What seniors are eligible for the grocery rebate?

Find out what seniors are eligible for the grocery rebate, how it will impact seniors and the amounts you can receive.

3 min read

As of July 2023, certain Canadian citizens are eligible for a once-off tax credit to help offset rising grocery costs. Tabled as part of the spring Federal budget, this initiative hopes to offset the massive increase in the cost of basic living over the last year. Are you curious to know if you qualify? Let’s find out more.

The amount you will receive from the grocery rebate is based on your income and how many people are in the household. Canadians with an adjusted family income of $52,066 or less for married couples with no children, or $49,166 or less for single individuals are eligible to receive the rebate. The rebates are capped at $234 for single individuals and $306 for married couples. If you have dependents in the household, this could go higher, with the maximum cap at $634.

Who is eligible for the grocery rebate?

The grocery rebate is not exclusive to seniors. However, many seniors will fit the criteria. You must have:

Individual income less than $49,166.

A married couple (with no children) income below $52,066

It is estimated around 11 million Canadians currently qualify, and that the program will distribute upward of $2.5 billion to needy Canadians.

This year alone, Canadians have seen annual inflation jump to 3.4%, which is one of the lowest numbers we have seen recently. However, this has not been reflected at the tills. Grocery prices (as of May 2023) have risen a massive 9% over the 2022 figures.

Some categories, like edible oils (20.3%), baked goods (15%), and cereals (13.6%) have risen even more. We’ve seen this have knock-on effects on restaurant pricing, too. The rising costs can be attributed to uncontrollable factors like rising energy costs and animal feed costs, as well as unpredictable weather events like Hurricane Ian.

How much do you get for the grocery rebate?

The amount you receive from the rebate depends on the family size. Depending on whether you are single, married, or have dependent children, you will receive varied amounts.

The rebate ranges from $234 (for single people without children) to $628 (for single individuals with four children). If you are married, you will receive $306 as a couple with no dependent children, and up to $628 if you are married with four kids. This handy calculator will help you determine the amount you are eligible to receive.

While seniors with limited income and without young dependents may not get the maximum amounts, which are for child-caring families, you will still qualify as either a single individual or a married couple.

How do I get the grocery rebate?

You do not need to apply for the grocery rebate to receive the benefit. However, you need to have filed a tax return for 2021. Even if you filed nil returns, where nothing was due to report, you will still qualify to receive the rebate.

While the grocery rebate is not tied directly to receiving the January 2023 GST/HST credit, which was based on 2022 tax returns, those who received the GST/HST credit will qualify. Why can some receive the rebate without the GST/HST credit? That is because these are calculated from a different year’s tax return.

Income limits for grocery rebates

While the rebate itself is based on the adjusted net family income on your tax return, some income ceilings apply, regardless of how it worked out on your tax return. For a single person, this ceiling is $49,166. This ceiling increases gradually depending on the number of children in your household (1= $55,286, 2=$58,506, 3= $61,726, and 4 or more =$64,946).

The ceiling is slightly higher for married couples without children, at $52,066. If you are married with children, the limits are the same as for single parents above.

Maximum payments for grocery rebates

The absolute maximum you will receive from the grocery rebate as a single person with no dependent children is $234. If you are married but without dependent children, the maximum rebate you will receive is $306.

If you are single or married with four children, the maximum amount you will receive is $628. If you have one child, you will receive $387, $467 for a family with two children, and $548 for a family with three children. If you had a higher income in 2021, your rebate will be lower.

While the grocery rebate value will be lower for households with no children, it still offers a welcome offset to the soaring price of groceries, and most low to middle-income families should be able to benefit from the rebate.

How will payments be deposited?

You don’t need to do anything to get your rebate deposit. The rebates are automatically paid out from the Canada Revenue Agency via direct deposit to your bank account, or through a mailed check. They are to be delivered alongside the next round of GST/HST credit payments.

Why haven’t I received my grocery rebate?

The main reason why you have not received your grocery rebate is because you are ineligible. If your earned income is higher than the set income limit or you did not file the 2021 tax return, you won’t be eligible to receive the rebate.

If you are certain you are eligible but still haven’t received your deposit, you likely filed your tax return after the May 1 deadline, which delays the processing of the payment. However, all payments should be made for this cycle, so if you are certain you are eligible and haven’t received yours, you may want to make inquiries, especially if you are expecting a postal payment.