thumb-2020-017
thumb-2020-017 This article is more than 7 months old
News

Doug Ford is Quietly Set to End Emergency Social Assistance For Low-Income Workers and People With Disabilities

Recipients appear set to receive last payment at the end of the month

The Ontario government’s emergency social assistance top-up for low-income workers and people with disabilities appears set to end on July 31.

Back in March,  the Ontario government announced an emergency top-up for recipients of Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program covering those who do not qualify for federal emergency benefits. The emergency assistance of an extra $100 per individual and $200 per family was initially a one-time payment,  subsequently extended until July.

While the phone line to apply for the emergency assistance remains operational, Income Security Advocacy Centre lawyer Arash Ghiassi told PressProgress the government has not said if any extension is forthcoming.

“I don’t know how the government expects recipients to be able to cope with the pandemic without any additional support by August 1,” Ghiassi said.

“The majority of ODSP beneficiaries can’t work regularly so consequently they don’t have the income that’s required to qualify for CERB, so they’re at higher need than others.”

Ghiassi said Ford’s government has so far ignored calls from advocates to extend the emergency COVID-19 supports for low-income workers and people with disabilities.

“By not continuing it, the Ontario government is once again sending a message to folks with disabilities on ODSP that they are undeserving and their needs don’t matter,”ODSP Action Coalition Secretary Trevor Manson told PressProgress.

“The pandemic is not over yet,” Manson said, adding that ODSP recipients are effectively “expected to continue to absorb their costs on meagre monthly supports, forcing many to go without PPE and diminishing our ability to physically distance and self-isolate, which does nothing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

He noted single ODSP recipients without the emergency support receive a maximum of $1,169 per month. That’s significantly below full-time minimum wage earnings and the cost of living in many cities.

Single Ontario Works recipients receive even less support.

The government’s apparent move to end the emergency support comes after it cancelled a 1.5% increase to regular social assistance rates soon after forming government. 

 

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-02-025 News

Doug Ford, In the Middle of a Deadly Pandemic, Calls Paid Sick Days a ‘Waste of Taxpayers Money’

Related Stories

News

Ford Government Memo Warns of $1.6 Billion in Education Cuts and Plans to Layoff Thousands of Frontline Workers

View the post
News

Jason Kenney Quietly Cut His Energy War Room’s Funding By Two-Thirds Using a Sneaky Accounting Trick

View the post
News

Oil Executives Pressured Regina, Saskatchewan to Withdraw Motion Banning Public Buildings From Being Named After Oil Companies

View the post

Explainers

Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

Why Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh Are Taking Very Different Positions on Private, For-Profit Long-Term Care

View the post
Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Why The Full Impact of Hate Groups on Targeted Communities Is Not Captured By Hate Crime Statistics

View the post
Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

How The COVID-19 Pandemic Revealed Canada’s Most Powerful People Have Less Power Than They Think

View the post