Support groups ask Ontario government to double social assistance rates.

Toronto – More than 200 advocacy groups have signed an open letter asking whether Ontario Government to double disability support payment rates and ensure they keep up with rising cost of living.

letter issued by Income Security Advocacy Centersays the government’s plan to increase disability assistance payment rates in next month’s budget is a far cry from what financial aid recipients need to “survive.”

seen in the recent provincial election progressive conservative promise to increase Ontario Disability Assistance Program To increase rates by five percent and introduce legislation to link the annual increase to inflation.

ISAC says the offer is an additional $58 per month for ODSP recipients and does not account for the 458,000 low-income people receiving support through Ontario Works.

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Social assistance rates have remained stable since 2018, with a single individual able to receive $1,169 a month on the ODSP and $733 on the OW – well below the poverty line.

ISAC says record-breaking inflation rates have driven costs so high that it is “impossible” for Social Assistance recipients to pay for basic necessities, including housing, food and medicine.

“With continued inflation, and a related increase in the cost of living, 5 percent is not enough to increase the survival rate,” ISAC wrote. “We call on this government to double both the OW and ODSP rates and index these rates to inflation.”

The letter was addressed to Premier Doug Ford, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvi and Social Services Minister Merily Fullerton, and was signed by more than 200 nonprofits that advocate for poverty reduction and income security. Signatories include legal clinics, health organizations, social service providers and community groups.

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