The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) is a financial aid program introduced in 2019 that replaced the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB). It is designed to provide financial assistance to low-income individuals and families in Canada. To qualify for the CWB, individuals must have an adjusted net income between $3,000 and $33,015. In comparison, families must have an adjusted family net income between $3,000 and $43,212.

An individual’s maximum benefit is $1,428, while families can receive up to $2,461. Additionally, eligible individuals with disabilities may receive an extra supplement to boost their financial support. 

This blog post aims to help you thoroughly understand CWB, covering essential aspects such as Working Income Canada, the calculation process, eligibility criteria, and more. Whether you’re a Canadian worker navigating the CWB’s complexity or simply curious about its details, this article will provide all the necessary information.

What Is Working Income Canada

 Working Income Canada, also known as WIC, was a federal program from 1978 until 2019. Its purpose was to give financial support to low-income Canadian people and families. In 2019, WIC was replaced by the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB).

The goal of WIC was to encourage workforce participation by providing financial assistance to those with lower incomes. The scheme offered a refundable tax credit based on a person’s or family’s income and family size. The maximum benefit for an individual was $2,682, and the maximum benefit for a family was $5,731.

Feature Description
Years in existence 1978 to 2019
Purpose Provide financial assistance to low-income Canadians
Type of benefit Refundable tax credit
Eligibility Based on income and family size
Maximum benefit for individuals $2,682
Maximum benefit for families $5,731


What Is Canada Worker Benefit

The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) is a financial aid program designed to assist individuals and families with low incomes who are actively employed. It provides two types of benefits: a basic amount and a disability supplement. To receive the CWB, you need to file your income tax return.

Starting in July 2023, the CWB will introduce the Advanced Canada Workers Benefit (ACWB). It will provide eligible individuals with advance payments equal to 50% of their CWB benefit, spread across three installments.

This initiative aims to alleviate the financial burden on low-income workers amidst rising living costs. If you received the CWB in 2022, you will automatically receive these advance payments without the need to apply.

How Is The CWB Calculated?

Factors Affecting CWB Amount:

Several factors influence the calculation of the amount you receive from the Canadian Workers Benefit: 

Marital Status:

Marital status affects CWB calculation.

Province or Territory of Residence:

The region you reside in affects the amount you may receive.

Working Income:

The income you earn through employment contributes to the CWB calculation.

 Adjusted Family Net Income (AFNI):

AFNI, considering total household taxable income, is a crucial factor.

 Eligibility for Disability Supplement:

Individuals eligible for the Disability Tax Credit may receive an additional CWB disability supplement.

Calculating Canadian Workers Benefit Step by Step:

Determine Income Sources:

 Sum up employment income, taxable scholarships, self-employment income, and tax-exempt working income earned on a reserve or an allowance received as an emergency volunteer.

Spouse Ineligibility:

If your spouse is ineligible for CWB and no child lives with you, calculate your CWB as a single individual, excluding your partner’s income.

Example: If you’re child-free and your spouse has been in prison for six months, exclude their income for a maximum benefit of $1,395.

Household Taxable Income:

Include your total household taxable income. If you cannot decide which partner receives the CWB, the CRA will determine it for you.

Determine AFNI:

If your working income exceeds $3,000, determine AFNI for the benefit.

Formula: Net income (line 23600) on your return + tax-exempt income received on a reserve or an allowance received as an emergency volunteer + any repayment of UCCB and RDSP – income from UCCB or RDSP.

Calculate CWB:

Calculate your CWB based on AFNI: 27% of every dollar between $3,000 and the first income threshold, followed by a clawback of 15% of every dollar after the final income threshold.

Disability Supplement:

 Individuals eligible for the Disability Tax Credit and CWB may receive a disability supplement, with a maximum amount of $737 per person in 2023.

Government Calculator:

 For ease and accuracy, the government provides a calculator for all benefits, including the CWB, offering estimates of the amount you may receive based on your specific circumstances.

Who Qualifies For Canada Worker’s Benefit

1. Eligibility For Canadian Workers Benefit:

To qualify for the Canadian Workers Benefit, individuals must meet specific criteria outlined below:

Age Criteria:

Be at least 19 years old by the end of the tax year or be under 19 but have a spouse, common-law partner, or child living with you.

 Residency Requirement:

Be a resident of Canada for income tax purposes for the entire year.

Income Criteria:

Earn $3,000 from employment or self-employment.

Maintain a total taxable income below $32,244 for singles or $42,197 for families. 

2. Ineligibility Criteria:

 However, individuals are not eligible for Canada Workers Benefit if they fall under the following categories:

 Full-Time Student:

 You are a full-time student, studying more than 13 weeks during the year unless you have a child living with you.

 Prison Stay:

Individuals in prison for 90 days or longer during the tax year.

 Tax Exemption Status:

You are not eligible if you are exempt from paying taxes due to being a foreign officer or in a similar situation. Also, if you were a family member residing with a person in this situation or an employee of such a person at any time during the year, you are not eligible either.

3. Eligibility for Disability Supplement:

You are eligible for a disability supplement if you meet both of the following conditions:

  • You are qualified for the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB).
  • You are qualified for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).

5 Canada’s Workers Benefits

The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) offers several advantages to low-income working individuals and families. Canada’s Workers Benefit include:

  1. Encourages workforce participation: The Canadian Workers Benefit provides financial assistance to low-income workers, making it more financially feasible for them to stay in the workforce or increase their work hours. It can help to reduce poverty and income inequality.
  2. Tops up earnings: The CWB provides additional income to low-income workers, elevating their income to a more sustainable level. It can ensure that workers have enough income to meet their basic needs.
  3. Supports low-income families: The CWB provides additional income to low-income families, helping to ensure that all members of the family have enough to eat, have a safe and comfortable place to live, and have access to essential goods and services.
  4. Advanced payments: Starting in July 2023, eligible individuals will receive advance payments of their CWB benefit through the Advanced Canada Workers Benefit (ACWB) initiative. These advance payments will be equal to 50% of the estimated CWB benefit. 
  5. Disability supplement: Individuals who are eligible for both the CWB and the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) may receive an additional disability supplement. The maximum disability supplement is $737 per person in 2023. It will help to mitigate the additional costs that individuals with disabilities may face.

How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For The CWB?

The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) will determine your eligibility to receive advance payments of your CWB so long as you file your tax return before November 1 of the benefit period. If you aren’t qualified for advanced payments, you will get the lump sum amount when filing your tax return.

What Is Canada Workers Benefit Advance Payments

The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) Advance Payments initiative was launched by the Canadian government in 2023 to provide eligible individuals with CWB benefit upfront payments.

These advance payments are designed to help individuals and families with low incomes handle their finances and deal with the increasing costs of living throughout the year. 

Individuals who are eligible for the CWB are automatically enrolled in the advance payments program. It isn’t necessary to apply separately for CWB. 

Chaudhary Law Office Is Here To Assist You!

Canadian Workers Benefit is a vital component of Canada’s commitment to supporting low-income individuals and families. Our proficient immigration lawyers ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements to receive the benefit. We can help you gather all the necessary documentation and ensure it is complete and accurate.

 Contact us today at 416-447-6118 to schedule your initial consultation.


What is the limit you can earn to claim working tax credits?

To qualify for the Canadian Workers Benefit, an individual or family must earn a working income of $3,000 or above.

How often is the CWB paid?

The advance CWB payments are distributed quarterly on July 12, October 12, and January 12. If you have not received your CWB payment, waiting for 10 days is recommended before reaching out to the CRA. In some cases, the CWB amount is paid after the CRA assesses the tax return.

Can both spouses claim the CWB?

Only one family member (spouse) can claim the basic Canada Workers Benefits amount. If only one partner is eligible for the disability supplement, that partner should claim the CWB.

 However, if both spouses are eligible for the DTC, one of them can assert the basic CWB amount, and both can separately claim the disability supplement on Schedule 6. Seeking guidance from a tax professional is also advisable to optimize this benefit.

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