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Province's Announcement on Social Assistance Reform

December 5, 2018 Poverty Reduction


Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services announced changes to Social Assistance in Ontario today.

Ms McLeod (pictured at right) prefaced her remarks. by noting that $10 Billion is spent annually on Social Assistance in Ontario yet 1 in 7 are still living in poverty.

This is because the Liberal created system “robs” people of jobs, she said.

After a 100 day “consultation” to come up with a new approach that will “leverage community networks.”

Changes will be introduced in a “careful and measured” way.

Here are Ten Changes that we heard in Today’s Announcement.


1. The definition of disability will change to that of the federal government [CPP(d)] to promote consistency.

2. Current ODSP recipients will be grandfathered. {She did not say whether that would be at the Medical Review stage as well].

3. They will report income annually rather than monthly in future.

4. Recipients can earn up to $6,000.00 annually before deductions start.

5. Recipients will have a Health Spending Account to make their own decisions about health care.

On Ontario Works (OW):

6. Municipalities will receive greater control over how to apply OW funds.

7.Local caseworkers will be empowered to make local individual action plans for each OW recipient.

8. There will be financial incentives for OW recipients who start working. There will be financial bonuses for OW staff who find work for those on their caseloads.

9. OW recipients will be able to earn $300 monthly before deductions start.

10. The LIFT (Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax Credit) for low income employment could mean up to $850 annually in tax credits. 

You can read the announcement from the province at


Joan Beecroft November 26, 2018

"There will be financial bonuses for OW staff who find work for those on their caseloads." Seriously? I hadnt read that in any news! Shameful!!

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