Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Cost of Living

On Welfare in Ontario, a single mother with one child can receive a maximum total payment of $1056, (of which I only receive $1018, for reasons unknown to me). Out of that money the provincial subsidy portion of the National Child Tax Benefit is removed so the Province is not paying out twice, (I think that is the logic.)

Thus, in my case: $1018-112 = $906+270(Child Tax Benefit)= $1176

Now, that is it, that is far as cash goes. There is help one can get, as I have just been able to acquire money for transportation - $96.00 for a bus pass.

Let's look at expenses, though. Out of that meager possible $1018-$1056 that a single mother with one child can get, the Ontario Works program will only allow one to allocate $538.00 towards rent. FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT DOLLARS? It doesn't matter what part of the province one lives in, this is the cap. This is damn near impossible if one lives near any of the more populated city centres. That money will barely get one room in a boarding house. Of course, this is not feasible for a mother and child. I currently live in a one-bedroom apartment with my son, and this is not adequate for us. He is seven and he needs a proper bedroom and so do I. However, the apartments in the entire Greater Toronto Area and surrounding municipalities have very high rental rates, even in the "bad" areas, which I am not crazy about bringing my child up in anyway. So, I had to ask them for permission to rent my apartment because, like most places, was above the enforced limit by OW. I pay a little less than the going rate for a one-bedroom apartment, $700. This is because she is the mother of my best friend. So..

$700 rent
$120 bills (heat,internet connection, phone - which is not considered a necessity by OW)
$50 transport (because up to now, I have had to pay that myself until they had proof I was seeking employment and getting job interviews)

Totaling - $870

Thus, $1176-$870= $306 left for groceries for the month. Now, that is if I do absolutely nothing for my son such as give him money for pizza day at school and pay the fees for skating trips and the like, that can be about $40-50 in a month. (For pete's sake, he doesn't need to feel excluded at school on top of everything else!)

So now, grocery is down to about $256 - $266, for the month.

Heaven forbid there should be any unforeseen events or accidents...or a bloody special occasion.

1 comment:

Saraline said...

How can internet and phone not be considered necessities when they want you to be searching for jobs? That's so stingy.