How to: Apply for child assistance payments in Quebec for your family

Learn more about how to receive financial assistance if you have one or more dependent children, how to qualify for payments and how your family situation may affect the amount of financial aid your family can recieve.

Government Level

Provincial (Retraite Québec, as of January 1, 2016)

What are they?

Child assistance payments provide financial assistance to all eligible families that have one or more dependent children under the age of 18 living with them, with an emphasis on families that receive a low annual income.

How does one apply?

When a child is born in Quebec, his or her parents don’t need to apply to receive child assistance payments. All children are automatically signed up when their births are declared to the Registrar of Civil Status.

You must fill out a request with Retraite Québec if:

  • You adopt a child;
  • You’re an immigrant or become a resident of Quebec;
  • Your child arrives in or returns to Quebec;
  • You live in Quebec, but your child was born outside Quebec;
  • You obtain custody of a child;
  • You obtain shared custody of a child;
  • You retain custody of a child following the end of your union, having not previously been receiving child assistance payments;
  • You’re asked by Retraite Québec to apply for child assistance.

To apply, you can fill out an online request.

How much does one recieve?

The amount one receives from child assistance payments varies from one family to another and is calculated every year based on:

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

In 2010, the minimum amount given out was $611 per year, while the maximum amount was $2,176 per year. Single-parent families are entitled to an extra $762 per year.

A chart is available on the Retraite Québec website.

Shared custody

In cases of shared custody since January 2007, child assistance payments have been made to both parents at the same time according to the frequency (quarterly or monthly) chosen by each parent. All shared custodies must be declared with Retraite Québec. If this applies to you, make sure all the information in your annual statement states “shared custody.”

In accordance with the provincial Taxation Act, Retraite Québec can’t take into consideration any financial agreement between two parents regarding child assistance payments (e.g. any agreement not confirmed by a court judgment, a mediation report, etc.).

The amount you receive for a child in shared custody is half of what you would’ve gotten if that child hadn’t been in shared custody. Retraite Québec considers a child to be in shared custody when he or she alternates living with each parent between 40% and 60% of the time each month;

  • If a child's custody is shared between one of the parents and a third party, the parent's percentage must be a minimum of 40%. In this case, Retraite Québec may need to verify how the child's care is shared;
  • If a child is eligible for the handicap supplement, the extra amount is also shared between both parties.

CalculAide, available on Retraite Québec’s website, is a simulation tool that can help you estimate the amount of money that you may receive.

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