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Child and spousal support when you are on social assistance

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Does getting child support affect how much I get from OW or ODSP?

There is a new rule that child support payments do not affect the amount of social assistance you get. So if you get child support, you get that money and your social assistance.

You still have to report the payments to Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

The new rule applies starting:

  • January 1, 2017, if you get income support from ODSP
  • February 1, 2017, if you get assistance from OW

But it only applies to child support that is owed for periods of time after these dates.

Child support owed before the new rule

For child support that is owed before the dates listed above, the rule is different.

If you were getting social assistance for the period of time that the child support payment is for, you have to pay OW or ODSP back.

And you have to do this even if you get the support payment after the start of the new rule.

What you have to pay back

The general rule is that you have to pay back the same amount that you got as a support payment.

But you do not have to pay OW or ODSP more than the amount of assistance you got.

If OW or ODSP says that you have to pay back assistance and you do not agree, you may want to contact a community legal clinic. See How can I get legal help?

Will OW or ODSP say I have to try to get child support?

No. If you apply for or are getting assistance from OW or ODSP, they will not say that you must try to get child support. This is because of the new rule.