By Legal Services Society
Cross-posted from the Factum
The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSDSI) recently sent some of the people who get income or disability assistance a letter about changes to the requirement to “assign maintenance.” Some people still have questions about this change, so The Factum will try to make sense of them here.
As of September 1, 2015, child support payments will no longer be deducted from income/disability assistance payments. This is good news as parents won’t have their child support clawed back.
The old rules
Before May 1, 2015, if you were divorced or separated and getting income/disability assistance, you had to sign over your rights to maintenance (child support) payments to the ministry. This “assignment of rights” allowed the ministry to take your spouse to court and get a court order for child support. If your spouse refused to pay, the ministry could send the court order to the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, who would collect the payments for you. Then the ministry would deduct that amount from your income/disability assistance.
The new rules
As of May 1, 2015, you don’t have to assign your maintenance rights to the ministry anymore.