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Online Resource – Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Online Resource

Welcome to the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation Online Resource.

The Online Resource (OLR) is a one-stop source for all BCEA policy, procedures and program information for eligibility for ministry employment and assistance programs.

For access to the index, click here.

Information in the Online Resource is organized into Topic Categories.

  • To view an expanded list of available Topics, click on the appropriate category and then on the desired topic to have its home page displayed.
  • Topic home pages provide an overview and links to relevant acts and regulations, policy, procedures, contacts, rate tables and resources for the public, such as fact sheets and brochures.
  • Topics are updated regularly to provide the most current information available.

For more information on how to use the Online Resource and the index, please visit our Navigation Tips page.

Table of Contents listing all the Topics of the OLR is also available to assist you. You can open this Table of Contents and go directly to any Topic home page.

What's New

January 25, 2016

Decisions, Reconsideration and Appeal

Policy and procedure updates include general clarification, including what to do with respect to decisions that cannot be reconsidered.

General Supplements

Topic has been updated to clarify eligibility for reconsideration and appeals.

January 18, 2016

General Supplements

This amendment to the Guide Animal Supplement follow changes made to the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act through the Ministry of Justice. Effective January 18, 2016, the guide dog and service dog supplement of $95 per month may be provided to eligible handlers for the maintenance of retired certified guide or service dogs in addition to active certified guide or service dogs.

December 1, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

The following are now exempt as unearned income for PWD clients:

Inheritances and gifts

Grants, bursaries, scholarships, education and training allowances (other than Student Financial Assistance)

Registered Education Savings Plan withdrawals.

 Verification and Eligibility

The OLR Assets Table was updated with the new assets limits for PWD applicant(s) and recipient(s).

There is no longer any limit on the exempt amount of trust disbursements used for any item or service that promotes the person’s independence.

Hardship

The following are now exempt as unearned income for PWD clients:

Inheritances and gifts

Grants, bursaries, scholarships, education and training allowances (other than funds from StudentAid BC)

Registered Education Savings Plan withdrawals.

November 26, 2015

General Supplements

Policy and procedures have been updated for when a direct deposit payment to a service provider has not been received.

November 23, 2015

Program Administration

Procedures have been clarified that staff must use contracted interpretative services, if available.

October 22, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

The 2016 Cheque Issue Schedule and full Cheque Date schedule have been updated in Resources for Staff and Resources for Clients.

October 1, 2015

General Supplements

The rate table has been updated to reflect increase in federal OAS/GIS rates, effective October 1, 2015.

September 1, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

Employment Planning and Exemptions

Employment Programs and Community Services

On September 1, 2015, the Ministry will launch the Single Parent Employment Initiative. The program will assist eligible single parents who are in receipt of income and disability assistance to secure sustainable employment, and provide supports that will ease their transition to self-sufficiency.

Verification and Eligibility

Earnings exemptions will increase for parents on IA from $200 to $400. For parents with a child with a disability, the earnings exemption is increased from $300 to $500, and is expanded to apply to two parent families.

Health Supplements and Programs

Transitional Health Services (THS) will continue a client's access to the health supplements that they were receiving while receiving income assistance – either as an Expected to Work client or as a Person with Persistent Multiple Barriers. The THS will be available for 12 months to parents who leave income assistance due to their employment earnings.

With the introduction of the Transitional Health Services (THS) policy, the ministry also simplified the language and structure of the Health Supplements division of the regulation, including sections related to eligibility for Medical Services Only (MSO).

Program Administration

Application

Verification and Eligibility

Hardship

Employment Programs and Community Services

General Supplements

Family Maintenance Program

Effective, September 1, 2015, child support and CPP orphan's benefit will be exempt as income and no longer deducted from income, disability or hardship assistance.

The Family Maintenance Program is replaced with a new family maintenance service delivery model that includes a referral to a ministry legal representative for recipients to receive help from the ministry to obtain or defend a maintenance order or agreement for child and/or spousal support.

August 1, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

Hardship

General Supplements

On August 1, 2015, amendments to the Employment and Assistance Act and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act take effect. These amendments repeal consequences of ineligibility for obtaining money under those Acts by fraud or false or misleading representation. These clients will be now subject to a deduction to be applied against their debt.

These changes also apply to clients who were subject to a lifetime ban in relation to a criminal conviction prior to August 1, 2015. These clients may now apply for and, if eligible, receive income assistance or disability assistance. The deduction will be applied against their debt until the amount of their fraud debt has been reached.

The ministry may provide an exemption from the deduction where:

  • a recipient in the family unit is homeless or at risk of being homeless, or,
  • if the deduction would result in danger to the health of a person in the family unit.

Hardship assistance for Disqualification for Fraud and Related Offences and Sanctions with Imminent Danger to Physical Health have been repealed from regulation, as clients may now qualify for regular income or disability assistance.

OIC #469 (BC Reg. 149/2015) amended both the Employment and Assistance Regulations and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulations.

July 27, 2015

General Supplements

The federal government has increased the maximum national child benefit supplement rates effective August 1, 2015. The General Supplements Rate Table has been updated to reflect this increase in the Family Bonus Supplement.

July 20, 2015

General Supplements

Policy has been clarified that if an applicant or recipient is eligible for the pro-rated or full amount of income assistance or disability assistance for December, they are eligible for the Christmas Supplement.

July 13, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

Asset policy has been clarified to indicate that locked-in RRSPs and Registered Retirement Income Funds are not considered available assets and clients are not required to unlock them.

June 15, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

The Verification topic has been renamed Information and Verification and now includes policy on the use and limits of the authority under Section 10.

May 25, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

Policy updates include clarifying when the ministry can provide special care facility user charges and the comforts allowance. 

Policy and procedures have been updated to clarify when direct deposit can be set up.

May 6, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

Persons with Disabilities Designation

The Assets table has been enhanced to increase clarity by including more information, and a link to the table has been added to Resources for Clients to improve accessibility of this information.

May 1, 2015

Application

Verification and Eligibility

General Supplements

Family Maintenance Program

As of May 1, 2015, clients are no longer required to assign their family maintenance rights to the ministry. If a client would like ministry help with obtaining a maintenance order or written agreement, the client may assign their maintenance rights to the ministry if they meet certain criteria. Clients will also have the option to cancel an assignment at any time by providing written notice to the ministry. Clients may choose to enrol their maintenance order with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) or may choose to withdraw from this service by contacting FMEP.

OIC #182 (B.C. Reg. 62/2015) amends both the Employment and Assistance Regulations and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulations.