Child assistance payments will now be named Family allowance. We are currently updating all of our publications to reflect this change. During the transition period, the former name of the program may still appear in some of our correspondence.

The child assistance payment

Universal government assistance

The child assistance payment is a form of financial assistance paid to all eligible families with one or more dependent children under the age of 18 living with them.

A streamlined procedure for newborns

In the case of a birth in Québec, no application is required in order to receive child assistance payments. The child is automatically signed up for the child assistance program when the birth is declared to the Directeur de l'état civil.

In certain situations, an Application for Child Assistance Payments must be filed if:

  • a child is adopted
  • the individual is an immigrant or becomes a resident of Québec
  • a child arrives in or returns to Québec
  • the individual lives in Québec but a child was born outside Québec
  • the individual obtains custody of a child
  • the individual shares custody of a child
  • the individual retains custody of a child following the breakdown of a union and he or she was not previously receiving child assistance payments in his or her name
  • Retraite Québec requires an application to be filed.

The amount varies for each family

The amount of the child assistance payment varies for each family. It is determined on the basis of the following factors:

  • the number of dependent children under the age of 18 living with the beneficiary
  • the number of children in shared custody
  • the family income (the combined total of both spouses' incomes)
  • the type of family (single-parent or two-parent) 

The beneficiaries must notify us of any change in their family situation in order to receive the amounts to which they are entitled.

Note that...
  • Each year, the amount of the payment is indexed in January and recalculated in July.
  • Since the calculation of the child assistance payment takes into account the total family income reported to Revenu Québec, an income tax return must be filed each year, even if one or both spouses have no income to report.
  • If an income tax return is filed late, we can pay any amounts owing for a maximum retroactive period of 3 years.
  • The child assistance payment is not taxable.

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