Thursday, November 29, 2012

Service Canada: 1-800-O-CANADA

Service Canada is a one-stop access and information service for the services of the Federal Government. They are the first point of contact for many Federal programs, benefits, services and initiatives. They are open 8 am - 8 pm local time. Online at they offer information in several different languages, other than English or French. You can also speak with a real person when you call! They also have in person locations.

A quick overview of some services offered by our Canadian Government through Service Canada are:

Passport Services
- accept and review applications
- collect the fee & citizenship documents
- Forward to Passport Canada

Social Insurance Number
- This is required for employment, taxes and to receive some benefits or services. You can apply at a centre

Common Experience Payment
- A component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
- Recognizes the experience of residing at an Indian Residential School
- Delivered by Service Canada in partnership with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Skills Employment and Education Programs
- Aboriginal skills and Employment training
- skills and partnership fund, skills link program, summer work experience program, post-secondary student support program and university and college entrance preparation program

Employment Insurance Programs (for owners)
- Discuss the various terms and conditions that could affect your employees eligibility for EI
- provide support in preparing Records of Employment (ROE)
- Work sharing: adjustment program to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a reduction in business needs beyond the control of the employer

Canada Education Savings Program
- Canada Learning bond is a $500 bond for Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) for families in receipt of the National Child Benefit Supplement and the Canada Education Savings Grant is an RESP contribution provided until the beneficiaries reach the age of 17

Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
- UCCB is a taxable $100 taxable payment for families for each child under the age of 6
- CCTB is a tax free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of children under 18

Canada Pension Plan Benefits for Children and Families
- Survivors pension is a monthly pension to the surviving spouse or common law partner
- Children's benefit is a monthly benefit payable to dependent children of disabled or deceased contributors
- Death benefit is a one time payment to the estate of a deceased contributor

Canada Disability Savings Program
- Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) helps Canadians with disabilities and their families save for long term financial security
- The Government of Canada contributes to the RDSP through the Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- The CPP Retirement Pension provides a monthly taxable benefit to retired contributors and the amount depends on how much and for how long you contribute and when you choose to start receiving your pension

Old Age Security Benefits
- The OAS pension is a monthly payment available to most Canadians over 65
- The Guaranteed Income Supplement is a monthly non-taxable benefit to low-income OAS recipients living in Canada

Apprenticeship Grants
- Apprenticeship Incentive Grant is a taxable cash grant of $1000 per year for registered apprentices with a maximum of $2000 per eligible apprentice
- Apprenticeship Completion Grant is an additional $2000 taxable cash grant to registered apprentices upon program completion and receipt of journey-person certificate

Working Income Tax Benefit
- A refundable tax credit for eligible low income working individuals and families

This is just SOME of the programs run through the Canadian Government. Check out their contact us section for how to call, where to go in person and other ways to get a hold of them. A great section of their website is the Benefits Finder (found here) that you can see what you could be eligible for.

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