A Call to Action from Guelph-Wellington: Social Assistance Reform
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Based on community feedback on the final recommendations from the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario, we are calling on the provincal government to take immediate action and do the following:
- Immediately increase the Basic Needs Allowance by $100/month for OW and ODSP recipients as the first step toward adequate social assistance rates.
- Index OW and ODSP rates immediately to keep up with the annual inflation rate.
- Ensure that the proposed integration of OW and ODSP does not result in any rate reductions or cuts to benefits such as the Special Diet Allowance.
- Introduce an earnings exemption for social assistance recipients with work hours so that a 50% clawback on earnings does not apply on at least the first $200/month earned.
- Introduce an Ontario Housing Benefit to all people with low-incomes, not exclusively to social assistance recipients.
- Immediately provide OW recipients with the same access to prescription drug and dental benefits as ODSP recipients currently receive. Longer-term, extend access to all low-income Ontarians, outside the social assistance system.
This petition is sponsored by the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, the Income Security Action Group, the Wellington-Guelph Housing Committee, and Community Voices.
Special thanks to Poverty Free Ontario for their support.
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Guelph Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, Income Security Action Group, Wellington-Guelph Housing Committee, Community Voices