At his daily briefing, Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised additional support for Ontario's most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and persons with disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meals on Wheels
Premier Ford said his government is working directly with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to launch a new Ontario Community Support Program that will expand services, including providing targeted funding of $11 million to Meals on Wheels to deliver food, medicine and essential support to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. "As we face some of the darkest times in our province's history, we have a duty to protect and care for the most vulnerable in our society," Ford emphasized.
Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments
The Premier also announced that the first doubled Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments will be issued this week. This program provides a monthly, non-taxable benefit to low-income Ontario seniors and the doubling of the benefit was initially announced in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
Under this new program, individuals will receive up to $166 per month, while couples will receive up to $332 per month. These doubled payments will continue for six months and provide an additional $75 million to 194,000 vulnerable seniors who may need more help to cover essential expenses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Residential Relief Fund
Ford also said that his government will be investing $40 million in the Residential Relief Fund which will assist with developmental services, child welfare, victims shelters and organizations delivering social services to vulnerable First Nations individuals and families with COVID-related costs.
Additionally, $148 million will be provided to municipal partners that administer social services, with funding for the province's most vulnerable as part of the province's response to COVID-19.
*Above summary by Enterprise Canada