People with disabilities in Ontario feel they are getting the short end of the financial stick during the Covid-19 crisis. I can’t say I disagree with them.
Hundreds of thousands of Ontarians with disabilities receive social assistance from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). A single person with no dependents receives a total of $1,169 per month to cover all their living expenses. Imagine trying to live on less than $1,200 per month in a city like Toronto or any town or city.
When Mike Harris became the Premier of Ontario in the summer of 1995, social assistance for people with disabilities put them just above the poverty line. While his government did not reduce those rates, they were never increased enough to keep pace with inflation since then. Both the Conservative and Liberal governments have let supports lag over the past 25 years.
Today, ODSP income support puts people at 30% to 40% below the poverty line. For years, we have been leaving hundreds of thousands of people to live in an increasingly precarious state of financial instability.
Now we are dealing with the pandemic that has shut down the economy and sent us into self-isolation. People have lost their jobs, been laid off, and business owners worry if they will survive. Understandably, government has stepped in with financial supports. People who have earned more than $5,000 in income are eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), providing them with $2,000 a month, whether you qualify for EI or not.
For people on ODSP, watching others receive $2,000 a month from the federal government is a bitter pill to swallow. A client of mine who has a son with a disability wrote the following:
“The pandemic will result in many tragedies but it will present with many opportunities to change the world, too. That we have deemed it appropriate to have persons like Isaiah “live” off a maximum of $1,100 per month and then immediately slap a basic $2,000/month income on persons not like Isaiah isn’t lost on me. That the world has, in no way, been built for him is not an abstract – it is a hard lived truth each day. “
Setting the emergency benefit at $2,000 a month is an indicator of what government believes is required to survive when you don’t have any income coming in the door. And yet, year after year, people on ODSP have been living on much less and have not seen a meaningful increase. It is not for lack of trying. Advocacy groups have been vocal on this issue.
“For people on ODSP, watching others receive $2,000 a month from the federal government is a bitter pill to swallow.”
Most people on ODSP do not qualify for the CERB. They can access a one-time emergency benefit of $100 for individuals or $200 for families, but they must contact their caseworker to request it. Caseworkers are difficult to reach at the best of times. One recipient posted on social media that her caseworker said she didn’t qualify for the benefit.
A one-time amount of $100 or $200 does not cut it. The need to self-isolate increases needs and costs. Getting to the grocery store is not an option for many on ODSP now. Transportation is disrupted and more costly. Those with compromised immune systems can’t risk the trip. This leaves grocery delivery services which they can ill afford.
Of the over 900,000 people on social assistance, an estimated 75,000 qualify for CERB because they earned more than $5,000 in 2019 or over the past 12 months. ODSP benefits are clawed back by income from employment, but only partially. Your ODSP benefits are lower, but you have more in your pocket, overall, if you work. The first $200 you earn in a month does not reduce your ODSP benefits. Each additional dollar earned, reduces your ODSP by 50 cents.
If you earn $1,500/month at a job (net after taxes and deductions), your ODSP would be clawed back by $650.
*ODSP provides a $100 per month benefit, if working.
Even with the clawback, employment income plus ODSP leaves more money in your pocket, overall.
Read:Who is Eligible for ODSP?
The CERB helps to cushion the impact of job losses, but people on ODSP could not assume their ODSP benefits would be clawed back only on a partial basis if they received CERB money. Not everything is treated in the same way as employment income. For example, if you receive CPP-Disability benefits, your ODSP is reduced by the full amount you get from CPP-D. The fear was, if CERB resulted in a dollar-for-dollar clawback, people would lose their ODSP, including the important health benefits and drug coverage it provides.
For weeks, people were left in the lurch, waiting to hear from the Ontario government. When questioned, the Ford government said the issue was under review. Not knowing how the federal money would be treated, compounded people’s stress, especially for those who had already received CERB payments.
On April 21st, more than a month after we went into self-isolation, the Ford government announced how they would treat CERB. While the federal government urged the provinces and territories to let recipients receive the CERB without a clawback to social assistance, the Ford government decided to treat it in the same way as employment income for those on social assistance.
Instead of receiving an additional $2,000 free and clear as the federal government suggested, recipients would see their ODSP clawed back by $900. Those who see their social assistance payments clawed back to zero would continue to receive the program’s health benefits.
The clawback saves the Ontario government an estimated $30 million each month. The government said this money would be used to support people on social assistance. They did not provide any further details about what these supports might be.
Some people on ODSP will fair better than when they were working, but others will end up with much less in their pockets. A single person previously earning $1,500 a month from a job would have had $2,119 from employment and ODSP, combined. If they lost their job because of the pandemic, CERB plus ODSP would pay them $2,269 per month. But many won’t do so well.
A married couple with a child, where the husband has a disability and the wife was earning $3,500 a month at her job, would have had a family income of $3,665 per month from her wages plus ODSP. If she has now lost her job and receives the CERB, their family income drops by $700 or 20%. When an emergency find to fall back on is a pipe dream, a 20% loss in income could have devastating effects.
Some would say, “this is the same for everyone. After losing their job, everyone’s income is less with CERB.” But, does fairness mean everyone should receive the same treatment?
Narrowly focusing the issue down to a mathematical equation applied to everyone might seem fair, but it assumes a level playing field existed before that. Under normal conditions, those on ODSP live financially precarious lives. One unexpected expense can potentially threaten their housing situation, unraveling any progress they’ve achieved. They live close to the financial edge, trying to navigate complex government programs that more often focus on eligibility and enforcement than support and accommodation. And this is all while they try to navigate mainstream society with a disability.
Preventative measures often cost less than reactive ones. If we don’t provide people on social assistance with enough to remain at home, their risk of contracting the virus increases, which means the risks increase for everyone. It also means they end up in the healthcare system where the costs are far greater, not to mention the added pressure on the healthcare system.
The amount of support ODSP provides is like throwing a life preserver to a drowning person but not pulling them to shore. It might be enough to help people tread water, but not enough to get to shore where they might be able to stand on their own and shed the life preserver for somebody else to use.
“If we don’t provide people on social assistance with enough to remain at home, their risk of contracting the virus increases, which means the risks increase for everyone.”
Far too many people are forced to choose between paying the rent and having enough to eat. Survival mode is their daily existence. If you don’t have enough to cover the most basic of expenses, how can you be expected to find a job? How will employers reach you if you can’t afford a phone? How can you get to an interview, if you don’t have money for transportation? So we just keep throwing out more life preservers, wondering why the number of people on social assistance continues to increase.
Read:ODSP – It Shouldn’t Be So Complicated
Business analogies tend to reduce human issues down to dollars and cents, but I will risk it for those who say, “Where in the world do you think this money will come from?”
Even great business ideas are bound to fail without investing a sufficient amount of money. Invest just enough to get the business up and running, but not really firing on all cylinders, good chance it won’t generate enough revenue to cover all its expenses. Either you shut down the business (or it eventually fails), keep it on life support by feeding it cash, or decide to truly give it what it needs to eventually stand on its own financial feet. Unless you are prepared to invest what is needed to take the business to the next level, you will continue to bleed cash. Attempt to reduce or eliminate any further cash infusions, deciding you will have to do more with less, and you risk hamstringing business operations even further. Or you just shut down the business to stop the bleeding.
Investing in people with disabilities is similar in some respects. The number of people on ODSP has been increasing so the costs born by the public purse have continued to increase. Efforts to reduce the number of people on ODSP by tightening eligibility criteria or restricting the amount of support for those who do qualify, could save the program money, at least for the short-term. Cost cutting is a ham-fisted way of saving money because it creates unintended consequences. Fewer people get the support they need, trapping them in a cycle of poverty where the risk of ending up in the much more costly justice system (i.e. prison) or the healthcare system increases.
Investing in people with disabilities is not a business…at least not in the traditional sense. We can’t simply abandon them because of cost. Tightening the screws on funding and support won’t save us money either. Investing more to help people break the cycle of poverty and shed the need for government support deserves more attention, but we need to believe people with disabilities (and others on social assistance) want to work and have the ability to do so.
Disability does not mean you can’t work, but landing a job is an entirely different matter. Before anyone can look for work in earnest, their basic needs must first be met. People need shelter, food, clothing, a phone, internet, and enough money for transportation before they can effectively look for a job. Without those basics, securing employment, particularly in a highly competitive market, is incredibly difficult. Increasing support will cost more up front, but it would offer people a real chance to stand on their own, and reduce the demands on the public purse.
Maybe it is time we do more than just toss life preservers and pull people to shore.
Thanks for writing this.
People on ODSP claiming moneys,that they shouldnt be. How will the goverment get this all back ?????
What money do you believe people on ODSP are claiming for which they are not entitled to? Can you clarify?
I don’t think you get it. Governments and business are willing to spend *more* to make the sick and disabled suffer. They have very carefully excluded the sick and the disabled from any kind of financial assistance even while thousands of the warehoused sick are dying in care homes. This is deliberate. The pandemic is seen as an opportunity to rid themselves of those they have judged unworthy of life. And this is quietly ignored by the media who share the view that the disabled are a worthless burden on societ, “useless eaters.”
We have seen this before. The Nazis ideology of “lebensunwertes leben” — literally “life unworthy of life” — resulted in the mass euthanization of the sick and the disabled even before the first death camps were set up. There will be no help forthcoming for the sick and the disabled. Now that they are dying, people like Doug Ford are heaving a sigh of relief, as they no longer have to work to keep their hatred for the disabled hidden.
I can’t say I agree with the motives you believe are driving government decisions, but I appreciate you sharing your perspective.
Thanks for writing this Ron. We need to talk about this more.
I have a question. I had a small job which payed 150.00 a month . But now because of the virus I have no job. I also got 100.00 more from ODSP. So 250.00 dollars in total more. So I was wandering could I file for that $2,000 a month
I don’t believe so. To qualify, you need to have earned at least $5,000 from working (ODSP income benefits does not count) in 2019 or in the past 12 months.
Yes you can apply Lori. Anyone making upto $1000 a month is qualified to get CERB.
I think you are misunderstanding the criteria. You must have earned at least $5,000 in the last 12 month or in 2019 and have lost your job because of the pandemic. However, if you have been working during the pandemic but only making $1000 or less per month, you can qualify…but you still would have had to earn at least $5,000 in the last 12 months or in 2019. Based on what Lori says her monthly income was, she didn’t earn enough income in the previous 12 months or 2019 to qualify for CERB.
I am getting $930 a month , i receiving $139 for a special diet witch is included in that 930 .
When the gov gave us $100 this month for cleaning supplies what kind of statement they were trying to make ??? We have to buy cleaning products every single month , they didn’t think about that .That statement makes me even more angry. We are human beings going through cancer and many other illnesses and this is how this gov is treating us? That’s discusting and shamefull.
It is not only ODSP put those on ONTARIO WORKS fare even worse (not to minimize what those on ODSP are facing). A single person on OW receives less than $800 per month and it is impossible to get through a month without relying on community food programs.
Now with access to part-time or odd jobs gone and many of these food programs gone or curtailed the hardships are getting insurmountable.
In fairness, employed people generally have higher fixed costs (like heat, rent, property taxes) than disability recipients. They also pay into the system and their future taxes will help service the debt being incurred.
Costs should not increase for recipients very much, perhaps an extra $100 a month would cover extra supplies.
Better to focus on reform in general – it’s true the system is incredibly flawed, but that has nothing to do with the virus.
True, employed people (who are not on social assistance) would generally have higher fixed costs (and higher income). They also more likely incur higher discretionary costs. While it is difficult to reduce or eliminate fixed costs, discretionary costs are much more easily eliminated. Most people on ODSP don’t have the luxury of discretionary expenses, so they can’t reduce their overall expenses by reducing discretionary expenses they don’t have in the first place. All of their expenses are fixed expenses.
I am not sure how you conclude their costs shouldn’t go up more than $100 per month. For many, ODSP benefits are not enough to cover their basic needs so they resort to food banks when their rent and other bills eat up all their disability income without enough for food. With the pandemic upon us, food banks have been overwhelmed and more difficult to get to without reliable transportation. Going to food banks also means venturing out more often because you are not given a month’s or even a week’s supply of food. So people are forced to use grocery delivery services they can ill afford.
I agree the system is flawed and that the virus has nothing to do with that fact. Even though I wrote about some of those flaws, the point of my article was not to call for fundamental and immediate changes to social assistance because of the pandemic. The purpose of my article was to discuss how people on ODSP are not receiving support they need during this pandemic and voice my opposition to clawing back somebody’s social assistance benefits if they qualify for CERB.
With the clawback, many families on ODSP where somebody was working and has lost their job because of Covid-19 will see their total net monthly income reduced substantially even with the CERB. Families that live close to the proverbial financial bone (i.e. all of their expenses are fixed ones and they have no money left after paying them). They have no buffer and no cushion. What will happen to those families because of the pandemic and their job loss?
I’ve run the numbers. Many times. It is a habit of mine. Maybe an obsession. If that family was permitted to receive CERB without a reduction to their ODSP they would have a fighting chance. With the clawback they are put behind the eight ball. You might say further behind the eight ball.
Is the purpose of CERB simply income replacement? Is that really all it is? Are we not trying to keep people safe and stem the spread of this virus? Isn’t that really the primary objective? Or are we saying you only deserve it or deserve more of it if you contributed more to the economy? If ever there was a time where the well-being of one of us affects the well-being of all of us, this time is it. I believe it has always been this way, but now more than ever, the more people we leave behind the more we are all at risk and will pay the price in one way or another.
Do you see now why I referenced lebensunwertes leben? People may not be aware of it, but the subtext of everything they’re saying dovetails with the Nazi ideology of “useless eaters,” where a person’s value as a human being is linked only to their usefulness to the State and those who run it. If you have any kind of disability, you are literally worth less because you contribute less to the wealth of the people who run the State for the wealthy oligarchs.
This person to whom you’re responding saying that the destitute disabled are of less value than a nice middle class person with a comfortable lifestyle, and that we as a society should support the middle class person rather than the destitute disabled person who has no value.
I think I get why you make the reference, but it a false equivalency in so many ways. If somebody disagrees with my position on the matter of supports for people with disabilities doesn’t automatically mean they somehow believe they should be euthanized. It doesn’t mean they obviously agree with this Nazi doctrine.
Do I think too many people assign less value to those with disabilities? Absolutely. Do I think this is the equivalent of Nazi dogma that served as the underpinning of mass genocide? Absolutely not.
Among my health problems (many of them caused by stress and poor diet from a lifetime of struggling to survive on social programs due to my disability) I am asthmatic and diabetic, and am recovering from a pulmonary embolism which case so close to killing me that I’m told if I’d gone back to sleep instead of calling for an ambulance, I’d never have woken up again.
Since then, I have been told that I will be on blood-thinners for the rest of my life. I have no doctor because the waiting list I’m on is at least two years long for people *without* complex medical histories. I was receiving blood testing from my local hospital because the blood-thinner is extremely dangerous and must be kept within certain ranges; too much and I can die of a nosebleed, to little and I can die in my sleep of another embolism.
Last month the hospital told me I would no longer be receiving medical treatment. I’ve been told to guess at my dosages and, if I’m still alive when the pandemic is over, maybe they’ll start treating me again. I have been “triaged” to make their care and testing available for someone more valuable, who isn’t disabled and in poor health. I guess they calculated my “frailty” score and decided I’m not worth saving.
I’m trapped in a small town without health care, transportation, or access to food. I’ve lost 50 pounds in the last four months because I couldn’t afford to eat anything but rice and microwave popcorn. I couldn’t afford to turn the heat on this winter, so I burned candles and isolated myself in a tiny room, wrapping myself in a blanket when it got cold enough for me to see my breath. I doubt very much I will be alive a year from now.
You tell me there’s a difference between actively euthanizing the disabled and just allowing them to die quietly out of sight from neglect. Maybe, but only because euthanasia is more honest and merciful.
You’ve mostly made good points. I can’t agree about giving recipients so much extra money and for those eligible for cerb, not clawing it back.
I’m a recipient actually.
I work a little part time but not enough to qualify for CERB. Being very frugal and having a place with rent control ( yet still burning up near 80% of money coming in on rent), I have some savings and am not close to needing a food bank. The shutdown has eliminated my earned income and I will probably be dipping into savings a bit this summer. There’s no way people like me should get an extra $2000 a month and not have a clawback due to the covid-shutdown.
Even with the clawback, I would end up with $2269 a month when my expenses have not increased much at all.
A very small income replacement plus an extra $100 for increased food/cleaning supply expenses (with certain things being out of stock, fewer sales, etc) would cover it.
Deficit spending will cost us all in inflation and interest payments on government debt. The money is being borrowed into existence. The interest on the government debt accumulated will reduce the amount of money available to fund programs like odsp in the future.
Nothing is free, as a government can only redistribute wealth, not create it – every unearned cent I get costs society in some way.
If anything, the situation just exposes the problems with the program. The income exemption is far too low. (they should fix that rather than not claw back cerb) The program needs to be simplified; there are many different benefits like special diet people need to apply for and it would be simpler just to get paid a bit more in the first place.
Recipients also need to get better at managing their money and put some away, work for some extra income if possible.
It has always struck me curious at best and disheartening and upsetting at worst that people are inclined to believe what is fair for others is the same as what they think would be fair for them.
You wrote, “There’s no way people like me (my emphasis) should get an extra $2000 a month and not have a clawback due to the covid-shutdown.”
Maybe you are right that people like you shouldn’t be entitled to the $2,000 per month from CERB, but not everyone on ODSP is like you. In fact, very few might be like you.
Most people on ODSP don’t live in a rent controlled home. Even though your rent requires 80% of your benefits, it still leaves you with 20%. When you say rent controlled, I am not sure if you mean rent geared to income (RGI). If you are on RGI, you have a much better position than most on social assistance. I have several clients on RGI and while it reduces the shelter amount they get from ODSP, they are in a much better position because they are left with a fighting chance to cover their other necessary expenses.
You have been able to work in the past to a limited extent. This has put a some additional dollars in your hands as well, which I would imagine is helpful. It also seems that your fixed expenses can be managed by what you get from ODSP and working, leaving you with some money to set aside as savings. It is great that you are good at managing your expenses. However, others, including those who are also skilled at living frugally, are not able to cover all of their basic needs (not wants but needs) with what they get from ODSP. Not being able to cover everything with what ODSP provides does not automatically mean they don’t know how to manage their expenses and live frugally.
A married couple with a young child where the husband has a disability and the wife is out working, will have much higher fixed expenses than a single person with no dependents. If the wife earns $3200/month at her job, their ODSP would be clawed back to $415. This would leave them with $3,615 of net income each month. For a family of three, this amount could just cover their fixed expenses and may very well have nothing left at the end of most months. They need her employment income to cover those fixed expenses.
She loses her job because of Covid-19. She qualifies for CERB. Since CERB is clawed back, their net monthly income drops to $2,915, which is almost a 20% drop in income. Since the family had no discretionary expenses, there is nothing they can cut back on.
If CERB wasn’t clawed back, their family income would have been $3,815, which is a 5.5% increase. You could argue that they shouldn’t see an increase and that their ODSP should be clawed back so their total net income doesn’t exceed what is was when the wife was working. But then how would you reconcile that with people who earned $5,000 over the past 12 months and are now getting $2,000 a month from CERB?? I don’t hear too many people jumping up and down about these people who would receive $10,000 (double what they earned from working in the previous 12 months) if CERB lasts for five months.
Even though your expenses hasn’t increased much due to the pandemic, does not mean others are not seeing significant increases in expenses. I don’t know enough about your situation to understand why your expenses have increased by a small amount, but I think it is fair to say that not everyone lives with the same set of circumstances as you do.
About deficit spending…let’s be clear, the CERB money is coming from the federal government. The money for CERB is coming from their coffers. The ODSP clawback does not somehow return that money back to the federal coffers. The clawback puts money into the provincial coffers, which by the way, the provincial government said they would use to help people on social assistance. So all of this money is being spent. The clawback is not somehow reducing government spending.
Even if they do reduce government spending, clawbacks like this doesn’t really save money, because it puts people in precarious situations that risk their health. So people end up in the healthcare system, for example, where the costs are far far higher than what the clawback saved.
Sincerely, I am glad you are able to manage financially through this crisis. But concluding others should be able manage because you are managing is based on assumptions that don’t hold true.
I’m in a rent controlled place, not RGI.
To be clear, without working and not getting the work benefit, I have under $100 left – with working, 70 to 80% of the total money coming in is for rent including the work benefit. I have to work to survive long term.
I never suggested that the program doesn’t pay enough in general or that the clawbacks are unreasonable- on the contrary, i believe it keeps people who can’t work at all and or have much higher expenses than I do in crisis mode. Like I said, this crisis has exposed the flaws in the system – one of them is that the income exemption too is low, especially for couples.
I never suggested that everyone is in the same situation as I am, just that there’s such a thing as taking unfair advantage of government handouts.
People working full time have also had their incomes reduced too and that’s the way it should be.
When people get as much or more for sitting at home as they do for working, they don’t try to get back to work until the benefits stop.
People shouldn’t get thousands per month extra from government due to the crisis, in excess of what people earn full time minimum wage for sitting at home. For a single adult, without clawback it would come to over $3000 a month.
The dilemma in this is how to prevent people from taking advantage the system without depriving people who truly need and deserve the help – needs vary wildly. It’s a fine balance but certainly a “benefit unit” $3000 to $4000 a month for staying at home, way more than people not on odsp to me constitutes abuse of the system in most cases.
The pendulum swung too far one way – people on assistance were thrown under the bus in the 1990s and no government since has corrected that.
The solution isn’t to allow the pendulum to swing too far the other way.
As for a couple supporting children through the crisis when on odsp, remember that low income people also get a lot via the child benefit – over $5000 per year per child which wasn’t factored into your calculation.
Even without cerb a family with 3 kids on ow or odsp can theoretically milk tens of thousands of dollars per year from society.
Jon, to be fair, you did say “people like me”. In a sense you are right that you did not explicitly suggest that everyone is like you, but we were talking about what should happen to CERB for those who qualify and are on ODSP. If you were not referring to people on ODSP in general when you said “people like me,” who were you referring to?
In your very first comment, you said that people’s expenses should not increase very much, perhaps $100 per month as they have for you. Without understanding other people’s situations, I just don’t understand how you can be confident in your conclusion. I have heard from many whose costs have gone up significantly more than that, particularly for those who are forced to use grocery delivery services.
I didn’t think you were arguing that ODSP was enough support. I wasn’t suggesting you thought that it was. In fact, that seems one of the key areas where we agree. I laid out a scenario that did not argue for an increase to basic ODSP rates, though. The scenario focused on a situation where a family was just getting by with a combined income form employment and ODSP, but now face extreme hardship because of job loss due to the pandemic.
Hard and fast rules that treat everyone the same are all too often employed to reflect as sense of fairness…that fairness is somehow defined by treating everyone the same. Rules that do not recognize people’s different needs and circumstances. Saying that “people working full-time have also had their income reduced too and that’s the way it should be,” reflects this approach. The underlying assumption is that all people should be treated the same because that is “fair” and ignores people’s vastly different needs and circumstances. It ignores the implicit and explicit barriers people with disabilities face. Barriers that, in one way or another, cost them money. Barriers to employment on the one side and increased expenses due to disability-related needs on the other. Barriers that most others don’t face or, quite frankly, don’t think about because these issues don’t even show up on their radar.
As an aside, you seem to delineate between people working full time and people on ODSP who are also working. There are people on ODSP who do work full-time. The scenario I gave was case in point. I am trying to understand this comparison you made in your first comment and now this last comment. You seem to assign more value to people working “full-time” than those on ODSP who are also employed who also happen to pay taxes.
The individual entitled to $1,169 a month from ODSP and earning $2500 a month from a job would end up with $2,619 net combined, after the ODSP clawback. He loses he job because of the pandemic. He gets CERB and, with the clawback to ODSP, he is now receiving $2,269 per month…$350 less per month. If they didn’t clawback CERB, he would would be receiving a net total of $3,169 – a $550 increase over what he was earning before the pandemic.
Maybe he can get by, maybe he can’t. Just as I don’t know your situation, we don’t know his either. Who knows what the $350 drop in monthly income will do to him. Who knows what his situation is? But rather than considering his situation and basing what is fair on his needs, we apply a mathematical rule that somehow represents fairness to us.
Granted, we don’t have the resources or the time to evaluate each person’s situation, case by case, for a benefit like CERB which is particularly time-sensitive and temporary. So what do we do? What should we do if we are not able to evaluate whether our friend truly needs that $350?
In crafting a solution, yes, it is important to not let the pendulum swing too far the other way. But allowing people on ODSP to get CERB without a clawback can’t be viewed as the pendulum swinging too far to the other side. It doesn’t and won’t keep people sitting at home, that is except for this period of time where that is exactly what we need people to do.. The pandemic is what put people out of work and it is the CERB that is rightly helping people stay at home. They are not sitting at home rather than working because of the CERB and it isn’t a benefit that will let them remain at home once it is safe enough to return to work.
Really, how can you characterize it as milking the system rather than working when only people who were working and lost their job because of the pandemic (i.e. they didn’t quit) qualify for CERB? Are you really suggesting that the CERB has swung the pendulum too far the other way when we all know, including people on social assistance who qualify for CERB, it is only a temporary measure? That this benefit somehow encourages some people to put their feet up on the coffee table and lean back with their hands behind their heads because they somehow feel they are on easy street?
Even if there are people who are receiving more than what they were when they were working because of CERB, or more than you think is fair and right, does that mean there should be a clawback if it means those who really need it will be seriously jeopardized? You said it yourself, that the, “dilemma in this is how to prevent people from taking advantage [of] the system without depriving people who truly need and deserve the help – needs vary wildly.” Why is it that we as a society tend to lean towards making sure nobody gets “more than they deserve” even if it means that those who really need it will go without?
Im a single person who is on ODSP and CPP. Combined total of $1382.92 . ODSP gives me $701.00 a month $690.0 goes directly to the landlord. which leaves me with $11.0 a month for there. And my CPP gives me $702.89 which pays for everything else:
Car Insurance $165.0
Union Gas $150.0
That’s not even including food. I would love to able to cut something out of what i pay. But thats not realistic realistic. And putting money to save i have none to put away. So for you to say for someone like me who cant work to manage my money better it bothers me.
I am doing the best i can.
It’s plain to see the government hasn’t given a $*** about the low income people of Ontario . Any suggestion to say they do is ignorant
I receive .$216.00 on odsp and haven’t gotten any extra money and this month odsp included due to the cerb your next month payment could be impacted so does that mean I get nothing I’m so confused
I’m not sure I understand all the facts of your situation, so I can’t speak specifically about what will happen with your ODSP.
Speaking more generally, if a person got CERB last month, it would reduce their ODSP by $900. If they continue to get CERB, their ODSP would continue to be reduced by $900.
ODSP Must be increased at least 50% on all items…special needs, shelter allowance..etc
Otherwise you will see a sudden breakout of sick people who need medical attention living on the road. It better to act fast before it is too late