Recommendations for an Ontario Income Security Review

REPORT OF THE ONTARIO SOCIAL ASSISTANCE REVIEW ADVISORY COUNCIL May 2010 There is deep and continuing dissatisfaction with the existing approach to social assistance from all quarters: community groups, business, labour, policy makers, the people who run the system and those who receive its benefits. Ontario’s core social assistance programs – Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program – together with the other programs that make up Ontario’s income security system, continue to fall short in providing an economic…

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Government appointed Council recommends bold vision for social assistance reform

TORONTO, June 14 /CNW/ – The province urgently requires a more effective system of income security programs that meet the needs of Ontarians in a rapidly shifting economy, says a new report by the Social Assistance Review Advisory Council (SARAC). Appointed by the government of Ontario, the Council was mandated to recommend a scope and terms of reference for a review of Ontario’s social assistance system. In a report released today, it outlines a consultation process focusing on six key…

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Act Now to Save Housing Supports for People on OW and ODSP!

Download the Housing Supports Template here in order to send it as a hard copy letter to the politicians. You can also distribute it at community meetings or events. Use this Backgrounder in advocacy efforts in your own community. La version française est disponsible ici. And here is a Toolkit for Frontline Workers, developed by Parkdale Community Legal Services, to help people apply for the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit before the end of December 2012. People on social assistance themselves will probably find this toolkit…

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Designing new architecture for Ontario social assistance

When Ontario’s long-promised review of welfare begins this spring, the provincial government faces a stark choice. Does it spend years trying to unravel a set of 800 social assistance rules that make up the current outdated system? Or will this government take the bolder road and build an entirely new and improved income security system? Unravelling the rules is a long and involved process. Each time a rule is changed, another set of rules would emerge. It would require the…

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Income Delivery Architecture: Where Does Your Cheque Come From?

And Why Does It Matter? Several proposals have been made in the last few years about how to change the way income supports are delivered to people in Ontario. Why are people proposing a different ‘delivery architecture’? What problems would a different system help to resolve? What are some of the options for different kinds of systems? What do they look like, and how would they work? ISAC and the Ontario community legal clinic system’s Social Assistance Action Committee (SAAC) held a…

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Towards a New Architecture for Canada’s Adult Benefits

Introduction Since its creation in 1992, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy has worked to modernize Canada’s social security system. We have made the case for major changes not only to individual social programs, but also to the basic structures and functions ? the ‘architecture’, to use the current vogue term ? of social policy. This paper advances our work on the modernization agenda in a large area of Canadian social policy that has for the most part defied successful…

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Transforming Ontario Works: An Information Symposium

Many people in Ontario agree that Ontario Works needs to be fixed. One of the ways it could be fixed is to give people more help to get a job, so they can get out of poverty and the trap of social isolation. Some people call this fix ‘opportunity planning’. Others call it ‘human capital development’, or a ‘personalized approach’ with ‘wrap-around services’. But what do these words mean? What are the pros and cons of ‘opportunity planning’? Are there models for how it might…

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What stops us from working?

New ways to make work pay, by fixing the treatment of earnings under the Ontario Disability Support Program This report, commissioned by The Dream Team, Houselink, and CAMH, makes the case for reform of ODSP practices that discourage recipients from working. Personal narratives of ODSP recipients illustrate the roadblocks faced by recipients, and these narratives are linked to concrete policy recommendations intended to promote greater labour market attachment for ODSP recipients. Implementing the changes recommended in this report should help…

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What stops us from working?

New ways to make work pay, by fixing the treatment of earnings under the Ontario Disability Support Program This report, commissioned by The Dream Team, Houselink, and CAMH, makes the case for reform of ODSP practices that discourage recipients from working. Personal narratives of ODSP recipients illustrate the roadblocks faced by recipients, and these narratives are linked to concrete policy recommendations intended to promote greater labour market attachment for ODSP recipients. Implementing the changes recommended in this report should help…

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Ease the path to work

Ontario’s disability support program is supposed to keep people from falling into destitution because of their disability and help find jobs for those who can work. At just $1,053 a month for a single person the rate is so low that it fails utterly in its first goal. And, once someone receives that cheque, hundreds of punitive rules kick in that undermine the program’s second goal as well. As the Star’s Laurie Monsebraaten reports, Ontarians on disability support who have tried to…

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