Ontario Child Benefit
The monthly Ontario Child Benefit program began in July 2008. The OCB goes to all eligible low-income families with children between the ages of 0-18, whether they are working or receiving social assistance - Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). If a family leaves social assistance, they will not lose their Ontario Child Benefit.
To be eligible, families must:
- have immigration status in Canada,
- file their taxes each year, and
- register for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.
For information about whether you are eligible for the OCB and what you have to do to receive it, see ISAC's Answers to Common Questions about the Ontario Child Benefit or File your Income Taxes Alert. Or, check the provincial government's website for more information.
Between July 2008 and June 2009, eligible families got up to a maximum of $50 per child every month. Originally, the government intended to raise the maximum monthly amount incrementally every July until 2011, when the maximum was to be $92 per child per month. ISAC has been advocating with government to roll out the full $92 a month more quickly. See Recommendation #4 in ISAC's submission on the 2009 Budget for more information.
We won this battle. The provincial government's 2009 Budget announced that, as of July 2009, the maximum OCB amount is $92 per child per month.
While families on OW and ODSP are better off as a result of the new benefit - and the accelerated maximum - the amount these families will get is less than it appears.
In July 2008, monthly ODSP and OW Basic Needs benefits for adults with children were reduced when the OCB came into existence. In addition, families no longer receive a separate winter clothing allowance or back-to-school allowance. Our Take Action explains this change.
And, as of July 2009, the Basic Needs amounts for adults with children will be further reduced. See our UPDATED Fact Sheet on Social Assistance Rate Restructuring and Child Benefits (June 2009) for more information.
See ISAC's original Fact Sheet on Social Assistance Rate Restructuring and Child Benefits (Nov 2007) or our Ontario Child Benefit and Rate Restructuring PowerPoint presentation for more information on how social assistance rates interact with the Ontario Child Benefit.
Families who are not eligible for the Ontario Child Benefit may be eligible for the new Transition Child Benefit. See ISAC's Fact Sheet on the Transition Child Benefit for more information.
ISAC is encouraging people who are interested in more information on the Ontario Child Benefit, the Transition Child Benefit and the winter clothing and back-to-school allowances to contact their local OW or ODSP office to arrange an information session in their community.