The province announced on Tuesday that it is expanding eligibility for parents with young students to receive a benefit payment.

The Ontario Support for Learners Benefit is now accepting applications for children enrolled in high school, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Tuesday.

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We are providing direct financial support to parents of elementary and now high school children to help them get through this pandemic. Education Minister Stephen Lecce

Previously, the benefit was only eligible for children up to the age of 12. Dependents up to the age of 21 with special needs are eligible for $250.

Today's announcement means that parents can apply for $200 for every child they have enrolled in elementary, middle, or high school, or for any dependent up to the age of 21 with special needs.

Applications for secondary students will open on January 11  and the deadline for applications is February 8, 2021.

This announcement comes as schools across Ontario switch to remote learning in January 2021.

"While Ontario schools remain safe, we won't take any chances following the holidays — we will pivot to teacher-led online learning to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," said Lecce.

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