April 9th, 2020

Ontario's ODSP clawback leaves families eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit worse off in the COVID-19 crisis

QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP Official Opposition is calling for the government to stop Ontario’s clawback rules for social assistance recipients during the COVID-19 pandemic. This clawback policy risks leaving many families who qualify for and receive the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) even worse off, as their family could see their existing ODSP support wiped out.

In Ontario, any supports like EI coming into the household are deducted dollar-for-dollar from ODSP payments, but earned income from work triggers a clawback at 50-cents on the dollar. If someone from a household that counts on ODSP loses their job, and applies for CERB, the benefit could be completely wiped out, leaving the family even further behind for the month.

“Families are feeling anxious during this unprecedented crisis as they worry about their health, their jobs and paying the bills,” said MPP Lisa Gretzky, the NDP’s Community and Social Services critic. "Ontario's policies punish working families, and adds insult to injury given already abysmally-low social assistance rates.

“For adults with disabilities and their families, the pandemic has made life even more expensive – and forcing them to try to get by with even less is wrong, and it has to stop. Ontario needs to act immediately to cancel the clawback for people that are eligible for CERB. A clawback that will wipe out the financial help the federal government is offering.”