Eligibility for child assistance payments

To be eligible for child assistance payments, a person must meet the following conditions:

  • be responsible for the care and education of a child under the age of 18
  • Live with the child or, if the child has been placed in a youth centre, pays the contribution required by the centre
  • live in Québec (in accordance with the Québec Taxation Act)
  • The beneficiary or his or her spouse has one of the following statuses:
    • Canadian citizen
    • permanent resident
    • temporary resident who has been living in Canada for the last 18 months
    • protected person.

There is no entitlement to child assistance payments for:

  • the child's foster family
  • a person who is exonerated from paying tax by Revenue Québec
  • a person who is waiting for a protected person status (refugee claimant)
  • a child who is married or in a de facto (common law) union and the child's spouse was entitled to a transfer from one spouse to the other.

Who receives the family assistance payments

Certain rules are used to determine which spouse will receive the family's child assistance payments.

In cases of shared custody, the Taxation Act has provided that child assistance payments are made to both parents at the same time and according to the payment frequency (quarterly or monthly) chosen by each parent.

How to receive payments

A streamlined procedure for newborns

When a child is born in Quebec, parents do not have to apply to receive child assistance payments. When the birth of a child is declared to the Directeur de l'état civil This link will open in a new window., that child is automatically signed up.

Other situations

You must file an Application for Child Assistance Payments if :

  • you adopt a child 
  • you are an immigrant or become a resident of Québec  
  • your child arrives in or returns to Québec
  • you live in Québec but your child was born outside Québec
  • you obtain custody of a child  
  • you obtain shared custody of a child  
  • you retain custody of a child following the breakdown of your union and you were not previously receiving child assistance payments in your name.

Use My Account to track an application at any time!

My Account lets you track an application and quickly view any changes made in a beneficiary's file.

First child assistance payment

We will send the first child assistance payment a maximum of 40 days after we receive the declaration of birth from the Directeur de l'état civil.

Note that...
  • We can pay child assistance retroactively for a period of 11 months from the date an application is received if all of the eligibility requirements are met.
  • To receive the child assistance payment, the beneficiary and his or her spouse must file an income tax return, even if they have no income to report.

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