Since a high degree of expertise is required, we only recommend providing this support if you already have deep experience in providing other forms of benefits access support.
If this is new to your organization, here are some good ways to get started:
- Designate a staff person to be the lead to research these possible clawback situations.
- Share findings with all staff so they are aware of possible conflicts/clawbacks.
- Gather input from your clients on the types of clawbacks they have encountered in the past.
- Develop guidance for community members on common benefits interaction situations (e.g., things to avoid applying for if you are already receiving income support). In BC, Ask an Advocate can be a good resource for this kind of information or other benefit related issues.
- It is also a good idea to develop a relationship with Service Canada to ask questions about potential clawbacks.
- Host a training session for staff to learn more about how benefits interact and possible conflicts or clawbacks. Include discussion on how to have a conversation about this with community members so they understand the potential impact.
- Create a guide for staff to refer to when speaking with clients about benefits and how they may interact with each other.
- Create a handout for clients to explain how these conflicts or clawbacks may arise when applying for benefits.
- Consider building a centre of expertise with specialized knowledge on a particular topic such as benefits related to seniors, disability etc.
- In Canada there are three main sources of government-provided retirement income: the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan (C/QPP), Old Age Security (OAS) - which is a fixed amount for most but does include a `clawback' of benefits for high-income individuals - and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), which is designed to help those with extremely low income.
- The GIS is income-tested, meaning seniors must file their taxes annually and meet a certain income threshold to determine if they are eligible for the GIS benefit. If a retiree earns more income and rises above the GIS eligibility threshold, they could face a clawback of this benefit.
- Read how Canada’s CERB was clawed back for exposed people
- Learn more about the impact of making withdrawals from your TFSA