Welfare rules: A smack down, not a hand up
Posted November 23, 2010
Article source Toronto Star
From a Toronto Star editorial:
Ontario's social assistance system is supposed to do two things: provide financial assistance to those in need and employment assistance to help individuals prepare for, find and keep a job.
So why did the system fail Linda Chamberlain so completely that she quit the job she loved?
As the Star's Catherine Porter reported on the weekend, Chamberlain fell victim to the confluence of two pieces of provincial legislation, both designed to act as a safety net for Ontarians. When she worked more than a few hours a week, her subsidized rent went up more than her ability to pay. Under the Social Housing Reform Act, her rent increased dramatically based on 100 per cent of her earnings. But under the Ontario Disability Support Program, she was only allowed to keep 50 per cent of her earnings.
Each department followed its own rules, without regard to the consequences. The more Chamberlain earned, the poorer she got.
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