Feds to change tax law to allow grandparents to access Canada Child Benefit

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The federal government will make changes to federal law to ensure payments to grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren in Prince Edward Island and other provinces are not clawed back.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier announced today the government will put forward amendments to the Income Tax Act to clarify eligibility for the Canada Child Benefit.

These changes will ensure grandparents and other caregivers receiving payments through provincial assistance programs will continue to receive their full Canada Child Benefit.

In December, grandparents in P.E.I. caring for grandchildren became eligible for a new provincial financial assistance program for children in need of protection from parental harm and who require out-of-home care for safety reasons.

But in February, they were alarmed to learn the federal government might claw back their Canada Child Benefit if they received the provincial payments of $700 a month — something P.E.I.’s Family and Human Services Minister Tina Mundy called “unacceptable.”

Lebouthillier says government will now make a clarifying adjustment to ensure grandparents or other care providers who step in to take care of a child under kinship programs in P.E.I. and all provinces and territories are eligible for the federal child benefit.