This is a re-post of a previous article; Originally posted on July 30, 2015.
Starting September 1, 2015 (TODAY), regulation changes take effect for single parents on income and disability assistance, in Sooke and province-wide. The government of BC recently released the following article.
Regulation changes for single parents on income and disability assistance
Amendments to the employment and assistance and the employment and assistance for persons with disabilities regulations made today pave the way for significant changes to the income and disability assistance program in British Columbia. These changes will come into effect on Sept. 1, 2015.
The new Single Parent Employment Initiative will remove barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance, providing them with the training and supports they need to secure long-term and sustainable employment. Up to 16,000 single parents on income and disability assistance will be able to benefit from this program which offers:
- Up to 12 months of funded training for in-demand jobs, or a paid work experience placement;
- Transit costs to and from school;
- Child-care costs during their training or work placement and in the first year of employment;
- Health supplement coverage for a full year after they leave income assistance for employment;
- Single parents will also be able to remain on income assistance when they attend a training program, and
- Exemptions for bursaries, scholarships and grants have also been extended to single parents in approved training programs.
To further support B.C. children, government also amended regulations to make the Canada Pension Plan Orphan’s Benefit exempt. Like child support, the ministry intends for these payments to fully benefit children. The Orphan’s Benefit is a monthly payment that goes to a surviving child of a deceased parent. The average monthly benefit is about $235.
Amendments were also made to allow for new earning exemptions, which include doubling the exemption from $200 to $400 per month for all families with children, and increasing the exemption from $300 to $500 per month for families who have a child with a disability. In addition, all families will be able to keep their basic health supplement coverage for a full year when they leave income assistance for employment. Health supplements give families access to dental, optical and Ministry of Health MSP and PharmaCare programs.
Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Michelle Stilwell hosted an information session with service providers that support single parents today to provide an opportunity to learn more about the Single Parent Employment Initiative. Those attending the discussion included representatives for:
- YWCA Metro Vancouver
- Family Services of Greater Vancouver
- BC Council for Families
- First Call
- United Way
- Currently, there are 16,000 single-parent families with 26,000 children who are on income and disability assistance in B.C.
- For people just on income assistance, when you include children, single-parent families represent 44% of all recipients.
- On average, 90% of single parents on income and disability assistance are female.
- Children who grow up in an income-assistance family are at greater risk of living in low income when they become adults. Research suggests they may be three or more times more likely to become dependent on income assistance as an adult, compared to children with no or limited exposure to income assistance.
- There are 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout B.C.
- Launched in April 2014, B.C.’s blueprint will help British Columbians align their training with in-demand jobs so they can be first in line for jobs in B.C.
- By 2022, there will be one million job openings in B.C. – more than 78% of jobs will require some form of post-secondary education, and 44% of jobs will be in skilled trades and technical occupations.
- B.C. is the first province to fully exempt child-support payments for families receiving income and disability assistance.
- Single Parent Employment Initiative
- B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint
- B.C.’s 2022 Labour Market Outlook
- Canada Pension Plan Orphan’s Benefit
- Annualized earnings exemptions
- Child support payment exemptions
Sooke PocketNews Additional Resources
- Original press release
- Single Parent Resource Centre (Victoria)
- Sooke Family Resource Society (Sooke)
- Sooke PocketNews Jobs Board