The Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families (OCCS) is a tax-free monthly payment for low- to moderate-income working families with children under seven years of age, born prior to July 1, 2009. Your child does not have to be in daycare for you to apply for the OCCS.
With the introduction of the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) in July 2008, OCCS payments are now reduced, in part or in whole, by the amount of OCB received. For example, if you are a single parent eligible for the maximum OCCS benefit of $1,310 for your child and you receive $1,100 from OCB for this child, your OCCS entitlement for your child would be $210.
An online calculator provides an estimate of the amount of OCB benefit you may be entitled to.
Learn more by reading the Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families Guide
How do I qualify for OCCS?
You are eligible to receive OCCS if you:
- are a resident of Ontario
- have children under age seven, born prior to July 1, 2009
- receive the federal Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
- have the appropriate income level or qualifying child care expenses
- are not receiving fully subsidized daycare
How do I apply?
You must apply each year to receive the supplement. Here's how it works:
- You, and your spouse or common-law partner if you are married or in a common-law relationship, must file your annual personal income tax return(s).
- If your family qualifies, the Ministry of Finance will send you an application. Most families get these forms in April.
- You must review and complete the application form and send it back to the ministry.
How do I get an OCCS application if I didn't receive one?
If you receive the CCTB and didn't get an OCCS application, call the Ministry of Finance at 1 866 668-8297 and provide your personal information (e.g., full name, address, reference number). You will be sent a replacement application or you will be advised if you do not qualify.
If you do not receive the CCTB, contact the Canada Revenue Agency to obtain a CCTB applicaton. If you qualify for the federal benefit, and you meet the OCCS eligibility requirements, you will automatically be sent a personalized OCCS application to complete and return to the Ministry of Finance.
How much can I receive?
The maximum OCCS benefit for each child is $1,310 annually for single parents ($1,100 for two-parent families), reduced by the amount of OCB you receive for the child.
Your payment is based on the number of children in your family under seven years of age and born prior to July 1, 2009, and either: your adjusted family earned income and adjusted family net income; or 50% of your qualifying child care expenses. If your child care costs are fully subsidized by a government agency, your OCCS benefit entitlement is nil.
Prior to July 2011, only one individual was eligible to receive the OCCS payment in a particular month Parents who share custody may be receiving benefits on a six-month rotational schedule.
Beginning July 2011, each parent in a shared custody arrangement will receive the OCCS in a particular month. If entitled, you will receive monthly payments equal to 50% of the amount you would have received under the six-month rotational schedule. Over the course of the year, assuming there are no other changes to your family situation, you will receive the same amount as you would under the six-month rotational schedule.
Need a hand to prepare your tax return?
If you are unable to prepare your income tax and benefit return yourself, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to help you.
For more information about the OCCS, contact the Ministry of Finance at:
- 1 866 668-8297
- 1 800 263-7776 for teletypewriter (TTY)
For general information about the OCB, contact the Ministry of Children and Youth Services at:
- 1 866 821-7770
- 1 800 387-5559 for teletypewriter (TTY)
For information about the CCTB, contact the Canada Revenue Agency at:
- 1 800 387-1193
- 1 800 665-0354 for teletypewriter (TTY)