Ontario Budget 2018: improvements for people with lower incomes and social assistance recipients

The Government of Ontario budget 2018, which was announced yesterday, includes:

  • new prescription drug and dental programs for people with lower incomes starting in summer 2019.
  • elimination of prescription drug deductibles and co-payments for all senior citizens starting in August 2019.
  • rate increases and other vital improvements for people receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW) benefits, including:
    • 3% rate increase annually for OW and ODSP for the next three years starting in the fall of 2018;
    • new standard flat rate starting in 2020-21;
    • equalization of board/lodge and rental rates starting in the fall of 2018;
    • increase in the basic employment income exemption from $200 to $400/month starting in the fall of 2018, and to $6,000/year in 2019-20;
    • extension of the employment income exemption to include Canada Pension Plan, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and Employment Insurance benefits starting in 2020-21;
    • elimination of ODSP asset limits in the 2019-20 fiscal year;
    • increase in OW asset limits to $15,000 for singles and $20,000 for couples in the 2019-20 fiscal year;
    • change in definition of “spouse” to align with period of cohabitation in the Family Law Act in November 2018;
    • expansion of eligibility for the Remote Communities Allowance to more First Nation communities starting in autumn 2018.

For more information:

As always, HALCO provides free legal services for people in Ontario who are living with HIV.  People can contact us for free legal advice at 416-340-7790 or toll-free 1-888-705-8889. Please note our intake hours for new inquiries are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about getting legal advice from HALCO, please visit our website: www.halco.org/contact-us.

This information and the ISAC analysis are available on our website as a pdf:  www.halco.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Ontario-Budget-2018-summary.pdf


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