Social Development Minister Karina Gould says 35,000 families have applied for the new dental benefit for their children since applications opened a week ago. Gould stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Tens of thousands of families have applied for federal child dental benefit: Gould

Social Development Minister Karina Gould says 35,000 people have applied for the new child dental benefit since the program opened a week ago.

Gould was responding to an opposition question in the House of Commons about Canadians who are struggling with the rising cost of living.

The new benefit is aimed at children under the age of 12 from low- and middle-income families who do not have private insurance.

Eligible families can get up to $650 per child per year to help with the cost of dental care.

It’s a cornerstone of the supply-and-confidence agreement between the Liberals and the New Democrats, which will see the NDP support the minority government on key votes in exchange for progress on shared priorities.

The government expects to receive about 500,000 applications for the nearly billion-dollar benefit program.

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