For decades Canadians have been wondering why insurance for dental has not been included in our provincial medicare as it’s such a fundamental part of overall health. Well, wonder no longer, as the first stage of the Canada Dental Benefit officially became law on November 17th after Bill C-31 passed its final reading in the Senate and received royal assent from Governor General Mary Simon.

Who Is Eligible for Insurance for Dental?

The benefit will provide coverage for dental care to children under the age of 12 whose families earn less than $89,999/year. In 2023, the benefit will expand to include those under 18 years, and will be expanded further in 2025 to include all Canadians.

“With this benefit, children will be able to access the basic dental care they need, while we develop a long-term Canada-wide dental care program,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement.

  • Families with children under the age of 12 who earn less than $70,000 a year in household income can apply to qualify for $650 per year in dental coverage for the next two years.
  • Families with children under the age of 12 with a household income between $70,000 and $79,999 can apply to qualify for $390 per child per year for the next two years.
  • Families with household income between $80,000 and $89,999 can apply for $260 per child per year for the next two years.

How to Apply for the Canada Dental Benefits.

Apply through the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency), either through “My Account” online or through a CRA contact centre.

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) administers this benefit. Only parents who are registered CCB recipients for their households can apply for the benefit.

Period of Eligibility

The period of eligibility for expenses for the first year of the program runs from Oct. 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 for children who were under 12 as of Dec. 1, 2022. The second eligibility period runs from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024 for children under the age of 12 as of July 1, 2023.

Parents who spend more than the maximum they are qualified to receive in the first year can apply for additional funds from the second year of the interim program but will not receive more than the maximum they qualify for over the two years.

Children who are already covered for insurance for dental under private insurance will not qualify. Those who receive coverage through provincial, territorial or other federal programs will. In these cases, families can apply for funds to cover the portion of dental care not covered by other government programs. The benefit is also non taxable. 

Proof of Eligibility

Applicants will have to prove that they have a child in the eligible age range and that the family income fits into the correct range. Parents are also required to provide the CRA with their employer’s information. Families using the program must also provide the CRA with the name of the dentist and appointment date. Families are also wise to retain their invoices for the work done in case CRA asks them to verify that it took place. 

The benefit is to cover the cost of a dentist’s services. This is defined as services that a dentist, denturist or dental hygienist is lawfully entitled to provide, including oral surgery and diagnostic, preventative, restorative, endodontic, periodontal, prosthodontic and orthodontic services.‍

When the eligible recipient receives the benefit, they must use it to pay for their child’s dental services. If the services in that year cost less than the total benefit amount, the recipient is not required to return the remaining amount.

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