News 1130: Disabled mothers in BC rallying against child support clawbacks

Posted April 22, 2014
Single disabled moms in BC say they can’t afford to feed their kids because the province continues to clawback child support payments.
They say the cash comes off their income disability assistance cheques.
Tabitha says about $100 is taken from her cheque every month.
“One-hundred dollars means a lot to me. My daughter is still 20 months, she is still in diapers, needs wipes, baby food. I’m calling for an end to penny-for-penny [clawbacks] and for us to keep the money. It is not money that is intended for us, it is intended for our children,” she says.
Crystal is a single mother of two and her daughter is also disabled
“I get child support for my youngest child, $149. That comes off of my cheque. I didn’t know that family maintenance and welfare weren’t connected. The money they take off our cheques…we still have to pay the bills and all that. It just makes it harder,” she explains.
Dianne Terrillon is a member of the group ACORN and is in the same situation, which is why she organized a rally downtown.
“My child is sick constantly because he is not getting the nourishment he needs. They don’t get this part of it. It ends up costing them more in healthcare. When I went to court and a judge ordered my ex to pay $207 a month, I expected to received that for my child. When I got my [disability] cheque, the $207 was deducted from it. I couldn’t believe that.”
ACORN has been campaigning against the clawback’s for about 10 months. The mothers recently travelled to Victoria to meet with MLA’s on this issue.
They say some mothers are even choosing to stay in unhealthy relationships, rather than live in poverty.
Article by Andrea Macpherson for News 1130