How often have you witnessed someone you know foregoing needing dental attention because they cannot afford it? Perhaps you’ve struggled to access dental care yourself. According to Stats Canada, in 2018, 22.4% of Canadians reported avoiding dental work due to cost. It’s safe to assume that the economic struggles brought on by the global pandemic in 2020 could have affected that figure. Realizing that oral health is a crucial part of overall well-being, the government has taken action to make dental care affordable through the Canada Dental Benefit. Read all about the benefits and how it may impact your patients as a future dental hygienist.
What Is The Canada Dental Benefit?
The Canada Dental Benefit is an interim financial support measure that will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). For now, the government’s priority is to lower dental costs for families with children under 12 years of age by providing a tax-free payment of $260, $390, or $650 to pay for the cost depending on the household income. The benefit can be used to cover a range of oral health services including the services of dental hygienists in settings where they are licensed to practice. There are eligibility requirements that Canadian families must consider to ensure their coverage.
Who Is Eligible For The Canada Dental Benefit?
Families that bring in an annual net household income under $90,000 may qualify for the Canada Dental Benefit. After dental hygienist training, your patients are eligible for the CDB if they meet the following criteria:
- The family has filed the previous year’s tax return
- Must be recipients of the Canada Child Benefit
- Has a child (or children) born on or after July 2, 2011
- Their child does not have access to coverage through another benefit or insurance plan
To ensure that the benefit is going to the right recipients, the CRA routinely checks that applicants’ are still eligible to receive assistance. If the terms of eligibility have been misunderstood or that information has been withheld, recipients may be required to return any payments received.
What Does This Mean For Dental Hygienist Training Graduates?
When you earn your dental hygienist diploma and start working with patients, the people coming into your office likely see you as a resource for the information they need to maintain their dental health. Navigating government benefits can be confusing and many people fear making costly application mistakes. When you stay updated on the eligibility criteria and application processes for the Canada Dental Benefit, you can make dental care more accessible for Canadians.
Are you ready to become a dental hygienist?
Contact CADH for more information!