OCB= Ontario Child Benefit
NCBs= National Child Benefit Supplement
The OCB starts July 1 2008 and it does include the Back to School Allowance and the Winter Clothing Allowance. The full OCB implementation is being phased in over a couple of years and there will be transitional funding in the interim.
Ultimately, all families will be better off. They will keep their NCBS funds and they will receive OCB as well. The Province is still working on transitional plans for 2008 and there is a commitment to ensure that families are not worse off. There is a lot of active discussion over issuing Back to School and Winter Clothing in 2008 as the implementation of OCB closely coincides with Back to School. I am expecting to see an Interim Directive addressing this issue before August 2008.
There will also be an information package which will be sent to all agencies in Bruce/Grey with explanations around OCB and the impact on our clients. The first year of OCB has the potential to cost families money. The transitional plan will address these issues and it is expected that the Province will respond in a positive fashion. Municipal Delivery Agents are strongly advocating for a transitional package which will address all financial matters.
All of us want to make sure that our clients receive their full benefits and that no one is penalized during the implementation period.