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Short-Changed: Ensuring federal benefits paid to the province reach caregivers of children with disabilities

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

This report focuses on an investigation of the “Taylors”, grandparents caring for their granddaughter “Jesse”. The Ministry of Children and Family Development had supported a court order under a section of the Child, Family and Community Service Act that transferred custody and guardianship of Jesse to the Taylors, as her parents were not able to care for her.  Jesse is Indigenous, and is living with mental and physical challenges.

While the Taylors were receiving some provincial funding to care for Jesse, after learning she was living with disabilities, the Taylors successfully applied for the federal Disability Tax Credit, which they thought would entitle them to receive the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), a monthly payment from the federal government. However, as this report demonstrates, the Taylors were not able to access the CDB, because the ministry was considered to be “maintaining” Jesse under federal legislation, the Children’s Special Allowances Act. This entitled the ministry to receive the CDB on Jesse’s behalf and it deposited the CDB into provincial general revenue. Having received the CDB, the ministry did not find a way to ensure that the Taylors received an equivalent supplemental amount. This injustice was at the heart of our investigation.

Click here to view the news release.