Halloween 2020 came and went, but there were no trick-or-treats for children. Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies poll showed that 52% of Canadian parents didn’t approve of the event this year. About 48% of respondents also said they wouldn’t open their doors to give candies.
The pandemic’s impact extends to seasonal events even more so now that Canada is on the second wave of COVID-19. Since the coronavirus outbreak in March, parents had to adapt to new ways of life, including living in isolation with children while caring for them.
Also, families are under economic duress due to COVID-19. The federal and provincial governments know they also need to alleviate and mitigate the financial impact on parents across Canada. If you have children, make sure you got the benefits available to parents in 2020.
All qualified Canada Child Benefit (CCB) recipients received a one-time additional $300 per child on top of the May 2020 regular monthly benefits. The top-up was part of the government’s COVID-19 Response Plan. The $300 CCB is tax-free money, so Canadian families will have more to spend on children’s needs, such as food and clothes as well as home activities.
Increase in CCB
Effective July 2020 or the start of the 2020-21 benefit year, the CCB monthly benefit increased again. The maximum benefit is now $6,765 per child under age six and $5,708 per child age six through 17.
The CCB monthly per child was $553.25 from January to June 2020, except May that paid $853.25 (+$300 extra). From July to October 2020, the CCB monthly is $563.75. Hence, an eligible CCB recipient with at least one child under six should have received a total of $5,874.50 as of October 2020.
Boost family income
Canadian parents with financial flexibility can further boost family income and augment their CCB through dividend investing. Brookfield Renewable Partners (TSX:BEP.UN)(NYSE:BEP) offers both value and growth. This $13.26 billion company is one of the largest in the renewable energy sector.
Brookfield Renewable’s portfolio of renewable power-generating facilities is in North America, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, and Europe, plus a few more countries. Renewables (hydro, solar, and wind) are attractive investment options today, because they are strong growth areas in the next 20 years or more.
Currently, this utility stock pays a decent 3.21% dividend. A $100,000 position will bump up your family income by $3,210. The dividend has room to grow, given that management has consistently raised it at a rate of 6% CAGR since 2000. In the TSX, the stock is among the top performers in 2020.
Brookfield Renewable investors are winning by 55.04% year to date. Over the last 10 years, the total return is 628.36%. With uncertainties gripping the market, you need to invest in companies whose cash flows are under long-term contracts. The business will stay resilient during economic meltdowns.
Avoid a disruption of benefits
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will discontinue the payments in October 2020 to CCB recipients who did not file their 2019 tax returns. File your return as soon as possible if you want to reinstate your benefits because you’re still eligible. The CRA needs to assess the amount due to you.
Speaking of CRA benefits available to Canadian parents in 2020...
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Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.