First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
Dear Ms. Montani:
Thank you for your letter of September 6, 2016, regarding Employment insurance (EI) maternity and parental benefits. I am pleased to respond. As you noted in your second letter of October 5, the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation has implemented changes regarding EI maternity and paternal benefits that further support families and their children.
Effective October 1, 2016, the ministry made Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits and EI benefits for parents of critically ill children fully exempt for people on income or disability assistance.
Our government is committed to providing the supports needed to help improve the well-being and financial outcomes for vulnerable BC parents and children.
This builds on a number of significant changes we have made to further support families and children on assistance including:
- Becoming the first province in Canada to fully exempt child-support payments for families on income and disability assistance.
- Doubling the monthly income exemption for families with children on income assistance from $200 to $400 a month, and from $300 to $500 for families who have a child with a disability.
- Providing continued access to health supplements for up to one year to families with children who leave income or disability assistance for employment.
- Establishing the Single Parent Employment Initiative, which helps single parents on income or disability assistance get the supports they need to overcome barriers to employment.
BC is only the second province after Quebec to exempt EI maternity and parental benefits from monthly assistance rates.
Thank you for taking the time to voice your concern and for your advocacy on behalf of vulnerable citizens in British Columbia.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation
Chilliwack Progress: Ending clawbacks for B.C. families welcomed in Chilliwack
Times Colonist: B.C. scraps benefits clawback that sparked rights battle
Vancouver Sun: B.C. government set to eliminate maternity clawback