Ontario is increasing support for people receiving social assistance.
Starting this fall, the rate increases announced in the 2014 Budget come into effect, including:
A $30 increase (almost five per cent) for singles without children receiving Ontario Works.
A one per cent increase for families receiving Ontario Works.
A one per cent increase for individuals with disabilities who rely on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
A one per cent increase for various other rates, including Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities.
The government is also replacing the Northern Allowance for social assistance recipients with a new Remote Communities Allowance. People who receive 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.
Ensuring vulnerable Ontarians have the supports they need to get ahead is part of the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, which includes a long-term plan to reform social assistance by making programs more effective and efficient, and helping people reach their employment goals.
ODSP clients will see their rate increase reflected in their September cheques which are issued at the end of the month, while Ontario Works clients will see their increases in their October cheques which are issued at the beginning of the month.
Since 2003, the Ontario government has increased rates for Ontario Works families and individuals with disabilities by 17.2 percent and 24.4 per cent for single Ontario Works recipients who do not have children.
The first two years of social assistance reform have focused on improving social assistance so people can earn more without losing financial support, and increasing rates, particularly for those who receive the lowest rates.