Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) is recognizing the innovative work of The Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Employment and Social Services team with a “Local Municipal Champion Award.” The award recognizes “outstanding teams who have advanced excellence in service system management.”
In 2021, COVID-19 caused the community volunteer income tax clinics to be cancelled. Employment and Social Services recognized that for many community members, completing annual income tax returns could be costly and confusing. Some individuals have difficulty with document collection, form completion, and submission. Filing income tax is important for lower-income community members as tax refunds and other benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Working Income Tax Benefit and GST/HST credit increase overall annual income.
To remedy the closure of in-person income tax clinics, a team of six Employment and Social Services employees (Community Relations Workers, Community Navigators and Learning, Earning and Parenting case managers) participated in the Community Volunteer Income Tax training program offered by the Canada Revenue Agency. This program provided extensive training that allowed staff to complete simple income tax returns free of charge for individuals throughout Chatham-Kent.
“We are so proud that our team was able to innovate and provide a much-needed service to our local community during these especially complicated times! Our staff are able to guide these individuals through the process, unlocking benefits they may not have accessed if left on their own, easing some of the stresses of lower incomes and helping to prevent homelessness.,” said Employment and Social Services Supervisor, Kristy Jacobs
“As of November 22, 2021, over the course of the income tax season, this team of 6 has supported individuals and families with the completion of 281 income tax returns with a total value of $754 854.77. This program ensures that our community’s most vulnerable residents have access to all of the funds and programs they are entitled to receive, which is a key factor in life stabilization.” shared Program Manager, Matthew Keech.
The team is preparing for the 2021 tax season and will once again be bringing the Community Volunteer Income Tax program to Chatham-Kent. In the meantime, the team can help individuals with previous income tax years that have not yet been filed.
For help filing your income tax, please call 519-355-1380 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you qualify for this program.
The Community Navigator program is a partnership between Employment and Social Services and the Chatham Kent Public Libraries. The Community Navigators assist residents of Chatham-Kent with navigating systems (Housing, Education, Employment, and Income); working with technology, and connecting with supportive community services.
For additional information about the Community Navigator program, please visit
Employment and Social Services
226-312-2025 x 2166
Employment and Social Services
519-351-1228 x 2232