Temporary Care Assistance: Myths and Facts

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Myth

Fact

The Ontario government has cancelled Temporary Care Assistance (TCA).

The Ontario government has not cancelled TCA.

In fact, TCA rates have been increased by 9 per cent.

Total spending on TCA has increased by 25% since 2004.


Caregivers are being cut off TCA as a result of actions the government has taken.

The government has continued to support and improve TCA.

The number of caregivers receiving TCA has increased from about 3,200 cases in 2003/04 to more than 4,100 cases this fall.


The government has changed the eligibility rules for TCA, cutting off funding for grandparents and other caregivers.

The eligibility rules for TCA have not changed.

In order to change eligibility rules, the government would be required to propose amending legislation to be voted on and passed in the Legislature. Quite simply - this has not happened.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) received complaints that inconsistencies in the application of the rules were creating inequities across the province. MCSS issued an update in July 2008 providing clarification, with examples, to better support our municipal and First Nations partners in making decisions about a child's eligibility based on individual circumstances. The update does not affect the eligibility criteria to qualify for TCA.


TCA can be cut off arbitrarily

There is no set time limit for receipt of TCA, and eligibility determinations are made on a case-by-case basis.

If a caregiver disagrees with a decision that has been made regarding their social assistance, they can appeal the decision through an internal review and if unsatisfied, may appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal and present their case.


Grandparents caring for their grandchildren and other people caring for children who are not their own receive no financial support from the government.

There are several programs available to grandparents and other caregivers who are caring for children who are not their own.

TCA is intended to help people who care for other people's children when the parents are temporarily unable to do so. Under Ontario Works, the government provides these temporary caregivers with up to $236 per month for the first child and up to $192 per month for each additional child. Children in these circumstances may also be eligible to receive benefits such as prescription drugs, dental and vision care.

Caregivers may also be able to access other financial supports for children such as the new Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) and federal benefits including the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) for children under age six, the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS).


Myth

Fact

The government is saving money by not paying grandparents caring for grandchildren the same amount that foster parents receive.

TCA is not foster care.

The government has not changed any eligibility requirements for access to TCA. The government will continue to provide TCA to all grandparents and other caregivers who meet the eligibility criteria - the same eligibility criteria that have been in existence since 1998.

TCA is provided based on the child's eligibility. When a child's parent cannot care for them, TCA funding helps the people who are temporarily caring for the child with the additional expenses they face.

If the living arrangements become permanent, caregivers may continue to be eligible for a variety of supports such as the new Ontario Child Benefit and federal benefits including the Universal Child Care Benefit for children under age six, the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the National Child Benefit Supplement.

There are also programs available through Children's Aid Societies.


All grandparents caring for their grandchildren are now ineligible for TCA.

The government has not changed the eligibility criteria for TCA. All caregivers, including grandparents, who have taken on the temporary care of a child may apply for TCA.