Trisha isn’t planning on being a parent at 19. FOMO (fear of missing out) takes her to a housing rights rally at Carleton University Centre, where she meets her Bae. “Before anyone else” gives her TFW (that feeling when) every time. She’s pretty shook when Tito comes along. Question is, who’s buying Tito’s baby formula?
Who Pays When Dad is MIA
Is Mr. Bae missing in action in your household? You’re not alone. Canada had over 1.7 million single or solo parents in 2019. Fortunately, Ontario Works has your back. Apply for benefits for your child by making an affidavit of sole support parent. If you live at home, being a sole support parent could qualify your family for needed financial relief while you finish your education and look for work.
You Are a Sole Support Parent if…
Your child lives with you because you are single, separated, divorced or widowed and you are their primary caregiver.
Dependents Can Claim Benefits
Living with your parents allows you to get financial support from them, plus receive Ontario Works benefits for your child. While you won’t be eligible for income assistance as a minor under 19 or adult dependent yourself, your child could be. Even if you are financially independent but opt to live at home, you can “elect” to declare yourself a dependent adult and apply on your child’s behalf.
Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
You won’t need to look for work as long as your child is dependent on you and not attending school or they are attending school and:
- you have no one to care for your child before or after school
- your family situation is fragile
- or you are caring for a family member like a sick parent.
You and Baby Make Two
Having a newborn in the house is expensive. Ontario Works could help with the cost of a crib and clothing or bedding for newborns. Your baby may even qualify for a special diet allowance. Ask your caseworker if your child has food allergies, wasting or other conditions that prevent them from having a healthy body weight.
Ontario Works and Child Support
Ontario Works benefits are not affected by child support payments or the Canada Child Benefit. While spousal support is deducted, you can keep the full amount of any child support you receive. Simply declare it at the time you apply for Ontario Works assistance.
Going Back to School With Ontario Works
Young parents 16 to 25 can finish interrupted schooling through LEAP, the Learning, Earning and Parenting Program. LEAP helps you parent your child and prepare to support your family. Minors 16 to 17 who haven’t completed high school are required to participate when they request Ontario Works benefits. LEAP is optional for parents 18 to 25 who want to finish high school, upgrade shaky reading, writing or math skills or get a GED (General Education Development) certificate. You get free child care as part of the deal, plus $233 extra monthly and help with school supplies, tutoring, field trips or other costs.
Taking the LEAP
LEAP is about more than just finishing school. You could get job-related training if needed and safety boots for trades jobs. COVID-19 may make finding work challenging right now, but LEAP connects you to employers and preps you for interviews. Community agency placements can be a way to get work experience if you don’t have a job. Who knows? Maybe it will work into a job or you will make contacts with employers who are hiring. LEAP can even pay for clothing and transportation and after you find work, give you a helping hand with extended health and prescription drug costs.
Make an Affidavit of Sole Support Parent
Start your application to Ontario Works by making a notarized affidavit. Your affidavit should contain facts or reasonable beliefs you believe to be true, to the best of your ability. It must be witnessed, signed and sealed (or stamped) before an Ontario notary public before submitting it to Ontario Works. Heads up: notary publics only verify that you made the affidavit. They won’t check it for accuracy or completeness.
Encouragement for New Ontario Mothers
Being a new mother has its own challenges. Diana Park of scarrymommy.com says following glamourous images of mothers and couples on social media is especially stressful for girls and women on their own. “I am a living, feeling person….when I can’t handle it, I stay away.” Colleague Sa’iyda Shabazz has this advice for moms: “Single moms are superheroes, and they deserve to hear it.”
Notarize a Sole Support Parent Affidavit
Axess Law’s Ontario notary public service can notarize affidavits for Ontario Works applications. Dial 1-877-522-9377 or in Greater Toronto 647-479-0118 or use our online booking form to make an appointment for a remote video call. We’re available for video conference calls 7 days a week, day or evening, at your convenience. Notaries can meet with you in person at our Ottawa, Toronto, Scarborough, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Mississauga Winston Churchill or Mississauga Heartland law offices.
Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s notary public services.
Photo by Szilárd Szabó |Pixabay.