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Rosemarie’s Legacy: students of families on social assistance can now save for education

Rosemarie’s Legacy: students of families on social assistance can now save for education

One of the provisions of the 2013 Ontario Budget was a commitment by the provincial government to ensure that high school students who live in families on social assistance are able to keep their earnings from part time employment – without affecting the family’s benefits. This wasn’t always the case.

Hamilton’s Rosemarie Chapman along with the Campaign for Adequate Welfare and Disability Benefits and representatives from Hamilton Community Legal Clinic led a campaign to change a regulation that forced the children of social assistance recipients who were attending college or university to relinquish a significant portion of income derived from part-time work.

Rosemarie and her colleagues met with policy makers and politicians. She asked for and received meetings with Ministers Deb Matthews and Ted McMeekin. Rosemarie’s efforts encouraged the government to recognize that the government regulation was unreasonable and discouraged the pursuit of a college or university education.

Changes were made. As a result of her efforts, low income students –who live at home– are now able to work part-time and save for their educational aspirations without impacting the social assistance benefits of their families.

Rosemarie passsed away in January, but her legacy continued in yesterday’s budget as the government expanded the earning’s exemption – so that high school students over the age of 18 could also save for their future education.

for more about Rosemarie’s contributions to our community:

Changing the World one child at a time

Rosemarie Chapman was a champion for disabled and poor