CARP calls on Ontario Government to reinstate Grandparents’ Allowance pursuant to Tribunal decision


February 17, 2010

TORONTO, ON: CARP calls on Ontario Government to reinstate the Temporary Care Allowance for all eligible caregivers [usually grandparents] of children whose parents cannot care for them. Many grandparents were being denied the allowance on the basis that they were not providing “temporary” care based on a more narrow definition of the term used by Ontario Works.

In the case of one such grandmother, the Ontario’s Social Benefits Tribunal has sent a clear message to the Ontario government and municipal social services administrators that their practices are out of step with the law.

In rejecting the narrow interpretation, the Tribunal concluded that a “‘large and liberal interpretation’ must be afforded decisions regarding eligibility for the provincial benefit.

“The Temporary Care Allowance was meant to address a pressing need – to allow other family members to look after children when their parents cannot. The flawed interpretation of the guidelines undermined the intent of the program and had the effect of cutting off the very people the program was meant for and who most needed the allowance. The government should review all the cases under appeal against the Tribunal’s interpretation standard. People should not be forced to assert their rights one by one,” said Susan Eng, Vice-President of Advocacy at CARP.

People already needing the modest financial support to look after their grandchildren are in no position to asserting their rights through a legal process. The success in this case would not have been possible without the involvement of ProBono Law Ontario which has been advocating for the rights of children in grandparent-led families.

To view a copy of the Pro-Bono Law Ontario Press Release, click here

To view a copy of the Social Benefits Tribunal decision, please click here

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For further information, please contact:

Pam Maher 416.363.2277 x. 235 Communications coordinator

Anne Gravel 416.363.2277 x. 230 Researcher, Policy Development

Kim Hokan 416.363.2277 x. 247 Government Relations Officer


Susan Eng
Vice President Advocacy
CARP, A New Vision of Aging for Canada
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