Harper Government Announces Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children Grant to Be Available on January 1,

Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:00am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Dec 30 (MARKET WIRE) --
Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Diane
Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced
that the new Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing
Children grant will be available as of Tuesday.

    "Our government is taking action to provide more support for victims of
crime and their families," said Dr. Leitch. "This new grant will ease the
financial pressure on parents struggling to cope with the death or
disappearance of a child."

    As of January 1, 2013, the new Federal Income Support for Parents of
Murdered or Missing Children grant will provide assistance to eligible
parents who suffer a loss of income as they take time away from work to
cope with the death or disappearance of a child as a result of a probable
Criminal Code offence.

    This new grant is expected to support an estimated 1 000 families
annually. It will provide $350 per week in income support for up to 35
weeks. To receive this new benefit, affected parents will need to have
earned a minimal level of income ($6,500) in the previous calendar year
or the previous 52 weeks and take leave from their employment. 

    "Our organization is very pleased with this grant which will benefit
victims of crime," said Ms. Sharon Rosenfeldt, President of Victims of
Violence/Canadian Centre for Missing Children. "We are grateful for the
commitment the Government has shown in responding to the needs of victims
of crime." 

    In addition, through the Helping Families in Need Act, the Canada Labour
Code has been amended to allow for unpaid leave and to protect the jobs
of parents whose child dies or disappears as a result of a probable
Criminal Code offence. This will allow parents who work in a federally
regulated company to take time away from work to focus on what matters
the most-their family-while knowing that their job is protected.

    For more information on this new grant, please visit
www.servicecanada.gc.ca/pmmc.

    This news release is available in alternative formats on request. 

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    Backgrounder

    Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children grant

    Effective January 1, 2013, the Federal Income Support for Parents of
Murdered or Missing Children (PMMC) grant will provide $350 per week of
income support for up to 35 weeks to parents of murdered or missing
children (less than 18 years of age) whose death or disappearance is the
result of a probable Criminal Code offence. Applicants must apply for and
receive the grant within one year of the offence, and may only apply for
the grant once within that one-year period. The maximum 35 weeks of
benefits available may be shared by more than one eligible applicant for
the same incident.

    To be eligible for this taxable grant, affected parents will need to have
a valid Social Insurance Number and will have to submit a PMMC
Application Form showing that they meet all eligibility criteria for the
grant. 

    A PMMC Employment Form, signed by the applicant's employer, will be
required with the application. The form must show that the applicant has
earned a minimal level of income ($6,500) in the previous calendar year
or the previous 52 weeks and is taking leave from his or her employment.
For self-employed applicants, a Canada Revenue Agency Notice of
Assessment from the previous tax year will need to be submitted.

    Parents will also need to submit a PMMC Incident Report Form confirming
that the child is missing or deceased as a result of a probable Criminal
Code offence, that the crime occurred in Canada and that they have not
been charged with a crime that led to the death or disappearance of the
child. The PMMC Incident Report Form must be stamped by the law
enforcement agency to which the incident was reported. 

    Parents may not receive any type of Employment Insurance or Quebec
Parental Insurance Plan benefits for the same weeks as they receive PMMC
payments. 

    If the missing child is found while the grant is being paid, the grant
will continue to be paid for two weeks to allow the parents to spend time
with their child. This will be contingent on meeting other entitlement
criteria (for example, the recipients have not resumed working, they have
not exhausted their grant payments and it has not been more than one year
since the disappearance). 

    More information about this grant, as well as the forms and an applicant
guide, are available on the Service Canada website at
www.servicecanada.gc.ca/pmmc. 

    Amendments to the Canada Labour Code

    The Canada Labour Code has been amended to introduce new provisions
allowing unpaid leave for parents whose child dies or disappears as the
result of a probable Criminal Code offence. Employees whose employer is a
federally regulated company will be able to take up to 52 weeks of unpaid
leave if their child disappears, and up to 104 weeks of unpaid leave if
their child is murdered, without losing their employment as a result.
These amendments to the Canada Labour Code are effective as of January 1,
2013.

Contacts:
Marian Ngo
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559

Copyright 2012, Market Wire, All rights reserved.

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