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Harper Government Announces Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children Grant to Be Available on January 1, 2013

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/30/12 -- 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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IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

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

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