Getting benefits and credits when in an abusive or violent situation
At the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), we know that some situations can affect access to benefits and credits. We’re committed to helping you get your payments, whatever your circumstances.
On this page:
- Sending information or documents to the CRA
- Keep getting your payments
- File your tax return every year
- Keep your personal information up to date
- Apply for benefits and credits
Sending information or documents to the CRA
You will never need to contact an abusive spouse or common-law partner to provide information to the CRA.
You might receive a letter from the CRA asking you to confirm your personal information or to provide supporting documentation.
If you cannot get documents or information due to your current situation, you can send any one of the following instead:
- a copy of a police report
- a copy of a restraining order or an order of protection
- a letter from a trusted third party explaining your situation, for example:
- a member of the clergy
- a band council
- a shelter
- a resettlement office
After we receive any of the documents listed above, no further action is required on your part.
To discuss your situation, you may also call us at 1-800-387-1193. We can help you find a flexible option.
Keep getting your payments
If you have questions, or your benefit and credit payments stopped, we can help.
For example, if your spouse or common-law partner has not filed their income tax and benefit return, you may no longer be receiving benefit and credit payments.
To get your payments, you may call the CRA at 1-800-387-1193 to discuss your situation.
File your tax return every year
You don’t have to apply for benefits such as the Canada child benefit (CCB) every year. But you must do your taxes on time every year, even if you have no income or if your income is tax-exempt. This will help make sure you keep getting your benefit and credit payments.
Keep your personal information up to date
It’s important that we have accurate information to make sure you are getting the right amount of benefit and credit payments.
Tell us your new address if you move
If you move, update your address to make sure you keep receiving your payments and mail from the CRA. Even if you use direct deposit and your bank account does not change, please update your address.
If you are staying at a temporary location such as a shelter, you can use that address until a more permanent address is available.
Tell us if your marital status changes
If you have separated from your spouse or common-law partner, you must wait 90 days before letting us know of your new marital status. We will then recalculate your benefits based on your new status and adjusted family net income. The adjustment will apply starting the month after your marital status changed.
Start, change, or end direct deposit
If you were using a joint financial account, you may need to open a new account under your name. Then you will need to update your account information with the CRA as soon as possible.
Please do not close your old account until your first payment has been deposited to your new account.
Register or update your email address
When you have mail to view in My Account and when important changes are made on your account, we will contact you by email. Make sure we have your correct email address at all times.
Cancel authorization for a representative
If someone else has done your taxes in the past (your spouse or common-law partner, an accountant or another individual) you would have given them permission, or authorization, to access your account with the CRA. That person would be considered an authorized representative.
Your representative's authorization stays in effect until you or your representative cancel it, or it reaches the expiry date you have chosen for the representative.
If you plan on doing your taxes differently this year, or are using a different representative, consider removing existing representatives from your account to protect your financial information.
You can cancel a representative’s authorization online, on the phone or by mail.
Removing a representative online immediately cancels their access to your CRA account. You may do this through My Account for Individuals.
By phone: 1-800-959-8281
For more information on assistance by telephone, including wait times and hours of operation, go to Contact the Canada Revenue Agency.
Fill in Form AUT-01X, Cancel Authorization for a Representative, and mail it to your CRA tax centre.
Apply for benefits and credits
If you have not applied for the Canada child benefit for a child under 18 in your care, please apply.
Your spouse’s or common-law partner’s signature is not required on Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application, or any other benefit-related form.
Check for other benefits and credits that might apply to you:
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