What Is The Ontario Trillium Benefit? – Complete Guide With Payment Dates

Ontario Trillium Benefit or OTB is a refundable tax-free benefit disbursed to low or moderate-income households and individuals residing in Ontario. The benefit aims to help low to moderate-income households and individuals pay for energy costs, sales tax, and property tax.

In Ontario, the provincial tax credit benefit begins on the 1st of July and before any individual can earn these benefits, he/she must have filed the previous year’s tax return. This is due to the fact that the benefits are established based on the previous year’s income.

While most of the government benefits are paid on a monthly basis, failure to file your tax return on time and before the due date will affect the benefits you are qualified for.

In case you delay filing your taxes on time, after your tax return has been filed and assessed by the CRA, all applicable benefits will be reinstated. One of the most popular tax credit benefits is the Ontario Trillium Benefit. Let’s get started. 

What Is The Ontario Trillium Benefit?

The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is a combination of three credits; the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, and the Ontario Property Tax and Energy Credit. All three credits combined by the OTB have different eligibility requirements and I’ll be discussing the same in more detail below.

The OTB payment also combines these benefits into one single payment that is paid out either monthly or once a year.

The Canada Revenue Agency is in charge of the disbursement of the OTB benefits which is funded by the Ontario government.

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC)

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit or OEPTC is a tax-free credit aimed towards low to moderate income households and individuals residing in Ontario. The purpose of this benefit is to help offset property tax payments and sales tax on energy costs.

Eligibility To Receive The OEPTC 

Before you’re considered eligible for the OEPTC, you must meet the minimum age requirement of 18 years and also reside in Ontario as of December 31st of the previous year.

You must also meet the below requirements to be eligible for on-time payments:

  • Currently or previously married or being in a common-law relationship

  • You should be a parent who is living or previously lived with your child

and in the previous year:

  • You must have paid property tax or rent for your main residence, or

  • Paid accommodation fees for residing in a nursing home, or

  • Paid for energy expenses while living on a reserve, or

  • Resided in a particular university, college, or private school lodging in the previous year

Where you reside at the beginning of every month also determines your eligibility.

For instance, moving out of Ontario in the middle of August will see you be eligible for the August OEPTC but you won’t be eligible for any successive payments.

ontario trillium benefit

Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC)

The Northern Ontario Energy Credit or NOEC is a tax-free credit aimed towards low to moderate-income households and individuals residing in Northern Ontario to help offset the higher home energy costs in the North.

The benefit amount is applicable to the individuals residing in:

  • Algoma

  • Cochrane

  • Kenora

  • Manitoulin

  • Nipissing

  • Parry Sound

  • Rainy River

  • Sudbury

  • Thunder Bay

  • Timiskaming

Eligibility To Receive The Northern Ontario Energy Credit

Before you’re considered eligible for the NOEC, you must meet the minimum age requirement of 18 years and also reside in Northern Ontario as on December 31st of the previous year.

You must also be:

  • Presently or previously married or being in a common-law relationship

  • A parent who is living or previously lived with your child

and, in the previous year:

  • Paid property tax for your main housing

  • Lived and paid accommodation fee for residing in a public long term care home e.g nursing home

  • Resided on a reserve and paid for energy expenses while living on a reserve

Where you reside at the beginning of every month also determines your eligibility.

For instance, moving out of Sudbury in the middle of August and moving to London (Southern Ontario) will see you get eligible for the August NOEC but you won’t be eligible for any successive payments

Ontario Sales Tax Credit

The Ontario sales tax credit is a tax-free payment that is quite similar to the federal GST/HST credit. It is aimed at offsetting the sales tax paid on all the purchased goods and services.

Eligibility To Receive The Ontario Sales Tax Credit

Before you’re considered eligible for the Ontario sales tax credit, you must meet the minimum age requirement of 19 or also be:

  • Presently or previously married or being in a common-law relationship

  • A parent who is living or previously lived with your child

You are not required to apply for the Ontario Sales Tax Credit.

It is solely based on your previous income tax return which the CRA will automatically assess to know if you are qualified or not and you will be notified accordingly.

How To Apply For The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB)

As mentioned earlier, before you can apply for any tax credit in Canada, you are required to file your tax return for the previous year. Its a mandatory step before you can be considered at all and this also goes for OTB too.

For instance, to earn the OTB in 2020, you must have filed your income tax return for the year 2019 and this applies even if you do not have any source of income.

To apply for the Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC) and Ontario Energy Property Tax Credit (OEPTC) Form ON-BEN must be filled by individuals alongside the previous year’s tax return.

Unlike the NOEC and OEPTC, you do not need a separate application for the Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC) and this is because CRA uses information from your tax return to define your qualification.

To keep qualifying for Ontario trillium benefit, you must always apply every year at tax time and ensure all eligibility requirements are met.

Ontario Trillium Benefit Payments (OTB Payments)

To apply and earn the OTB payments, you only need to qualify for at least one of the three credits.

The benefit amount you’ll receive will vary across from one household to another.

Some of the factors such as marital status, family size, property taxes,  household’s net income from the previous tax year, age, accommodation expenses, and so on will affect the amount you’ll receive.

The payment period for the Ontario Trillium benefit runs from July to June every year. For the year 2020, it starts from July 2020 to June 2021.

Payments are disbursed by the Canada Revenue Agency and mostly paid directly into your Canadian bank accounts. You can always register your banking details for direct deposit via the CRA MyAccount service.

In the case where your direct deposit isn’t set up, a cheque will be mailed to the house address on your file.

Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC) Amount

For each individual, the maximum OSTC amount to be received is $313. However, you can always receive an extra credit of up to $313 for

  • your common-law partner or spouse

  • each dependent child in your care who is below the age of 19 years

Furthermore, singles with no children and with net income above $24,115 get their credit reduced by 4%. This also goes the same for parents with net income above $30,143

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC) Amount

You should expect a maximum OEPTC amount of:

  • $1,085 if you fall between the age group of 18 to 64 years old. This includes a total of $241 for energy expenses and $844 for property taxes.

  • $1,236 if you are a senior citizen (65 years and above). This includes a total of $241 for energy expenses and $995 for property taxes

  • $241 if you are residing in a nursing home or on a reserve

  • $25 if you are a student residing in an established college, university or private school accommodation

Northern Ontario Energy Credit Amount (NOEC)

You are eligible for the Northern Ontario Energy Credit Amount or NOEC if you fall under the below criteria: 

  • You’re single and with no children, you get a maximum NOEC of $157.

  • Families get a maximum of $241

Furthermore, singles with no children and overall net income above $42,201 will get their credit reduced by 1%. This rule also applied to families with net income above $54,258.

You can always calculate your credit benefits in order to know what to expect.

To be able to get the calculation right, you can use the below calculators:

OEPTC calculation sheets to calculate your Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit Amount

NOEC calculation sheets to calculate your Northern Ontario Energy Credit  Amount

Child and family benefits calculator to estimate your Ontario Trillium Benefit

Ontario Trillium Benefit Payment Dates For The Year 2020

Ontario Trillium Benefit payments are disbursed mostly on the 10th of every month beginning from July of the year.

Below are the OTB 2020 payment dates:

  • 10th of January, 2020

  • 10th of February, 2020

  • 10th of March, 2020

  • 9th of April 2020

  • 8th of May 2020

  • 10th of June, 2020

  • 10th of July, 2020

  • 10th of August, 2020

  • 10th of September, 2020

  • 9th of October, 2020

  • 10th of November, 2020

  • 10th of December, 2020

Please note that:

  • For individuals whose annual OTB benefit is $360 or less, payment will be paid at once in July 2020

  • For individuals whose annual OTB benefit is more than $360, they have the choice to choose between being paid monthly or being paid out in a single payment which will always be at the end of the benefit year (July 2021).

  • Individuals with the Ontario trillium benefit amount of more than $2, but less than $10, will receive an OTB amount of $10.

Other Important Benefits For Ontario Residents

Just by being proud Ontario resident, you get to enjoy many other benefits aside from the Ontario Trillium benefit amount.

These additional benefits include the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS), the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant (OSHPTG), Trillium Drug Program (TDP) and the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB).

Let’s start with the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB).

Ontario Child Benefit (OCB)

In addition to the standard Canada Child Benefit (CCB), residents of Ontario can also qualify for the Ontario Child Benefit or OCB Benefit payments. 

In case you don’t know, The Ontario Child Benefit is mostly incorporated with the CCB and paid as a single monthly payment which is allocated by the CRA or The Canada Revenue Agency. 

Luckily enough, the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) payment period falls on the same dates as the CCB.

As part of the benefit, you can earn up to a maximum of $1,434 per child each year or $119.50 per child monthly. Again, the amount you’ll receive directly correlates to the income you made in the previous year while filing taxes. Lesser the income earned, the more the benefit amount until capped beyond the threshold income levels. 

OCB is automatically evaluated by the CRA every year; once you file your income tax return to know whether you qualify or.

Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)

The Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System or GAINS is a monthly non-taxable benefit aimed at the low-income seniors residing in Ontario.

As with all other benefits, this benefit amount depend’s on your income for the previous year’s taxable income filed.

GAINS benefit amount ranges from $2.50 to $83 per month.

But, before you’re considered eligible for the GAINS benefit, you must meet the below eligibility criteria:

  • You are aged 65 years and above (Canadian Senior)

  • Currently receiving the Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments

  • You are an inhabitant of Ontario for at least a year or have resided in Ontario for a whole of 20 years counting from when you were 18 years old

  • You are a Canadian resident for at least 10 years or more

  • At the moment you are receiving a limited income

Individuals can receive a maximum annual private income of up to $1,992 if you are either single, widowed or divorced, or up to $3,984 if you are a married

As a recipient of OAS and GIS, eligibility is automatically evaluated.

ontario trillium benefit

Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant (OSHPTG)

The Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant Or OSHPTG is a tax credit that is aimed towards the low to moderate-income seniors to help offset the expenses of their property taxes.

The maximum grant available here is $500 each year. The OSHPTG payment will be issued approximately four to eight weeks after your notice of assessment (NOA) or reassessment is issued.

To be considered eligible for the grant, your household net income for the previous year should be $35,000 or less for singles and $45,000 or less for couples.

To apply for the OSHPTG, the ON-BEN form must be filled alongside your income tax return.

Payment of the OSHPTG is disbursed 4-8 weeks after you must have received a notification of assessment from the CRA.

What Is The Trillium Drug Program (TDP)?

Ontario’s Trillium Drug Program or TDP is aimed towards inhabitants of the Ontario province who spend roughly 4% or more of their family’s income on drug prescriptions. The Trillium Drug Program covers the cost of more than 4,000 drugs in Ontario. 

To be considered  eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be a resident of Ontario and possess a valid Ontario health card

  • You should be without a private insurance plan that ensures your drug expenses at 100%

  • You should not be spending more than 4% of your net income on drug expenses

  • Finally, you should not be qualified for drug cost coverage under the Ontario Drug benefit program

Once you’ve been approved and allowed into the program, your family’s registration will be automatically renewed every year.

Conclusion

There you go, that was my take on the Ontario Trillium Benefit. I really hope the article was helpful to one and all. 

Ontario is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada and the Government is doing everything to make sure its residents are happy especially the low and moderate-income singles and families to cope up with the growing expenses and inflation. 

Again, the benefit amount might not be substantial to bear the growing costs in the province, however, it’s something to have than nothing. 

Let me know your thoughts and comments below, do share this article on social media and help spread the word. 

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