Child support payments won’t count as income for Ontarians on social assistance

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TORONTO — Child support payments will no longer count as income for people in Ontario on social assistance, which the government says will increase the monthly supports for nearly 19,000 families.

The payments are currently treated as income and deducted from social assistance benefits, but starting in early 2017, child support payments will be exempt from those calculations.

The government says the change will give families receiving social assistance an average of $282 more per month from child support payments.

READ MORE: Here’s how much the new Canada Child Benefit will give you each month

Ontario says the move will largely benefit single-parent households and will help combat child poverty.

People will also no longer be required to pursue child support in order to be eligible for social assistance.

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The Liberal government says that evidence from other jurisdictions shows that parents who owe child support are more likely to pay it if they know that their children will directly benefit from all of the money.

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