ISAC’s Hands off! Campaign against the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) from families on social assistance ended in June 2007.
The implementation of the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) in July 2008 means that the NCBS is no longer being deducted from the monthly cheques of families on Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Families on OW and ODSP receive the Ontario Child Benefit, which is available to all low-income families in Ontario regardless of whether they are on social assistance or are working.
However, the impact of this change for families on social assistance has been uneven. In July 2008 and in every year that the OCB has been increased, basic needs rates for certain types of families on OW and ODSP have been reduced. And families no longer get the winter clothing allowance or back-to-school clothing allowance. The provincial government is doing this in order to move benefits for children out of social assistance and into the OCB.
All these changes complicated the issue enough that ISAC felt it was too difficult to continue the Hands off! Campaign. Instead, we will focus on getting increases to social assistance rates for everyone on OW and ODSP and getting improvements to the OCB.
Read ISAC’s evaluation of the Hands off! Campaign.