How will changes to General Welfare Assistance regulations affect roomers and boarders?

On 2 February 1998, the Ontario government announced further changes to the welfare regulations. Instead of the fixed amounts paid to low-income or homeless people to cover rent, utilities, or board and lodging, recipients will be reimbursed only for the actual amounts they pay for rent, utilities or board, up to a certain maximum. They must provide receipts for all expenses in order to be reimbursed.

Health benefits have also changes, and people will be required to pay an annual deductible for prescription drugs (for example, $350/year for people with an income of less than $6,500) and a fee of $2 for each prescription filled. The first result of the changes will be to increase the volume of paperwork for welfare staff. Over time, the changes will mean that those who cannot produce the necessary receipts will not be reimbursed, and may lose their housing when they do not receive the payments they need.

People who depend on medication (such as insulin) will have to spend almost a ... more.

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