Ontario social assistance increased slightly
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Sep 29, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Ontario social assistance increased slightly

Those living on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program will see slight increases in benefits this fall, the Liberal government says


Those living on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program will see slight increases in benefits this fall, the Ontario Liberal government announced Monday.

But critics point out they’ll still, for the most part, be living below the poverty line, which in Ontario is about $23,000 for a single person before taxes.

“This . . . will not address the fact that social assistance rates remain far too low. For families, this increase won’t even keep up with the cost of living,” NDP social services critic MPP Cindy Forster said Monday.

“The most vulnerable families with children will continue to struggle to scrape by without seeing an increase from the Ontario Child Benefit and without any action from this government to address these inadequate social assistance rates,” Forster said.

Individuals with no children receiving Ontario Works, as of Wednesday, will see their monthly cheque jump by $30 to $656, an increase of about five per cent.

Families receiving benefits from Ontario Works will only see a one per cent increase. As result they will be receiving between $1,050 and $1,391 depending on the number of children and parents.

As of May, there were 455,908 Ontarians living on welfare.

Those Ontarians receiving disability support can expect a one per cent hike on this month’s cheque. A single person will receive $1,098 a month. A couple with children between 13 and 17 years old will receive the most with $2,011 a month. As of May, there were 444,688 receiving disability benefits.

Also, there is one per cent increase for various other rates, including assistance for children with severe disabilities, which climbs to $465 a month from $460.

“Reforming social assistance is part of our government’s work to improve the social services system and make sure people in need are able to participate fully in our communities and economy,” Minister of Community and Social Services Helena Jaczek said in a statement.

The government announced it is also replacing the northern allowance for social assistance recipients with a new remote communities allowance. People receiving this allowance will get an additional $50 per month for the first person in their family and $25 for each additional family member, over and above the amount currently provided.

Since 2003, the Ontario government says it has increased rates for Ontario Works families and individuals with disabilities by 17.2 per cent and 24.4 per cent for single Ontario Works recipients who do not have children.

Toronto Star

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