P.E.I. grandparents won't have child-care benefits clawed back, Ottawa says

Grandparents caring for children on Prince Edward Island are relieved they will not have their Canada Child Benefit payments clawed back if they receive other assistance from the province, the federal government says.

Changes will ensure grandparents who get provincial assistance can also access Canada Child Benefits

Proposed changes to federal regulations will allow Prince Edward Island grandparents caring for a child to receive both federal child-care benefits and provincial assistance. (Shutterstock)

Grandparents caring for children on Prince Edward Island are relieved they will not have their Canada Child Benefit payments clawed back if they receive other assistance from the province, the federal government says.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier say they intend to propose amendments to the Income Tax Act to clarify eligibility for the Canada Child Benefit.

Kathy Miller, who is raising two grandchildren, ages five and six, said the announcement relieves a lot of stress for grandparents.

'A lot of joy'

"I'm sure there's been a lot of joy and tears with that announcement ... especially a lot of the grandparents on single income[s]," she said.

In December, grandparents on P.E.I. caring for grandchildren became eligible for $700 a month from the provincial government under the new Grandparents and Care Providers program.

The program is intended to provide short-term living arrangements for children in out-of-home care for safety reasons, and to provide an alternative to children being brought into the legal custody and guardianship of the province.

They said now we can do this, now we can do that, I can buy my grandchild a decent bed to sleep in or a bicycle to drive, they're pretty excited.— Kathy Miller

But grandparents were frustrated to learn their federal child-care payments could be affected if they received the provincial benefit.

On Friday, the federal government said the proposed amendments will ensure that individuals caring for a child under the Grandparents and Care Providers program, or under similar kinship programs in other provinces and territories, are eligible for the federal payments regardless of whether they receive financial assistance under such a provincial program, provided they meet all other eligibility criteria.

Miller, who is involved with the Charlottetown-based group Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, said grandparents she's spoken with have said they will now be able provide more for their grandchildren.

"They said 'now we can do this, now we can do that, I can buy my grandchild a decent bed to sleep in or a bicycle to drive.' They're pretty excited."

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