Skip to content

Just ask Angie: Who is eligible for the Canadian Dental Care Plan?

Q: Is the Canadian Dental Care Plan for me?
Just Ask Angie file
Angie Theilmann is a information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre. She has a biweekly column with the Coast Reporter.

Q: Is the Canadian Dental Care Plan for me? 

A: This month, I hopped on Zoom call to chat with MP Patrick Weiler to better understand the federal government’s new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). The plan – which officially launches in May – is a benefit for low-to mid-income Canadians to cover some or all of the cost of dental care. To qualify for these benefits for you and your family, you must: a) have an adjusted family net income under $90,000; b) not have access to dental insurance; c) be a Canadian resident for tax purposes; d) have filed your tax return for the previous year. 

Over the course of 2024, the following groups have been /will be invited to apply: seniors 65 and older; adults with a valid disability certificate and those younger than 18. All other eligible Canadians will be invited to apply in 2025. Weiler says once you are registered, there is a list of services you can go through in the benefits package to understand exactly what is covered. 

“The rule of thumb is it should cover anything that is non-cosmetic. Final details will be sent out in the Sunlife Insurance booklet after people register,” he said. Assuming one qualifies, the package will arrive within three months of applying and will include a start date. Important to note: dental services you receive before that start date will not be reimbursed. 

So, as well as things like basic teeth cleaning, Weiler says many other things are covered and says this should include things like dentures. The percentage of costs covered is dependent on your income level. 

At the time this article runs, eligible seniors 70 and older should have already received letters from the government with information on how to sign up. When registering until the end of April, you will need the number contained in your letter, as well as your social insurance number. After April, personal application codes for phone signup expire and applications move online. Once you are signed up, Weiler says, participants can expect a confirmation letter within 15 business days. 

While waiting for benefits to take effect, Weiler encourages people to check in with their dental practitioners to ask if their office is signed up to participate in this government program. 

“It’s good for everyone who has a dentist to reach out to them and encourage them to apply,” Weiler says. He says the more Coast dentists who opt-into the program, the more dentists will be available to provide services to people with CDCP coverage. Weiler flagged that it will be up to dentists who do sign up to be part of this program to choose how much they charge for various services, which can influence how much of the patient’s service is covered. But he says the federal government will encourage dentists to stick to the fee schedule they believe is fair. 

Starting in May 2024, seniors 65 to 69 will receive their letters. Adults with a valid disability tax credit and people younger than 18 will receive their letters in June. If you think you are eligible, but you don’t receive your letter in the correct time frame, Weiler recommends calling Service Canada directly. He says reasons eligible people may not yet have been contacted could be that they haven’t filed their taxes, or that they have moved and their address has not been updated. Note: When dealing with this program, if you have no fixed address, a temporary address like a hotel, shelter, YWCA, friend, or family can be used when applying. 

On the Coast, the Service Canada Outreach team will be offering information sessions to talk more about the Canadian Dental Care Plan at the end of April. These are: Thursday, April 25 at 2:30 p.m. at Harmony Hall in Gibsons and Friday, April 26 at 2 p.m. at the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre. There may be more sessions in the works for other parts of the Coast being organized. 

If you have general questions about your eligibility or you’ve lost your sign-up code – or if you’re concerned that someone may be trying to defraud you by calling you about this program or otherwise – call Service Canada at 1-833-537-4342, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Service Canada’s TTY LINE is 1-833-677-6262, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. PST., Monday to Friday. 

As a footnote here:  Do not confuse this Canadian Dental Care Plan for the Canada Dental Benefits plan, for children 12 and younger. The benefits plan is to cover children while this larger CDCP program is rolled out. With these current benefits – which are handled through the CRA – you can retroactively get some dental work for children covered. For questions about the Canada Dental Benefit for children, call the CRA 1-800-715-8836 or use your My CRA account to apply. 

Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub at 107A - 5710 Teredo. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: help@resourcecentre.ca or 604-885-4088. Search our online resource directory at www.resourcecentre.ca.