Three months ago I wrote a blog, “Changing Attitudes toward Work” which was about my rant to realization regarding my stay-at-home life, one income, disability.
Now, I offer a different angle regarding government benefits.
Here in Canada, and in Ontario, we have two or three benefits (or more) that can come every three months or so. One is HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) and OTB (Ontario Trillium Benefit). There are some others, but I’m going to focus on these.
Those who are on CPP (Canadian Pension Plan), OAS (Old Age Security), ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program), can usually qualify quite easily for both.
What I understand is: you can qualify for HST and OTB if you are:
Single and receive CPP, CPP-Disability or ODSP
Single with children and receive CPP, CPP-Disability or ODSP
Married (or common-law), with neither spouse working, both on CPP, CPP-Disability or ODSP, and
Married (or common-law) with children and neither spouse working, both on CPP, CPP-Disability or ODSP
I am sure I am missing a whole bunch of qualifiers, but lets stick to those four.
See where I am going?
The problem I see is if a person is married and one spouse works, while the other receives CPP or CPP-Disability, then they do not qualify for HST and OTB. This is the case with me and my wife.
This is my rant! I feel that a person who receives a monthly payments of CPP, CPP-Disability or OAS, should automatically qualify for HST and OTB, regardless of what their spouse earns! It is NOT fair!
HST and OTB qualifications should be based on Individual Income, not Family Income! As mentioned HST and OTB are not excessive, they are very small, perhaps no more than $250 combined. That, four times a year, adds up to $1000. A great help for those who need it!
Those four groups of people above, usually qualify automatically, and they can use that 1K extra a year just fine! Yet, what about me, severely disabled without a chance of getting a job, period? What about families of 5 or 6, with one parent working at minimum wage for while the other stays at home?