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The Canada Pension Plan: The facts about benefits for children

If you become disabled or if you pass away, the Canada Pension Plan can help take care of your children while they're under the age of 25. This can be a major relief for families who would otherwise struggle with caring for children after the loss of an earning parent or with the loss of work thanks to a disability. According to the plan, if your child is in school or university full time, then he or she can receive benefits up to age 25. If not, benefits stop at 18.

There are two kinds of benefits that your child may receive. The first is a monthly payment for a child who is living with a disabled parent who also receives a CPP disability benefit. The second is a monthly payment that is given to a surviving child of someone who has passed away but made enough contributions to the CPP to allow for payouts to the child.

For your child to be eligible for these benefits, he or she must be either adopted or a natural child before the age of 21. As a parent or guardian, you must have met the Canada Pension Plan contribution guidelines and must be receiving those benefits or have passed away.

If the child's parent has passed away, it's a requirement that the parent had paid into the CPP for at least three years. If not, then the child will not be eligible to receive the benefits that he or she would otherwise receive. The monthly payment to your child is a flat rate. For 2015, the flat rate was $234.87.

Source: Government of Canada, "Benefits for children under 25," accessed April 06, 2016

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