Ontario Improving Supports and Employment Opportunities for Vulnerable Families: Ontario is increasing support and removing barriers to finding work for people receiving social assistance.
Beginning next month, a number of changes announced in the province’s 2013 Budget will be coming into effect. People with disabilities receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits will see an increase in rates by one per cent starting Sept. 1, 2013, and people receiving Ontario Works will see an increase of one per cent starting Oct. 1, 2013.
In addition, clients in both programs will be able to earn up to $200 per month through employment before their social assistance benefits are reduced. This change will encourage more clients to gain valuable work experience and will help increase their opportunities of finding full-time jobs, while improving the incomes of over 58,000 recipients who currently have employment earnings. To further improve financial independence for Ontario Works clients, the province is also increasing the amount of assets they are able to keep before they can get assistance, such as a car a client may need for getting to and from work.
Enhancing supports and removing barriers to employment for people who receive social assistance benefits is part of the government’s plan to build a strong economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Single people supported by Ontario Works can now have up to $2,500 in assets without affecting their eligibility. Couples receiving Ontario Works can have up to $5,000 in assets.
- As part of the changes, single adults without children receiving Ontario Works will receive a top-up of $14 a month, for a total increase of $20 a month to help individuals with the cost of food, clothing and other necessities.
- Over 950,000 children in 510,000 families are benefiting from the Ontario Child Benefit. The benefit increased this July to a maximum annual payment of $1,210 for each child, and will increase to $1,310 in July 2014.