In the past, single parents residing in British Columbia faced issues if they were both receiving child support payments and government assistance. That’s because officials were deducting the amount the parent was receiving in child support from what they would have received through government assistance. For instance, if a parent qualified for $125 a month in government assistance but was also getting $50 a month in child support, the government assistance would automatically be reduced to $75 a month.
Many claimed that this unfairly penalized low-income single parents, and it appears that the government finally agreed. The budget released on November 10 showed that the so-called “child support clawback” would be discontinued. Once the changes are implemented, single parents on assistance will get any child support payments made to them as well as the full amount of assistance they are entitled to through the government programs.
According to reports, the changes are set to positively affect over 3,000 families and around 5,400 children in the province. While critics are quick to point out that the changes are expected to cost the government an estimated $13 million a year, many supporters say it is stepping in the right direction.
Any time there is a change in government policy or procedure as it relates to child support or any other issue, it’s normal to be confused and want to be clear about how this will affect your situation. Talking with a lawyer can help you be better prepared to deal with any changes that may affect you and help you get more information so you can move forward with confidence.
Source: Global News, “B.C. ends child-support clawback for poor parents,” James Keller, accessed Nov. 20, 2015
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