4 year-old Brennan Smith’s WorkSafe benefit clawed back every month by Province.
Brennan Smith never knew his father because Tyler Smith was killed in a logging accident before he was born.
Under WorkSafe BC rules Brennan is supposed to receive a $282.00 orphan benefit until the age 19 or even later if he attends post-secondary school, however the young boy and his single mom Haylie Little have never received one cent of it.
“I don’t think it’s fair at all and I think something needs to be done about it” Little told CHEK News.
“This I think would be the least thing I would expect to happen was for that money to be taken away from Brennan” she added.
The benefit is being clawed back by the Province because Haylie is on social assistance leaving her just $642.00 a month to live on.
She recently went to her NDP MLA, Leonard Krog for help.
“This is an incredible situation where the BC Liberals are denying a payment to a four year-old little boy whose father was tragically killed on the job” said Krog in Victoria before bringing up the issue in Question Period.
Last year the Liberals agreed to stop clawing back benefits if a child was getting support payments from a parent who is alive.
“Those children at least have the advantage of a father or mother alive to make the payments and the parenting. This child has no father and gets no money” added Krog.
“Is that the policy of the BC Liberals to take money from children whose parents have been killed on the job” asked Krog in Question Period.
“Madam Speaker our government wants to ensure that people have meaningful jobs helping make meaningful contributions so that families can have access to the supports they need. Families having a child have access to additional supports through the increase in shelter and support rates through the provincial and federal tax credits” responded Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell.
Over $13500.00 in orphan benefits have been clawed back since Brennan was born.
Haylie Little has been accepted into a full-time program at VIU in the fall where she hopes to become a child and youth worker.