LONDON - Read my letter calling on Minister Lecce to allow families to apply retroactively for the Support for Families and the Support for Learners programs.
"Dear Minister Lecce,
I am writing to highlight ongoing concerns that ha ve been brought to my attention by London West parents regarding the Support for Families, Support for Learners, and now COVID 19 Child Benefit programs.
Many families have contacted my office to express their frustration that they were un aware of these programs until it was too late to apply I understand t hat information was posted through social media channels bu t parents were not contacted directly about these benefits and the timelines for application w ere very short Several parents told me they only learned about the earlier programs when they applie d for the COVID 19 Child Benefit. F amilies who had errors with their Support for Families or Support for Learners applications were not informed of the errors until it was too late to resubmit. Families who did not receive payments for one or more of their children only learned that there were technical issues with the ir online submission s after the application deadline s had passed.
Minister, I am urging you to allow families to apply retroactively for the Support for Families and the Support for Learners program s It has been a n incredibly difficult and stressful year for families in London and across the province. Many parents, and women in particular, have struggled to balance work ing at home while caring for children and supporting students t hr ough remote learning Some have faced the financial challenges of job loss or loss of income because of reduced work hours Those who are essential workers have lived with the burden of fear and anxiety that they will bring COVID 19 home to their families. Parents should not be punished for being focused on other priorities during this prolonged period of crisis, and for missing information about new benefits while being inundated with government announcements. Your government’s decision to implement these programs should b e accompanied by a commitment to make them as accessi ble as possible so that all families who are eligible for the payments receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
Thank you for your consideration of this request I look forward to your positive response.
Peggy Sattler, MPP London West"