SSP aimed to increase employment and income for single parents receiving public assistance in two Canadian provinces by increasing the financial incentive to work.
SSP increased the financial incentives for work by boosting income through payments tied to earnings. SSP participants working full time (at least 30 hours per week) but earning less than a benchmark level (set by location and year) could receive additional income equal to half the difference between their earnings and the benchmark. The benchmark was chosen so that most participants working full time would earn higher incomes if they left Canadian income assistance and received the supplement. The payment increased income by about $3,000 to $7,000 (Canadian) per year for most participating families but could double income for those earning the minimum wage. These payments were available for up to three years as long as a person continued to work full time and did not receive payments from Income Assistance. Participants were permanently ineligible for the earnings subsidy if they did not attain full-time work within one year of joining SSP. The program focused on single parents who had participated for at least one year in the Income Assistance program. SSP operated in British Columbia and New Brunswick, Canada. Additional research evaluated the SSP Plus program, which provided financial incentives and additional employment services, comparing it with both SSP and a comparison group of people who received neither program.