InfoCapsule 9: The Canada Learning Bond

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Disclaimer: RESP promoters

The information contained on this page is technical in nature and is intended for Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and Canada Education Savings Program promoters. For general information, visit the RESP page.

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   A PDF version of the InfoCapsules for RESP providers is available on the index page.

List of acronyms

Business number
Canada child benefit
Canada Learning Bond
Primary caregiver
Registered Education Savings Plan
Social Insurance Number


The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is an education savings incentive for eligible children from low-income families.

The CLB amounts accumulate for each child until the benefit year in which they turn 15 years of age, even if they are not beneficiaries of a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

A subscriber must open an RESP to receive the CLB. It can be either an individual plan or a family plan in which all beneficiaries are siblings.

Note: Although a beneficiary can be named in multiple RESPs, only 1 plan at a time can be designated to receive the CLB payments for a specific beneficiary.

Eligibility criteria

  • The beneficiary must be a resident in Canada when the CLB is paid
  • The beneficiary must be born on or after January 1, 2004
  • The beneficiary must be less than 21 years of age at the time of the application
  • A valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required for:
    • the subscriber
    • the beneficiary, and
    • the individual primary caregiver (PCG) or their cohabiting spouse or common-law partner for beneficiaries under 18 years old
  • A business number (BN) is required for a public PCG (department, institution or agency)

Note: Information about the individual PCG or their cohabiting spouse or common law partner is not needed for the CLB application process for adult beneficiaries between 18 and 20 years of age.

  • Since July 2017, eligibility for the CLB is based, in part, on:
    • the number of qualified children, and
    • the adjusted income of the individual PCG
  • The individual PCG must:
    • file income tax returns
    • be eligible to receive the Canada child benefit (CCB)
  • The public PCG must receive a payment under the Children’s Special Allowances Act for a child in care, for at least one month of the benefit year

CLB features

  • The CLB is an initial amount of $500 plus $100 for each year of eligibility for a beneficiary until the benefit year in which they turn 15 years of age
  • The CLB may be retroactive
  • There is a lifetime CLB limit of $2,000 per beneficiary
  • The beneficiary can request their own CLB entitlements from the day they turn 18 years of age until the day before they turn 21 years of age
  • No contributions are required to receive the CLB

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