent child under the age of seven

And

  • That child was born after December 31, 1958

How To Apply

Apply for the CRDP at the same time you apply for any CPP benefit. You should apply at least six months before you would like to start receiving the benefit.

Applications are available online here.

You may also stop at any Service Canada Centre for a kit. Find the Centre nearest you.

Healthy Families

(PQ) Food Aid Program for Pregnant Women (French-only website)

Toll-Free: 1-888-656-6372 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-656-6372 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This healthy baby program provides food and nutritional supplements to low-income expectant mothers.

The program allows an egg, a litre of milk and 150 ml of orange juice daily during pregnancy, as well as a vitamin-mineral supplement to aid nutrition during pregnancy. .

Eligibility

All low-income pregnant women in Quebec are eligible for this program.

How To Apply

Simply apply to the Centre local de services communautaires (CLSC) nearest you.

(CAN) Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities

General Inquiries: 613-952-1220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613-952-1220 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities Program is a community-based children’s program delivered by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). It focuses on early childhood development for First Nation, Inuit and Métis children and their families living off-reserve.

The program is individually developed for each community where it exists, but typically will include the following components in a structured half-day preschool format:

  • Aboriginal culture and language
  • Education and school readiness
  • Health promotion
  • Nutrition
  • Social support
  • Parental involvement

The program is free.

Eligibility

Any family from one of the populations mentioned who lives off-reserve is eligible to apply. There is a similar program in place for on-reserve families, the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve.

How To Apply

To see if programs exist in your area, and to inquire about registration and transportation, contact the PHAC regional office nearest you.

(CAN) Nobody’s Perfect

General Inquiries: 1-613-952-1220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-613-952-1220 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Nobody’s Perfect is a parenting education and support program for parents of young children. Parents who are young, single, isolated geographically or socially, or who have low income and education levels may not have had access to the kind of parenting information that will help their child thrive. This program, offered as a series of six to eight weekly group sessions, is designed for just such parents.

Materials are free, and trained facilitators (community workers, other parents and public health nurses) help participants work together to discover positive parenting techniques. The program is based on the principles of adult education—building on what these capable adults already know and do, then involving them in the learning process to expand on those capabilities. The network formed by this learning process provides a source of advice and support that can carry well beyond the weekly meetings.

Eligibility

Parents of children age birth to 5 years

How To Apply

Contact a provincial coordinator at this website.

Child Care

(PQ) Child Assistance

Toll-Free: 1-800-667-9625 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-667-9625 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This benefit is paid to all eligible families with dependent children under 18 years of age. The payment will vary from family to family, depending on number of children, the family status (single-parent or two-parent, shared custody, and so forth) and the family income. Payments are made quarterly unless special arrangements for monthly payments are arranged.

As a general guideline, the minimum benefit is $619 for one child, while the maximum could be as high as $2,204. Reductions begin at an income of $32,856 for a single parent, or $44,748 for couples. Find more detailed information on payments here.

The rules governing which parent receives payments are involved—you can find out more about that here.

Eligibility

You must live in Quebec and be responsible for the care and education of a child under 18.  You and/or your spouse must have a recognized Canadian citizenship status. Both spouses must have filed a Quebec tax return (even if one of them has no income), since the benefit is calculated on total family income.

How To Apply

For children born after Dec 31, 2006, no action is necessary. When the birth is registered the proper steps will be automatically taken.

But if you:

Adopt or obtain custody of a child

Become a resident of Quebec

Then you should apply for Child Assistance. The form and other information can be found at this link.

(PQ) Tax Credit for Child Care Expenses

This refundable tax credit is based on your family income. You claim it by filling out Schedule C on your income tax return.

Eligibility

You must have paid child care expenses for a child who was born after December 31, 1993 and is your or your spouse’s child, or dependent with income less than $6,925. If the child is your or your spouse’s dependent because of a mental or physical infirmity, the child is still eligible even if born earlier than that date.

Child care expenses must have been paid in Quebec to a recognized provider, and for a valid reason, such as that you were working, attending school, seeking employment, etc. In addition, the child must have lived with you when the child care expenses were incurred.

How To Apply

When filling out your income tax return, complete Schedule C. It is also possible to obtain advance payments, instead of waiting until tax time.

(CAN) Universal Child Care Benefit

Toll-Free: 1-800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This taxable benefit is paid to parents in monthly instalments of $100 per month per child under the age of six. The benefit is available to any Canadian family with young children, no matter where you live or what your financial situation. You can use the payment for any child care-related expense, whether it be out-of-home care, to help pay for pre-school programs or educational materials, or even apply it toward an education fund (RESP or RDSP).

Payment is made monthly directly to the lower-earning parent. The “taxability” of the benefit has recently been improved so that single-parent families receive tax treatment comparable to two-parent families. Joint custody provisions will soon be added to make it easier for parents to share the amount received.

Eligibility:

  • You must be the primary caregiver of a child under 6 years of age on or after July 1, 2006
  • You must be a resident of Canada

How to Apply:

If your family is already receiving/has qualified for the Canada Child Tax Benefit then you will automatically receive the UCCB. There is no need to apply separately.

There are three ways to apply:

  1. Through the Canada Revenue Agency website.
  2. At a Service Canada Centre. Find the centre closest to you.
  3. By phoning 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Benefits

(PQ) Multiple Birth Grant (French-only website)

Toll-Free: 1-877-644-4545 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-644-4545 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Quebec: 418-644-4545 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 418-644-4545 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Montréal: 514-644-4545 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 514-644-4545 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This program grants financial assistance to families in which the mother gives birth to triplets or quadruplets. Payments are $6000 for triplets, and $8000 for quadruplets (with an additional $2000 for any newborns beyond four). The award is non-taxable and cheques are made out to the mother. In the case the mother is deceased or incapacitated, payment is made to the father or legal guardian.

Eligibility

All parents or guardians of triplets or quadruplets are eligible, as long as they reside in Quebec and the newborns are living as of their departure from the hospital.

How To Apply

If the children are born in hospital, the administration is responsible for notifying the MSSS ( ministère de la Sante et des Services sociaux, or Department of Health and Social Services) and providing all required information after obtaining consent from the mother.

If the births take place outside a hospital, the parents must notify MSSS within days of the event, and provide all required information: mother’s name, address, sex of each baby, and date and time of each birth.

(CAN) Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)

Toll-Free: 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a tax‑free, monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18. The amount of this benefit is calculated using the information you provide on your income tax returns. The benefit comprises two parts:

  1. The National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), the federal government’s contribution to the National Child Benefit.
  2. The CCTB may also include the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), a monthly benefit for qualified families caring for children with severe and prolonged mental or physical impairments.

Eligibility:

  • Child must be under age 18
  • Child must live with you and you are the child’s caregiver (there are provisions for shared and temporary custodianship)
  • You must be a resident of Canada
  • You (or your partner) must be a Canadian citizen or a recognized legal resident with a period of established residency (more information at the program website).

How To Apply:

You should apply for the CCTB as soon as possible after any of these events:

  • Your child is born
  • A child begins to live with you
  • You become a resident of Canada

Don’t assume you are ineligible because your family income seems too high. The eligibility calculations can be complex and you might be missing a detail that qualifies you. Apply regardless and see what the agency comes up with.

There are three ways to apply for the CCTB:

  1. If you consented to use the Automated Benefits Application Service (ABA) on the birth registration form when your child was born, you should have all the information you need to apply using this service. It is important to verify whether or not you provided this consent—if you apply for benefits using one of the next two methods, and you are already a registered ABA user, your benefits may be delayed. See how to use the ABA here.
  2. You can fill out a form and mail it in. For the form and address, see here.
  3. You can apply online here.

For the CDB (the benefit for families having a disabled child), see more information below.

(CAN) Child Disability Benefit (CDB)

Toll Free: 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Child Disability Benefit (CDB) is a tax-free benefit, paid monthly, of up to $2470 per year ($205.83 per month) for families who care for a child under age 18 with a major disability. This could be a physical or mental impairment that can be classified as “severe and prolonged” (lasting, or expected to last, at least 12 months).

Eligibility

Families who are eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit will receive the CDB only if the child is also eligible for the disability amount, also known as the Disability Tax Credit. Determining eligibility for the disability amount is the first step, and requires a doctor’s certification that the child’s impairment meets certain conditions.

How To Apply

A special form must be completed by both you and a qualified practitioner attesting to the child’s disability. If Canada Revenue Agency approves that form, then the CDP payments will begin.

The special form to complete is called T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate, and can be found here.

Send the completed form to your tax centre after you have filed your taxes for the year, to avoid a delay in assessment.

Disabilities

(PQ) Allowance for Special Needs Program

Toll-Free: 1-866-946-6006 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-866-946-6006 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

If your child has one or more of an array of major disabilities, a special allowance may be available that will enable him or her to purchase material resources for educational pursuits.  Eligible children in all school settings, from pre-school through secondary school, may apply.

The eligible disabilities are either functional:

  • Severe visual or hearing impairment
  • Motor impairment
  • Organic impairment

or deemed a “recognizable disability”:

  • minimum hearing threshold of 25 decibels
  • paralysis of a single limb
  • paresis of one or more limbs
  • language or speech impairment

Based on the above disabilities, the allowance is meant for things like adaptive equipment (special software, computer access devices), devices (computers, peripherals, and communication aids), and repair/replacement of those items.

However, if the therapist or specialist helping to submit the application detects a need outside of those categories, they can submit a rationale stating why the item is necessary to offset the child’s disability.

Eligibility

In addition to having one of the disabilities mentioned above, your child must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen (or have a recognized residency status) and Quebec resident
  • Be enrolled in a recognized educational institution
  • Be considered a full-time or part-time student
  • Not be receiving aid from another organization for the same needs

How To Apply

Print an application and fill it out. You will need access to:

  • a therapist qualified to evaluate your child’s needs in light of his or her disability
  • a general physician or medical specialist who can certify that the disability meets eligibility requirements
  • The principal of the school your child attends

You will then obtain a bid on the equipment or devices needed, and submit the bid with the application. If approved, the allowance will be sent as a cheque in your child’s name to the educational institution he or she attends. It will be forwarded to you, after which you have 60 days to submit an invoice showing that the granted purchase was made.

(PQ) Supplement for Handicapped Children

Toll-Free: 1-800-667-9625 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-667-9625 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This supplement assists families with the increased expense associated with the care and education of a child with a severe handicap—one that limits the child from carrying out daily activities for a period expected to last at least one year.

The amount of the supplement is the same for all children, regardless of the handicap and regardless of family income: $174 per month.

Eligibility

The only eligibility requirement is that the child must have one of the handicaps described.

How To Apply

Download and print the application, or phone one of the Service Québec offices and have one mailed to you. You can also pick one up at many hospitals or CLSCs.

Fill out the parent’s portion, then look at the requirements page to determine what other information you need for your child’s particular handicap.

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