The poorest Canadians will receive financial assistance to cope with the price spike on Wednesday. The “grocery rebate,” promised by the federal government in the last budget, will be paid directly to eligible individuals.
Who is concerned ?
Less fortunate Canadians will receive assistance, dubbed the “grocery rebate,” which does not, however, compel recipients to use it for that specific purpose. This assistance will be sent with the payment of the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) credit. Your eligibility for assistance depends on your eligibility for this credit, which is determined based on your income level.
You will need to refer to your 2021 tax return to find out if you are entitled to this aid, and take into account your family situation in January 2023.
According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) site, if you are single and childless, your net income had to be a maximum of $49,166 in 2021 to qualify for help on Wednesday. In the case of a married couple or common-law partners with two children, the net family income must not exceed $58,506.
In total, nearly 11 million Canadians are eligible for this assistance. There is no need to submit a claim to receive the “grocery rebate”. If you are eligible, this will automatically be sent to you, provided you have submitted your 2021 tax return, even if you had no income to report.
Up to what amount could you receive?
There is a “simple” way to determine the amount to which you would be entitled: Suzie St-Cerny, research professional at the Research Chair in Taxation and Public Finance at the University of Sherbrooke, suggests referring to your bank statements of autumn.
Last November, the federal government sent a one-time payment to help offset the rising cost of living. If your marital status has not changed, the “grocery rebate” you are entitled to on Wednesday should be the same amount as November, and it will be added to your regular GST credit payment for the month of July — this one being calculated from your 2022 earnings.
So, if you are single and childless, the maximum assistance you could receive is $234 — an amount that decreases as you approach the maximum income to qualify, or $49,166 in this case. In the case of a married couple or common-law partners with two children, the amount to be received could amount to a maximum of $467.
If you don’t receive help on Wednesday, “please wait ten business days” before contacting the CRA, the agency says, as there may be processing delays.
A rising bill
The government is sending this aid as grocery prices have risen sharply in recent months.
Overall, according to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, inflation slowed to 3.4% in May in Canada on an annual basis. It was largely dragged down by gasoline prices, which fell 18.3% compared to May 2022.
But grocery prices remain extremely high. Last May, they were up 9% compared to the same period in 2022. As a reminder, the Bank of Canada’s inflation target is around 2%.