Are Ontarians with low-income getting the benefits they are entitled to?
2011 Research Paper by Daily Bread Food Bank
As the government of Ontario commits to review its social assistance programs, there is an increasing push to look at an income security system that pays more benefits outside of social assistance. Such a system would help improve circumstances for all low income families, and help prevent people from falling into the poverty trap. This system would, at least in part, be delivered through the income tax system.
Presently, there are already new provincial tax credits which could provide people with payments even when there is no taxable income. This includes people who are receiving social assistance. These credits are not only available to households with children, but also to single person households.
The likelihood of people getting money that they are entitled to is dependent on them filing their tax returns. Using results from the 2006 Who’s Hungry Survey of people accessing food banks, we explore the extent to which people experiencing poverty file their income taxes. We also see who might be missing out on possible benefits, both now and in the future.