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March 22, 2001
(Human Resources and Employment)


NLCB increase good news for low income families

Starting this summer, low income families with children will be able to earn more money and still qualify for the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit (NLCB).

Gerald Smith, Minister of Human Resources and Employment, today announced the income thresholds that determine eligibility for the NLCB and the amount received will change. These changes will take effect July 1. The change will provide an increase for about 5,000 families currently receiving the child benefit. It will also mean that families near the top of the income scale will not lose their partial benefits as quickly.

"We’re certainly pleased to make this announcement," said Minister Smith. "Making this adjustment means we can help additional families with the cost of raising children, and reaffirm our commitment to addressing the issue of child poverty. The NLCB was introduced to help low income families overcome barriers to employment and to promote workforce attachment."

Under the current program, families with dependent children are eligible for a full benefit with a net income up to $15,921, and a partial benefit between $15,921 - $20,921. Starting July 1, the income level for the full benefit will increase to $16,744, with the income level for partial benefits also rising to between $16,744 - $21,744. This change will mean that more families will be eligible for the full benefit, more families will receive the benefit for a longer period of time and overall more families will receive full or partial coverage.

"This change ensures that the benefit is living up to its original mandate to provide financial support to low income families," said Minister Smith. "This is good news for families since this adjustment in the NLCB coincides with the income threshold increase for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)."

The federal government is raising the income threshold and the benefit amounts of the CCTB this summer. The NLCB and CCTB are combined into a single monthly payment for families.

In 1999, Human Resources and Employment established the NLCB as a tax- free monthly payment that provides low income families, whether on income support or not, with ongoing stable support for their children. The NLCB was introduced as part of the province’s contribution to the National Child Benefit reinvestment strategy aimed at helping low income families make the transition to employment.

What is significant about the NLCB is that benefits for children are delivered outside the income support program, ensuring that families are supported in their efforts to obtain and maintain employment. The NLCB means a family leaving social assistance continues to receive a child benefit, easing the transition to work. About 21,000 families a year receive the NLCB.

To qualify for the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit, each spouse must file an income tax return. They must also apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit if not already receiving the CCTB.

Media contact: Marcia Porter, Communications, (709) 729-4062

2001 03 22           4:20 p.m.


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