P.E.I. increasing allowances for some social assistance programs
Province also moving forward with targeted basic income guarantee pilot
P.E.I.'s Department of Social Development and Housing is improving the allowances given through some of its social assistance programs starting Friday.
Minister Brad Trivers said the pregnancy food allowance rate will be going up, as well as optical rates.
"Prior to these increases, for eye examinations the amount available was around $51, and now it's up to $114. So pretty significant," Trivers said.
People on social assistance as well as people with a mental, physical or dual disability will now be able to receive shelter support if they live with a parent or another relative.
The department said the changes to shelter support were made as a response to challenges in the rental market, and the desire of many Islanders to be supported directly by their families.
"We want to make sure there's nothing discouraging people from living together and living with family and relatives, and make sure that happens, because, of course, that's good for everybody," Trivers said.
There will also be increases in the amount of money provided for funeral costs.
Trivers said that effective Oct. 1, the province's secure-income pilot will move to a targeted basic income guarantee model.
"We've identified around 625 people and they have a severely limited capacity to work based on our assessments. And we're looking at 85 per cent of Market Basket Measure and we're going to to make sure that none of them are below that," he said.
"We're going to look at their income and we're going to top them up to 85 per cent."
The Market Basket Measure defines low income based on a specific set of goods and services that represent a basic standard of living.
With files from Angela Walker