Archive for the ‘Social Security Policy Context’ Category

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

Friday, June 5th, 2020

The report recommends: Reducing the cost of working through less punitive benefit claw-back rates; and higher exemptions for earned employment income while on the program… Ensuring appropriate work requirements and support… Placing supplemental benefits outside social assistance… Shifting the focus in disability support programs from the inability to work to the ability to work.

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Ottawa has the Tools to Replace the CERB

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Two groups of Canadians face particular difficulties – low-income Canadians and families with children. Low-income Canadians have been hit hardest, as they make up the largest proportion of a service-sector led shutdown… Extending the CCB and GSTC boosts will allow low-income Canadians and families with children face the post-CERB knowing that they would have the income security they need to face the likelihood of a slow and uncertain recovery.

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Ottawa to the provinces: Don’t claw back CERB for workers on social assistance

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

“Our government believes the CERB needs to be considered exempt by provinces and territories in the same way as the Canada Child Benefit to ensure vulnerable Canadians do not fall behind” The statement comes as some Ontarians on social assistance who have lost their poverty-level jobs are receiving as much as $3,500 in CERB payments to cover wages lost in March and April… While Ontario considers what to do, the B.C. government on April 2 exempted EI and CERB from social assistance clawbacks…

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COVID-19 has exposed wide gaps in Canada’s social-safety net

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

This pandemic has shone an unflattering light on how austerity measures have led to fewer investments in supporting individuals and families – measures that would have helped cushion the blow that many people in Canada are now feeling… While governments across the country have rushed to respond to this crisis by investing in social programs and financial assistance, when we reach the other side of COVID-19 those social programs must stay in place – societal inequities that existed before this crisis won’t disappear on their own.

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Did free cash drive people to quit work? Not according to a new study of Ontario’s basic income experiment

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Three-quarters of people who were employed before joining Ontario’s ill-fated basic income pilot project continued to work while receiving the no-strings-attached monthly stipend, according to a new study. And more than one-third of those low-wage workers were able to move to higher paying and more secure jobs… The findings shatter the belief among skeptics that basic income discourages people from working.

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