Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)

Region: Ontario Answer # 1702

What is the CWB?

The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) is a federal refundable tax credit for eligible low income individuals and families, available for the 2019 and subsequent tax years. It is an enhanced version of the previous Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), which was available for the 2018 tax year.

Who is eligible for the CWB?

If you are 19 years of age or older

To be eligible to receive the CWB, an individual must:

  • earn working income
  • be 19 years of age or older on December 31st
  • be a resident of Canada for income tax purposes

If you are under 19 years old

Individuals under 19 years of age may still be eligible for the CWB if they have a spouse or common-law partner or an eligible dependant on December 31st.

An eligible dependant is a person who is:

  • your spouse or common-law partner’s child,
  • under 19 years of age and lived with you at the end of the year, and
  • is not eligible for the CWB for the year it is being claimed.

Income requirements

The benefit available to those with incomes up-to:

  • $32,244 as single Canadians, without children;
  • $42,197 as single-earner families; and
  • $56,197 as double-earner families.

Secondary earners in couples can exclude up to $14,000 of their working income when calculating the benefit.

Who is not eligible for the CWB?

You are not eligible for the CWB if:

  • you are enrolled as a full-time student at a designated educational institution for more than 13 weeks in the year year (unless you have an eligible dependant on December 31),
  • you were in prison (or a similar institution) for 90 days or more in the year, or
  • you are an officer or servant of another country, such as a diplomat, or a family member or employee of such a person who does not have to pay yearly tax.

How much can you receive?

The CWB is comprised of a basic amount and a disability supplement. The maximum amount payable depends on two factors:

  1. Where you live, and
  2. If you:
  • are single (including separated, divorced and widowed) with no eligible dependants, or
  • have a family (includes single parents, and separated, divorced and widowed parents, and  married or common-law couples with or without eligible dependants).

The maximum amount payable is approximately:

Single individuals (without children): $1,400 (gradually reduced when net income is more than $22,944)

Families: $2,400  (gradually reduced when net income is more than $26,177)

What is your payment amount based on?

Canada Revenue Agency calculates the amount of CWB you will receive based on a number of factors:

  • province or territory of residence
  • marital status
  • working income
  • net income
  • eligible dependent(s)
  • eligibility for the disability supplement

More information

Visit canada.ca for more information on the Canada Workers Benefit, including benefit amounts and how to apply. Enhancements to the benefit (such as the benefit amounts) were enacted June 30, 2021. View the news release from the Department of Finance for more info.

For legal advice and assistance with tax planning, a CRA tax dispute, or other tax issues, contact Tax Chambers LLP

Tax Chambers Tax Law Ontario All Topics Sept 2017Tax Chambers Tax Law Ontario All Topics Sept 2017


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