featured Poverty

News brief: How a tiny increase in income assistance may cost people money

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – TAfter years of promises, people on income assistance will finally see a tiny increase in income assistance rates in 2020. Never mind that it isn’t really a raise when you consider inflation, it is more money nonetheless.

Turns out that may be a problem for some.

Unless the department of Community Services acts, that small increase will disqualify at least some income assistance recipients who previously received the Nova Scotia Poverty Reduction Credit (PRC).

The poverty reduction credit amounts to $500 per year, paid in $125 increments in July, October, January, and April.

You may qualify if you were receiving Income Assistance in the previous calendar year, have filed an income tax return for that year, have no children, and have an annual adjusted income of $12,000 or less. If you are a couple only one person can apply.

See also: Announced poverty reduction tax credit increase for income assistance recipients mostly bullshit

$12,000 per year is way more than most people receive. But there will be some who will now be pushed over the threshold and lose that $500. 

Unless the department raises the threshold, of course.

We asked the department how many people will be affected, and what the department will do about it.

“An analysis is underway to determine how the implementation of the Standard Household Rate in 2020 may impact clients who currently receive the PRC,” writes Community Services spokesperson Shannon Kerr in an email to the Nova Scotia Advocate. 

“If it’s determined that changes to the PRC eligibility are required, they would be made prior to clients being affected,” Kerr writes.

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