Archive for the ‘Social Security Policy Context’ Category

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Let’s turn social assistance on its head to make it better

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

I can’t help but be struck by just how bad our social assistance system in Ontario is… social assistance incomes are grossly inadequate. They have been for decades… it is possible to imagine a social assistance system that supports, rather than degrades, the people who use it… we can do better. To start, we must re-imagine a social assistance system that is founded on dignity and human rights.

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Social assistance: Do higher benefit levels lead to higher caseloads?

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

Do higher social assistance benefit levels lead to greater take-up? The short answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t increase benefit levels… There are many positive outcomes associated with higher social assistance benefit levels. Having said that, when policymakers decide to increase benefit levels, they should budget for some increased take-up.

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A Federal Basic Income Within The Post Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

… the federal government should announce its intention to: Introduce a Basic Income Guarantee close to the Market Basket Measure, paid monthly, to residents of Canada between the ages of 18 and 64; Design the Basic Income Guarantee so that those with no income would receive the full benefit, but those with other sources of income would receive a benefit reduced by a proportion of their other income; …

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Basic income would be the biggest reordering of public finance in a generation

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

… the question of how it would be paid for (the UBI Works page on suggested tax increases to fund a UBI is eye-opening, in multiple senses of the phrase). One point that is worth dwelling on early in the discussion is what a UBI would mean for a pretty fundamental element of Canadian politics: the balance between federal and provincial spending.

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Liberals ease EI eligibility as part of $37-billion in new emergency income supports

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

The new Canada Recovery Benefit is for workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and cannot resume work. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is for workers who are ill or who must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19. The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit is for workers who are unable to work because they are caring for a child, dependent or family member because schools or daycares are closed due to COVID-19.

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Five good ideas for income supports in a post-CERB Canada

Friday, July 31st, 2020

… the notion that you can only have… a strong income support system or a thriving economy… is a false dichotomy, and our post-pandemic recovery requires us to move past this narrative… we need to fundamentally ensure that people with lived and living experience of poverty and income insecurity are at the centre of policy-making… Failing to put human rights at the centre of our efforts would be an abdication of our collective responsibility.

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Ontario Should Streamline Path Off Welfare With More Carrot, Less Stick

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

… the province of Ontario has the worst dependency rate on social assistance programs in Canada… Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) – have been characterized by high costs and poor recipient outcomes. With about one million Ontarians receiving social assistance benefits… the average dependency duration on OW has substantially increased from 19 months in 2009 to 35 months in 2018.

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Lasting programs needed to cure our social wounds

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

COVID-19 is laying bare the consequences of four decades of neoliberal social policy choices… The poverty, homelessness and precarious work we tolerate and try to bury under inadequate social supports. The entrenched historical structural inequities like racism and sexism we sweep under the carpet but are the driving determinants of who is most negatively impacted by COVID-19 and most other illnesses.

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Defining disability for social assistance in Ontario: Options for moving forward

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

A stable and well-functioning social support system for people with disabilities in financial need will be crucial during and after the crisis. This report explores the role of ODSP, the risks of narrowing the definition of disability, models of disability assessment from other jurisdictions, and alternative ways that the government could reform the program… A simplified assessment system would save time and money for applicants, medical professionals, legal clinics, adjudicators, and the Social Benefits Tribunal.

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Why the CERB had to be extended – and why it has to be fixed

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

… incentives matter. If someone can receive as much money for working as not working, that’s an incentive to not work. The CERB payment is $500 a week; assuming a 35-hour week, that’s more than the minimum wage in eight provinces… If someone declines work under those conditions, it isn’t because they’re lazy or irresponsible. It just shows that they’ve got a grasp on their own financial arithmetic.

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