Government announcements positive for parents on OW and ODSP

July 13, 2016

Two recent announcements from the Ministry of Community and Social Services will be positive for people with children who receive Ontario Works and ODSP benefits.

Parents to keep full amount of child support payments

As promised in the 2016 Ontario Budget, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has taken steps to end the dollar-for-dollar clawback of child support payments from social assistance benefits.

In an announcement on June 29, the Ministry said that parents who get benefits from both Ontario Works and ODSP will be able to keep the full amount of any child support they receive.

The Ministry is also eliminating the requirement for parents to pursue child support from their child’s other parent, which often meant a difficult and adversarial process in the courts. This will allow parents to make their own decisions about how to reach financial settlements for child support.

These changes will start in early 2017 and will benefit nearly 19,000 Ontario families, most of whom are single parents.

This is very good news for parents on social assistance and their allies, like ISAC, who have been advocating for these changes for many years. It signals a new willingness on the part of the Ministry to eliminate punitive rules and find ways to increase the incomes of people receiving social assistance.

The government’s announcement is available here:

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