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What is the FRO doing about support payments during COVID-19?

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What is the FRO doing about support payments during COVID-19?
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Family Responsibility Office (FRO)

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What is the FRO doing about support payments during COVID-19?
Reviewed: 
December 9, 2020
Answer

During COVID-19, the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) continues to collect support directly from the person who has to pay support, keep a record of the amounts paid, and then pay that amount to the person who has to get support. And starting September 28, 2020, the courts have started to deal with FRO matters including Driver's Licence Suspension Notices, which had been suspended because of COVID-19.

The FRO's in-person counter is closed, but you can contact them by phone, email, or fax if you have questions about your FRO case.

The FRO cannot make changes to a court order or agreement about support. You must go to court and bring a motion to change to do this.

If you can't make payments

If you cannot make your support payments because of COVID-19, it's important to contact the FRO as soon as you can. Give them your name, case number, and contact information. Tell them:

  • why you can't make your payments, for example, you're working less hours, you've been laid off, or your business has closed
  • when you expect to get back to work full-time, if you know this information

The FRO will not garnish Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments. But Employment Insurance and GST/HST credit payments can be garnished. The FRO can also:

  • take money from your:
    • bank accounts
    • retirement savings
    • wages or other income
  • suspend your Canadian passport
  • register the support order as a "charge" against your property, which means you can't sell it or transfer ownership until you pay any support owing.
  • report you to the credit bureau which may damage your credit rating
  • take any Ontario lottery prize over $1,000

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