Asset resilience of Canadians, 2019

Canadians were more asset resilient just prior to the pandemic than they were at the turn of the millennium. That resilience continues to be tested as we enter the second year of the pandemic.

For the purposes of this article, a household is asset resilient when it has liquid assets that are at least equal to the after-tax, low-income measure (LIM-AT) for three months.

To be deemed asset resilient in 2019, a person living alone would require liquid assets of approximately $6,000. A household of four would require $12,000 or $3,000 per person to meet the minimum LIM-AT threshold for three months.

Recent Statistics Canada data have shown that savings rose sharply during the pandemic, despite the economic upheaval, and that those in the lower income quintiles have seen their income rise as a result of government support programs, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Although the data in this release predate the pandemic, they provide an important benchmark to monitor the economic well-being of Canadian households during a time of unprecedented change.



Low-income persistence in Canada and the provinces

Each year, some Canadians fall into low income, while others rise out of it. For example, over one-quarter (28.1%) of Canadians who were in low income in 2017 had exited it by 2018. This study examines the low income exit rate in Canada—an indicator that can be used to track the amount of time it takes for people to rise out of low income. Although a potential surge in low income in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic was avoided by temporary government support programs, the rising long-term unemployment rate in 2021 suggests a possible increase in poverty and low-income persistence in the future.



The Well-Being and Financial Well-Being of Canadians: financially vulnerable households the most challenged

This brief discusses how more financially vulnerable Canadians are most challenged based on the Seymour Financial Resilience Index TM. This E-Brief builds on Statistics Canada Canadians' Well-being in Year One of the COVID-19 Pandemic report and Seymour’s February 2021 Index Release Summary.



Emerging Technology for All: Conversational AI’s Pivotal Role

This infographic is a preview of Commonwealth's research survey of 1290 lower-and moderate-income people to understand their perceptions, needs, and uses of conversational AI. 

Responding to Client’s “Now, Soon, & Later” Needs

This is a three-part webinar series exploring how practitioners, policymakers, and product developers are supporting the diverse savings needs of LMI households during the ongoing crisis. Solutions that help families save flexibly for short, intermediate, and/or long-term goals that address their current and future needs are discussed.



Barriers to Digital Equality in Canada

Internet is an essential service. As technology increasingly shapes our world, it is important that Canadians can keep up with the rapid changes, latest skills and emerging industries. Unfortunately, not every resident of Canada is able to access these opportunities to unlock a potentially brighter future.

AIC and ACORN partnered to undertake research with low and moderate income Canadians, in order to uncover the barriers to digital equity that exist in Canada today and shine a light on the urgent need to tackle these barriers to ensure equal access to digital opportunities.



National Report on High Interest Loans

ACORN Canada undertook a study focusing on high interest loans, especially when taken online. For the purpose of the study, high interest loans were defined as loans such as payday loans, installment loans, title loans etc. that are taken from companies/institutions that are not regular banks or credit unions.

The study was conducted to examine the experience of lower-income consumers in the increasingly available online high-cost credit markets.

The study was divided into three phases - conducting a literature review and webscan which was undertaken by Prosper Canada; legislative scan to understand the regulatory framework; and a national survey to capture experiences of people who have taken high interest loans, especially online.



The relationship between COVID-19 pandemic and people in poverty: Exploring the impact scale and potential policy responses

This research project aims to identify the relationship between COVID-19 pandemic and poverty in Vancouver, by analyzing how the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people into poverty and the impact of COVID-19 on people already living in poverty. Several examples of COVID-19 recovery policies and projects being implemented elsewhere that could support people experiencing poverty in Vancouver are also provided.



Control, Sufficiency, and Social Support Lessons from Low-income Canadians about Financial Wellbeing

This report examines how diary participants achieve the financial wellbeing that they have. The evidence we found is that low-income people work very hard to manage their finances. They endeavor to control their finances so that, as one participant said, their finances don’t control them. They must prioritize needs and wants because there is not enough for both. One participant talked about her goal of having a ‘little bit more’ than her needs so that there was a little extra for savings or small purchases or trips. Finally, we saw that family and friends are terribly important for achieving financial wellbeing because social supports can provide loans, gifts, and emotional support. Having a low-income means that banks offer few financial supports. Of course, family and friends also make demands.

The Differential Impact of the Pandemic and Recession on Family Finances

This report summarizes the results of a follow-up survey with nineteen low- and modest-middle income Winnipeggers, undertaken in June through September 2020. These respondents were drawn from the 29 Canadian Financial Diaries (CFD) participants who completed a year-long diary in 2019. The results of the survey illustrate that low- and moderate-income earners are feeling stressed with increased expenses and uncertainty about future economic stability.

Longitudinal Immigration Database: Immigrant children and census metropolitan area tables, 2018

The most recent 2018 data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) indicate that immigrant children make a significant contribution to Canadian society and the Canadian economy over time. Although immigrant children (32.2%) are more than twice as likely as non-immigrant children (15.4%) to live in low-income households, factors such as the opportunity to be educated in the Canadian system and an increased proficiency in the official languages help immigrant children attain wages in adulthood similar to those of their Canadian-born peers.

This analysis connects the characteristics of immigrants who came to Canada as children with their adulthood socioeconomic outcomes in 2018, such as participation in postsecondary education and median wages. The IMDB provides a long-term perspective on immigrants and their socioeconomic outcomes in Canada, offering details on how immigration is shaping Canada's future. In addition, these data from 2018 contribute to baseline estimates in preparation for future research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigrant children, including immigrant children admitted during the pandemic, their adjustment period and their long-term socioeconomic outcomes in adulthood.



NWT Market Basket Measure

The Market Basket Measure (MBM) is a national measure of low income based on the cost of a fixed basket of goods that represents a modest, basic standard of living.  It includes the cost of food, clothing and footwear, transportation, shelter, and other expenses for a reference family of two adults (aged 25 to 49) and two children (aged 9 and 13).

The Northwest Territories Market Basket Measure (NWT-MBM) adjusts the clothing portion of the national basket to better represent life in the North.  This has been used to calculate the NWT-MBM for regional centres across the NWT.



Household economic well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, experimental estimates, first quarter to third quarter of 2020

Over the first three quarters of 2020, disposable income for the lowest-income households increased 36.8%, more than for any other households. At the same time, the youngest households recorded the largest gain in their net worth (+9.8%). These changes were driven by unprecedented increases in transfers to households, as the value of government COVID-19 support measures exceeded losses in wages and salaries and self-employment income.

As the pandemic unfolded in Canada, households experienced extraordinary changes in their economic well-being. While quarterly releases of gross domestic product and the national balance sheet provide an aggregate view of these impacts, new experimental sub-annual distributions of household economic accounts (DHEA), released today, provide insight into how the pandemic and the associated government support measures have affected the economic well-being of different groups of households in Canada.



Low income measure (LIM) thresholds by income source and household size

Low income measure (LIM) thresholds by household size for market income, total income and after-tax income, in current and constant dollars, annual.



Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts (2nd edition)

Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts, 2nd edition, provides Canadians with an updated introduction to the social determinants of our health. We first explain how living conditions “get under the skin” to either promote health or cause disease. We then explain, for each of the 17 social determinants of health:

  1. Why it is important to health;
  2. How we compare on the social determinant of health to other wealthy developed nations; and
  3. How the quality of the specific social determinant can be improved.

Improving the health of Canadians is possible but requires Canadians to think about health and its determinants in a more sophisticated manner than has been the case to date. The purpose of this second edition of Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts is to stimulate research, advocacy, and public debate about the social determinants of health and means of improving their quality and making their distribution more equitable.



Recordkeepers’ Role in Providing Emergency Savings for an Inclusive Recovery

In this webinar, Commonwealth in partnership with DCIIA Retirement Research Center (RRC) and SPARK Institute present findings from our new research about drivers and considerations of recordkeeper-provided emergency savings and host a discussion with industry experts.

Investing in Financial Coaching with a Racial Equity Lens

In this moment, it is pivotal for philanthropy to support communities of color in achieving financial well-being. Combined with systems-change efforts that would create fairer economic opportunities and conditions, financial coaching is a vital component of providing needed support. Through background information, case stories, and key investment considerations, this brief focuses on financial coaching with a racial equity lens as an important strategy for helping people of color achieve equitable outcomes.



Achieving financial resilience in the face of financial setbacks

The Asset Funders Network (AFN) developed this primer to inform community-based strategies that can help economically-vulnerable families to better manage financial setbacks, shortfalls, and shocks. The goal of this brief is to provide a common understanding and language for funders and financial capability programs as part of a financial emergency toolkit.



The poverty premium: a customer perspective

Fair By Design and Turn2Us (in the United Kingdom) commissioned this research to explore recent changes in the poverty premium landscape, to understand if they are having any impact on the cost of premiums, or the number of people who pay them. Importantly, we did this through the lens of the low-income customer in order to hear first-hand how they experience these extra costs; how they see the problems with the current system; how they respond to initiatives and interventions designed to reduce poverty premiums; and the changes they feel would make the most difference to them and their household.

This research report:

  • Describes recent initiatives to reduce the poverty premium and reviews any evidence of what works.
  • Re-calculates the level and types of poverty premiums paid by low-income households in 2019. We focus on high-cost credit use, energy tariffs and insurance (specifically home contents, car and specific item insurance) because our previous work identified these as potentially the most harmful to low-income households (Davies et al, 2016; Davies and Finney, 2017).
  • Looks in detail at the financial difficulties experienced by low-income households, their impact on individuals and families, and the things that prevent low-income households from getting a better deal.
  • Sets out ‘user-led’ solutions and ideas that people living in poverty feel could help to reduce the extra costs they pay.



Roadblock to Recovery: Consumer debt of low- and moderate-income Canadians in the time of COVID-19

Almost half of low-income households and 62 per cent of moderate-income households carry debt, with households on low incomes spending 31 per cent of their income on debt repayments, according to a new report published by national charity, Prosper Canada.

This report analyzes the distribution, amount and composition of non-mortgage debt held by low- and moderate-income Canadian households and explores implications for federal and provincial/territorial policy makers as they develop and implement COVID-19 economic recovery plans and fulfill their respective regulatory roles.



Accessing Financial Literacy Education Programs: Barriers and opportunities for women living on low incomes

When women living on low incomes are able to access effective Financial Literacy Education (FLE) programs, they will be better positioned to fully participate in economic life, help build a stronger economy, and improve the quality of life for themselves, their families, and their communities.

This needs assessment was part of Families Canada’s 3-year project titled “Increasing financial literacy opportunities for women living on low incomes: An action plan for change.” Partners included the Canadian Credit Union Association and Vancity. Funding was generously provided by the Department for Women and Gender Equality. The project seeks to ensure organizations have the information they need to adapt their existing financial literacy initiatives and programs to better meet the needs of women living on low incomes. 



Cities Reducing Poverty: 2020 Impact Report

The Vibrant Communities – Cities Reducing Poverty 2020 Impact Report is the Tamarack Institute's first attempt at capturing and communicating national trends in poverty reduction and the important ways in which member Cities Reducing Poverty collaboratives are contributing to those changes.

This impact report is meant for poverty reduction organizers and advocates, and public decision-makers to get a sense for how collaborative, multi-sectoral local roundtables with comprehensive plans contribute to poverty reduction in their communities and beyond; and spotlights high-impact initiatives that are demonstrating promising results.



Report on Income and Canadian Financial Consumer Complaints

This report explores the financial services complaint experiences of Canadians at various income levels who used the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)’s service. The national, not-for-profit organization collected demographic and case data for almost 1,000 closed cases resolved between 2017 to 2019 to create the report. These cases were grouped into three categories:

  • lower-income households (under $60,000);
  • middle-income households ($60,000 to $100,000); and
  • higher-income households (over $100,000).

Key findings include:

  • Lower-income households represent almost 40% of OBSI cases. Lower-income consumers of financial services need and make use of OBSI as an accessible alternative to the legal system.
  • Nearly one-third (30%) of employed complainants live in lower- or middle-income households. Canadians experience economic barriers to accessing legal services regardless of their employment status.
  • Most lower-income complainants are over 60, while most higher-income complainants are under 50. Older Canadians have a particular need for accessible dispute resolution.



Helping Consumers Claim their Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a guide to assist intermediaries in serving individuals to access their Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). The guide, Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations , provides step-by-step instructions for frontline staff on how to:

  • Discuss the EIP with their clients
  • Determine if clients need to take action
  • Support clients with what to expect and how to troubleshoot common issues



Growing up in a lower-income family can have lasting effects

The infographic "Intergenerational income mobility: The lasting effects of growing up in a lower-income family" based on the article "Exploration of the role of education in intergenerational income mobility in Canada: Evidence from the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults," published in the Canadian Public Policy journal presents the effects of growing up in a lower-income family based on a longitudinal study of a cohort of Canadians born between 1963 and 1979.



Dimensions of Poverty Hub

The Dimensions of Poverty Hub, sponsored by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), enables Canadians to track progress on poverty reduction. The updates as of September 2020 include poverty statistics based upon the new 2018-base Market Basket Measure (MBM).



Low Income Measure: Comparison of Two Data Sources, T1 Family File and 2016 Census of Population

This study looks at the differences in after-tax low income measure (LIM) statistics from two data sources which both use administrative tax data as their principal inputs: the 2016 Census of Population and the T1 Family file (T1FF). It presents a summary of the two data sources and compares after-tax LIM statistics by focussing on unit of analysis, LIM thresholds and the percentage of population below the LIM. The study also explores what factors users may want to consider when choosing one data source over the other.



Canada’s Forgotten Poor? Putting Singles Living in Deep Poverty on the Policy Radar

This report presents the findings of extensive research about employable singles on social assistance undertaken by Toronto Employment and Social Services, in partnership with the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation. Drawing on data from 69,000 singles who were receiving social assistance in Toronto in 2016, and 51 interviews with randomly selected participants, the report highlights these individuals’ characteristics, their complex needs, and the barriers they face in moving off social assistance and into employment. Complementing the quantitative analysis, the interviews provide important insights into the daily realities of participants’ lives and their journeys on and off assistance.



Parents’ Incomes and Children’s Outcomes: A Quasi-experiment Using Transfer Payments from Casino Profits

This study examines the affect that an increase in household income, due to a government transfer unrelated to household characteristics, has on children's long-term outcomes. It is found that increased income increases children's educational attainment.



Changes in the socioeconomic situation of Canada’s Black population

This study provides disaggregated statistics on the socioeconomic outcomes of the Black population by generation status (and immigrant status), sex and country of origin, and is intended to illustrate and contribute to the relevance of disaggregation in understanding these populations and the diversity of their situation. This study sheds light on some of the issues faced by the Black population and shows differences that exist compared with the rest of the working-age population, by sex, generation and place of origin, from 2001 to 2016.



How Are the Most Vulnerable Households Navigating the Financial Impact of COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has already had an unprecedented impact on the financial lives of households across the United States. During June and July 2020, Prosperity Now conducted a national survey of lower-income households to better understand the circumstances these households are confronted with and the strategies they use to secure resources to navigate this crisis.



Weathering Volatility 2.0: A Monthly Stress Test to Guide Savings

In this report, the JPMorgan Chase Institute uses administrative bank account data to measure income and spending volatility and the minimum levels of cash buffer families need to weather adverse income and spending shocks.

Inconsistent or unpredictable swings in families’ income and expenses make it difficult to plan spending, pay down debt, or determine how much to save. Managing these swings, or volatility, is increasingly acknowledged as an important component of American families’ financial security. This report makes further progress toward understanding how volatility affects families and what levels of cash buffer they need to weather adverse income and spending shocks. 



U.S. Financial Health Pulse: 2019 Trends Report

This report presents findings from the second annual U.S. Financial Health Pulse, which is designed to explore how the financial health of people in America is changing over time. The annual Pulse report scores survey respondents against eight indicators of financial health -- spending, bill payment, short-term and long-term savings, debt load, credit score, insurance coverage, and planning -- to assess whether they are “financially healthy,” “financially coping,” or “financially vulnerable”.  The data in the Pulse report provide critical insights that go beyond aggregate economic indicators, such as employment and market performance, to provide a more accurate picture of the financial lives of people in the U.S.



Costing a Guaranteed Basic Income During the COVID Pandemic

The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) supports Parliament by providing economic and financial analysis for the purposes of raising the quality of parliamentary debate and promoting greater budget transparency and accountability.

This report responds to a request from Senator Yuen Pau Woo to estimate the post-COVID cost of a guaranteed basic income (GBI) program, using parameters set out in Ontario’s basic income pilot project. In addition, the report provides an estimate of the federal and provincial programs for low-income individuals and families, including many non-refundable and refundable tax credits that could be replaced by the GBI program.



Taxpayer Rights in the Digital Age

This paper explores the intersection of digital innovation, digital services, access, and taxpayer rights in the Canadian context, in light of the experiences of vulnerable populations in Canada, from the perspective of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman. Many aspects of the CRA’s digitalization can further marginalize vulnerable populations but there are also opportunities for digital services to help vulnerable persons in accessing the CRA’s services.

Reaching Out: Improving the Canada Revenue Agency’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

The CVITP provides people, who may otherwise have dif culty accessing income tax and bene t return (return) ling services, with an opportunity to meet their ling obligations. Often, ling a return is required to gain access to, or continue to receive, the government credits and bene ts designed to support them.

This report illustrates that the CRA needs to take a broad, country-wide perspective of the CVITP, while also taking into consideration regional and other differences. Services offered and training provided to volunteers need to re ect the realities of the diverse regional, geographic, socio-economic, workforce, and vulnerable, sectors throughout Canada. Different areas of the country will have different primary needs from the CVITP. The CRA needs to address those needs, both in its actions through the CVITP, as well as in the training provided to CVITP volunteers and the support given to partner organizations.



Why are lower-income parents less likely to open an RESP account? The roles of literacy, education and wealth

Parents can save for their children's postsecondary education by opening and contributing to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) account, which provides tax and other financial incentives designed to encourage participation (particularly among lower-income families). While the share of parents opening RESP accounts has increased steadily over time, as of 2016, participation rates remained more than twice as high among parents in the top income quartile (top 25%) compared with those in the bottom quartile.

This study provides insight into the factors behind the gap in (RESP) participation between higher and lower-income families.



Low Income Retirement Planning

This booklet contains information on retirement planning on a low income. Topics include four things to think about for low income retirement planning, a background paper on maximizing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and determining Old Age Security (OAS) and GIS eligibility for people who come to Canada as adults.



Income Volatility: Why it Destabilizes Working Families and How Philanthropy Can Make a Difference

As the work environment has evolved and jobs look more different, it is important to understand the impact of these changes on income—predictability, variability, and frequency—and how this affects the opportunity for mobility. Because of the complexity of income volatility, there is a unique role for philanthropy.

This brief helps grantmakers understand the enormous challenges income volatility presents in America and provides an array of strategies for philanthropy to leverage both investments and leadership to empower families to protect themselves from volatility’s worst effects.



Employer Solutions: From Emergency to Resiliency

In light of COVID-19, the financial security of workers has never been more in question. The workplace is an important delivery channel for tailored financial products and services that can help meet employee’s immediate financial needs and build long-term financial stability.

The workplace is a unique platform to identify, target, and meet the specific financial needs of employees. This webinar gives funders the tools and inspiration to respond effectively to the low- and moderate-income workforce in this moment and beyond.



Providing one-on-one financial coaching to newcomers: Insights for frontline service providers

One-on-one financial help is a key financial empowerment (FE) intervention that Prosper Canada is working to pilot, scale and integrate into other social services, in collaboration with FE partners across the country. FE is increasingly gaining traction as an effective poverty reduction measure. FE interventions include financial coaching and supports that assist people to build money management skills, access income benefits, tackle debt, learn about safe financial products and services and find ways to save for emergencies.

This report shares insights on providing one-on-one financial coaching to newcomers captured through two financial coaching pilot projects that Prosper Canada conducted in collaboration with several frontline community partners.



COVID-19 and support for seniors: Do seniors have people they can depend on during difficult times?

In an effort to avoid the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are engaging in physical distancing to minimize their social contact with others. However, social support systems continue to play an important role during this time. In particular, seniors living in private households may depend on family, friends or neighbours to deliver groceries, medication and other essential items to their homes. This study examines the level of social support reported by seniors living in private households.



Voice of Experience: Engaging people with lived experience of poverty in consultations

The engagement of Canadians with lived experiences of poverty in government consultations on poverty reduction is critical. But as hard as governments work to try to include people living in poverty as full participating members in their consultation processes, there are many barriers that continue to impede their participation. This paper explores what these barriers and impediments are.

Building Sustainable Communities

The Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) developed the strategy Building Sustainable Communities to tackle pressing need through an expansive network of Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) in dozens of communities nationwide. FOCs help clients find and maintain good jobs, stick to realistic budgets, improve their credit and save for the future. And they are located in the same neighborhoods where LISC is investing in housing and health, reducing crime, strengthening schools and re-energizing commercial corridors.

The research shows a direct relationship between the number and type of services accessed and the FOC clients’ ability to grow their earnings and secure their finances. For instance, those who spent the most time on all three bundled services offered by the FOCs (employment, coaching and public benefits) had the highest job placement rates and the highest job retention rates. 

 



Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada

As the need for basic income grows, the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) is often asked how Canada could best design and pay for it. To answer that in a detailed way, BICN asked a team to model some options that are fair, effective and feasible in Canada. The three options in this report do just that. The three options demonstrate that it is indeed possible for Canada to have a basic income that is progressively structured and progressively funded. BICN wants governments, especially the federal government, to take this seriously—and to act.



Evaluating Tax Time Savings Interventions and Behaviors

This report explores the behaviors and outcomes related to savings and financial well-being of low- and moderate-income (LMI) tax filers in the United States. Findings from research conducted by Prosperity Now, the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis and SaverLife (formerly EARN) during the 2019 tax season are presented. This analysis is unique in that it compares tax filers' outcomes over time across three different tax-filing and savings program platforms: volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sites, online tax filing through the Turbo Tax Free File Product (TTFFP), and SaverLife's saving program.



Comparison of Provincial and Territorial Child Benefits and Recommendations for British Columbia

First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition has been tracking child and family poverty rates in BC for more than two decades. Every November, with the support of the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC), a report card is released with the latest statistics on child and family poverty in BC and recommendations for policy changes that would reduce these poverty levels.

This report presents data from the latest report card released by First Call on a cross-Canada comparison of child benefits.



Economic volatility in childhood and subsequent adolescent mental health problems: a longitudinal population based study of adolescents

This research paper investigates the association between the patterns of duration, timing and sequencing of exposure to low family income during childhood, and symptoms of mental health problems in adolescence.



Associations of Income Volatility With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality in a US Cohort

Income volatility is increasing in the United States and presents a growing public health problem. This study examines associations of long-term income volatility  with incident cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.




Defining Disposable income in the Market Basket Measure

This paper discusses the concept of disposable income used in the MBM. Disposable income is a measure of the means available to a Canadian family to meet its basic needs and achieve a modest standard of living. The disposable income of families surveyed in the Canadian Income Survey (CIS) is compared to the cost of the MBM basket for the size of the family and the region, and families with disposable incomes below that cost are deemed to be living in poverty.



Ageing and Financial Inclusion: 8 key steps to design a better future

The G20 Fukuoka Policy Priorities for Ageing and Financial Inclusion is jointly prepared by the GPFI and the OECD. The document identifies eight priorities to help policy makers, financial service providers, consumers and other actors in the real economy to identify and address the challenges associated with ageing populations and the global increase in longevity. They reflect policies and practices to improve the outcomes of both current generations of older people and future generations.



Results from the 2016 Census: Examining the effect of public pension benefits on the low income of senior immigrants

This is a study released by Insights on Canadian Society  based on 2016 Census data. Census information on immigration and income is used to better understand the factors associated with low income among senior immigrants.

This study examines the factors associated with the low-income rate of senior immigrants, with a focus on access to Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits.



Creating a Strong Foundation for Change

This guide is designed to be a resource for programs working with low income families to use when anticipating or implementing a new approach, such as coaching, to doing business. It helps you to systematically – and honestly – look at your foundational readiness for change, so that the improvements you want to make will take root and grow in fertile ground. Making time and space to look deeply into your organization can offer the opportunity to reconsider what quality service delivery looks like, help you discover how coaching (or other techniques) could be a tool, and plan efficiently on where it fits best into your existing context.



Getting Legal Help: A Directory of Community Legal Clinics in Ontario

This resource provides a directory of community legal clinics in Ontario.

Community legal clinics provide information, advice, and representation on various legal issues, including social assistance, housing, refugee and immigration law, employment law, human rights, workers' compensation, consumer law, and the Canada Pension Plan. Some legal clinics do not handle all of these issues, but staff may be able to refer you to someone who can help.

Community legal clinics are staffed by lawyers, community legal workers, and sometimes law students. Each legal clinic is run by a volunteer board of directors with members from the community. All help is private and confidential and provided free of charge.



Homelessness and Brain Injury – Program Findings

Across Canada, homelessness has always existed but with the creation of statistical reporting across the country the awareness of the pressure this puts on Canadian society is more apparent. The statistics on homelessness are staggering and understanding the path to homelessness, included by those who have experienced brain injury, is a critical piece in the prevention strategies that must be implemented in order to solve the issues. 

In 2018 the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST) received Ontario Trillium Seed Grant funding for a Homelessness Prevention Coordinator (HPC) whose role was to assist individuals with cognitive disabilities with housing issues. This report discusses the current homeless crisis and its relation to the findings of this project.

 



Trends in the Citizenship Rate Among New Immigrants to Canada

This Economic Insights article examines trends in the citizenship rate (the percent of immigrants who become Canadian citizens) among recent immigrants who arrived in Canada five to nine years before a given census. The citizenship rate among recent immigrants aged 18 and over peaked in 1996 and declined continuously to 2016. Most of this decline occurred after 2006. The citizenship rate declined most among immigrants with low family income, poor official language skills, and lower levels of education. There was also significant variation in the decline among immigrants from different source regions, with the decline largest among Chinese immigrants.



Helping Families Save to Withstand Emergencies

This brief identifies policy solutions to help American families build savings to withstand emergencies that threaten their financial stability.



Removing Savings Penalties for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

This brief discusses the savings penalties in public assistance programs in the United States, also known as asset limits, and that actions that can be taken to eliminate these limits and the barriers towards building savings for families living on low income.



Running in Place: Why the Racial Wealth Divide Keeps Black and Latino Families From Achieving Economic Security

This report examines data from the Federal Reserve System’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances to understand how the wealth of median Black, Latino and White families have changed since the findings of its previous survey were released in 2013.



Expanding Educational Opportunity Through Savings

This brief discusses the benefits that Children's Savings Accounts (CSAs) bring to help more families save for their children's education. Recommendations to federal policies in the United States are made for the purpose of helping families to start saving early to build greater savings and impact.



Tax Time: An opportunity to Start Small and Save Up

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s continuing effort to encourage saving at tax time is now part of a larger Bureau initiative to support people in building liquid savings. The new initiative is called Start Small, Save Up. The vision for Start Small, Save Up is to increase people’s financial well-being through education, partnerships, research, and policy or regulatory improvements that increase people's opportunities to save and empower them to realize their personal savings goals.

This paper provides a description of how having liquid savings contributes to people’s financial stability and resiliency, and the unique opportunity that tax time offers to begin saving for the short and longer term. Starting to save or continuing to save when receiving a tax refund may lead to longer term financial well-being.



Accessing the Canada Learning Bond: Meeting Identification and Income Eligibility Requirements

Not having a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and not filing taxes may represent challenges to access government programs and supports such as the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB).

Limited data availability has prevented a full assessment of the extent of these access challenges. This study attempts to address this knowledge gap by analyzing overall differences in SIN possession and tax-filing uptake by family income, levels of parental education, family type and Indigenous identity of the child and age of children using the 2016 Census data augmented with tax-filing and Social Insurance Number possession indicator flags.

 



Low income among persons with a disability in Canada

Persons with a disability face a higher risk of low income compared to the overall population. This report uses data from the 2014 Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) to study the relationship between low income and characteristics of people aged 25 to 64 with a disability, including disability type, severity class, age of onset of disability, family composition, and other risk factors associated with low income. It also examines the composition of the low-income population in relation to disability, and provides information on the relationship between employment and low income for this population.



Government of Canada Benefits Finder

Answer the questions in this Government of Canada online tool to get a customized list of benefits for which you may be eligible. The Benefits Finder may suggest benefits from federal, provincial or territorial governments.



Canadian Financial Diaries

The Canadian Financial Diaries Research Project is using the financial diaries methodology to understand the financial dynamics of vulnerable Canadians in a rapidly changing socio-economic context. This includes understanding the barriers and opportunities that people face in trying to improve their financial and overall well-being.

The website shares research insights and news about the project as the different phases of research are synthesized. 



Chronic Low Income Among Immigrants in Canada and its Communities

This study examines the rate of chronic low income among adult immigrants (aged 25 or older) in Canada during the 2000s. Data is taken from the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) for the period from 1993 to 2012, with regional adjustments used for the analysis. Chronic low income is categorized as having a family income under a low-income cut-off for five consecutive years or more. 

The study found that for immigrants were in in low-income in any given year, half were in chronic low-income. Including spells of low income which become chronic in later years, this number rises to two-thirds. The highest chronic rates were found in immigrant seniors and immigrants who were unattached or lone parents. Chronic low income is a large component of income disparity and overall low income among immigrants.



Webinar: SIN and Tax Filing Uptake in Canada

This webinar shares results on Statistics Canada research on barriers to uptake for the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). Specifically, this research examines whether tax filing or Social Insurance Number (SIN) access are greater barriers to accessing the CLB.

Read the slides which accompany this Statistics Canada webinar. (Lire les diapositives en francais).

Regarder la vidéo en français.

 



Do Tax-Time Savings Deposits Reduce Hardship Among Low-Income Filers? A Propensity Score Analysis

A lack of emergency savings renders low-income households vulnerable to material hardships resulting from unexpected expenses or loss of income. Having emergency savings helps these households respond to unexpected events, maintain consumption, and avoid high-cost credit products. Because many low-income households receive sizable federal tax refunds, tax time is an opportunity for these households to allocate a portion of refunds to savings. We hypothesized that low-income tax filers who deposit at least part of their tax refunds into a savings account will experience less material and health care hardship compared to non-depositors. 

Six months after filing taxes, depositors have statistically significant better outcomes than non-depositors for five of six hardship outcomes. Findings affirm the importance of saving refunds at tax time as a way to lower the likelihood of experiencing various hardships. Findings concerning race suggest that Black households face greater hardship risks than White households, reflecting broader patterns of social inequality.

 

Debt management solutions

This is a one-hour webinar on debt management solutions in Canada for situations where someone's debt is significant enough that specialized solutions are needed. The speakers explain what steps are likely to be involved in the credit counselling process in setting up a debt management plan, or working with a licensed insolvency trustee to file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.

The speakers in this webinar are:

Click 'Get it' below to access the video link, and scroll down to access handouts, slides, and video timestamps for this webinar.



Read the presentation slides for this webinar.

Access the handouts for this webinar:
How we help people – An overview (Webinar handout) – Credit Counselling Society
Our services (Webinar handout) – Credit Counselling Society
Debt solutions 101 (Webinar handout)  – msi Spergel Inc

Time-stamps for the video-recording:
4:13 – Agenda and introductions
7:00 – Audience polls
12:31 – Debt in Canada (Speaker: Glenna Harris)
15:20 – Credit Counselling Society on debt management plans (Speaker: Anne Arbour)
34:05 – Spergel Msi on Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy plans (Speaker: Gillian Goldblatt)
56:00 – Q&A

Are Low-Income Savers Still in the Lurch? TFSAs at 10 Years

The introduction of Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) in 2009 transformed how  Canadians save. One of the main reasons for creating TFSAs was to provide a taxassisted savings instrument for low-income Canadians to enable them to improve their retirement income. Now, 10 years later, many low-income savers are still not using TFSAs in ways that would allow them to benefit fully from the government transfer programs intended for them in retirement, such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Consequently, intended benefits from TFSAs are going untapped. Improving public education and financial literacy may be part of the solution to this problem, but built-in policy nudges and tax adjustments will be more effective.



Analyzing the Landscape of Saving Solutions for Low-Income Families

To address challenges around savings, the asset building and financial services fields have developed an array of solutions that attempt to support savings and wealth accumulation. However, the landscape of savings solutions is complex, difficult for households to navigate, and full of solutions that are not designed specifically for low-income and low-wealth households.

This brief examines the savings challenges that households face, their underlying causes, and a vision for new solutions. 



The income of Canadians

This infographic from Statistics Canada shows the median after-tax income of households, by province, as of 2016. It also shows changes in median government transfers, and number of people living on low incomes according to the after-tax low income measure. 



The Economic Well-Being of Women in Canada

Economic well-being has both a present component and a future component. In the present, economic well-being is characterized by the ability of individuals and small groups, such as families or households, to consistently meet their basic needs, including food, clothing, housing, utilities, health care, transportation, education, and paid taxes. It is also characterized by the ability to make economic choices and feel a sense of security, satisfaction, and personal fulfillment with respect to finances and employment pursuits. 

Using Statistics Canada data from a variety of sources, including the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, the Canadian Income Survey, the Survey of Financial Security, and the 2016 Census of Population, this chapter of Women in Canada examines women’s economic well-being in comparison with men’s and, where relevant, explores how it has evolved over the past 40 years. In addition to gender, age and family type (i.e., couple families with or without children; lone mothers and fathers; and single women and men without children) are important determinants of economic well-being. Hence, many of the analyses distinguish between women and men in different age groups and/or types of families.

 



Tax time insights: Experiences of people living on low income in Canada

For people living with low incomes in Canada, tax time is an important opportunity to access a wide range of federal and provincial/territorial benefits and credits. However, many people with low incomes experience barriers to tax filing that prevent them from accessing these important sources of income.

We gathered insights on tax-filing knowledge, motivations, experiences, and supports accessed. The most complicated aspects of the tax filing process for participants were: Tax form navigation, refund calculation, and document compilation. Participants tax filed primarily to access benefits and get money back. Our findings also suggest different ways policy makers and practitioners can improve tax filing experiences for Canadians living on low incomes.