Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Just in time to help recoup the cost of that Canada Day barbecue, the federal government is set to drop a grocery rebate for many Canadians to help with the rising cost of food.

The grocery rebate was announced as part of the federal government’s 2023 budget and is expected to be distributed on July 5 alongside the next quarterly GST/HST credit payment.

While the maximum possible rebate is just over $600, U of T Professor Michael J. Widener says it will nonetheless make a difference for many families who are struggling with the rising cost of living.

“It certainly will help, especially for people who are stretched quite thin,” said Widener, who chairs U of T’s Department of Geography and Planning. “I mean, you are in situation right now where rent is incredibly high, transportation costs are high, and grocery bills continue to be higher than ever.”

While he acknowledged the rebate will give some people a leg up, he agreed that “it’s absolutely a Band-Aid solution” and said that “injecting a large amount of cash into the economy in the moment where we are facing inflation” won’t help the people who need help in the long-term.

“I think one of the big things we need to think about is how can we consider things like transportation costs, rent, and groceries all at the same time when thinking about policy solutions,” Widener said.

He said if government policy could help reduce sky-high rents in places like Toronto, people would have more money left over for necessities like groceries.

Widener said government policy could also be useful in helping to stimulate more competition in the grocery sector, where Canada has just “a handful” of companies in the market.

In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of who is eligible for the grocery rebate and how much you can expect.

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE GROCERY REBATE

The rebate is expected to be issued to roughly 11 million Canadians who either have a household income of $38,000 or less or an individual income of $32,000 or less.

You can get the grocery rebate if you qualified to receive the GST/HST credit in 2021.

In order to get the rebate, you must have filed a tax return for 2021, even if you had no income that year.

Those who were eligible to receive the GST/HST credit for January 2023 will receive the grocery rebate. If you didn’t qualify for the January credit you might still be eligible though. That’s because the grocery rebate is based on your 2021 tax return while the July GST/HST credit is based on 2022 tax returns.

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU GET FOR THE GROCERY REBATE?

The amount you receive for the grocery rebate is calculated based on your family situation in 2023 and your adjusted family net income for 2021.

The government says the rebate will be double the amount of the GST/HST credit payment from January 2023.

A single person with no children could receive a maximum payment of $234, while a single person or couple with four children could receive a maximum payment of $628.

This is the maximum payment guide the government sets out:

If you are single

  •     $234 (no children)
  •     $387 (with 1 child)
  •     $467 (with 2 children)
  •     $548 (with 3 children)
  •     $628 (with 4 children)

 

If you are married or have a common-law partner

  •     $306 (no children)
  •     $387 (with 1 child)
  •     $467 (with 2 children)
  •     $548 (with 3 children)
  •     $628 (with 4 children)

 

HOW DO I GET THE GROCERY REBATE?

There is no application process. Those who qualify will automatically receive the rebate through direct deposit or by cheque.

 

WHAT IF I DON’T GET THE REBATE ON JULY 5?

The government advises waiting 10 days before contacting the CRA about the payment if you think you’re supposed to get it and don’t receive it.

The government also says people should check the status of their benefits by logging on to their CRA account.

– With files from CTV News


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