- B.C. Home
- Ministry of
Social Development and
Online Resource Home
- Click on a Category name to see its topics
- Program Administration
Verification and Eligibility
- Two-Year Financial Independence
- Time Limits
- Identification Requirements
- Citizenship Requirements
- Residency in British Columbia
- Living Arrangements
- Pursuing Income
- Eligibility Review
- Compliance Review
- Monthly Reporting Requirement
- Income and Exemptions
- Assets and Exemptions
- Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR)
- Underage Applicants
- Payment of Assistance
- Loss Management - Referral for PLMS Review or Investigation
- Eligibility for Hardship Assistance
- Awaiting EI Benefits
- Awaiting Other Income
- Assets in Excess
- Strike or Lockout
- Disqualification for Fraud and Related Offences
- Sanctions with Imminent Danger to Physical Health
- Income in Excess
- Immediate Needs - Work Search Required
- Sponsorship Undertaking Default
- Identity Not Established
- SIN Required
- Employment Planning and Exemptions
- Employment Programs and Community Services
- Employment Strategy for Persons with Disabilities
- Persons with Disabilities Designation
- BC Bus Pass Program
- Camp Fees
- Christmas Supplement
- Clothing Supplement for People in Special Care Facilities
- Community Volunteer Program
- Confirmed Job Supplement
- Co-op Share Purchase Supplement
- CPP Adjustment Supplement
- Crisis Supplement
- Family Bonus Supplement
- Funeral Costs
- Guide Animal Supplement
- Identification Supplement
- Moving, Transportation, and Living Costs
- Pre-natal Shelter Supplement
- Replacement of Lost or Stolen Cheques
- School Start-up Supplement
- Security Deposits
- Senior's Supplement
- Special Transportation Subsidy
- Training Initiative Supplement
- Transportation to Alcohol and Drug Facilities
- Travel Supplement
- Utility Security Deposit
Health Supplements and Programs
- Health Supplement Summary
- Eligible and Non-Eligible Health Supplements
- Alcohol and Drug Residential Treatment
- Dental and Orthodontic Services
- Diet Supplements
- Extended Medical Therapies
- Healthy Kids
- Life-Threatening Health Needs
- Medical Equipment and Devices
- Medical Equipment - Hearing Instruments
- Medical Services Only (MSO)
- Medical Equipment - Orthoses
- Medical Services Plan and Medical Coverage
- Medical Supplies
- Medical Transportation
- Monthly Nutritional Supplement (MNS)
- Natal Supplement
- Nutritional Supplements
- Optical Services
- Supplement for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
- Tube Feed Supplement
- Decisions, Reconsideration and Appeal
- Family Maintenance Program (FMP)
Payment of Assistance
IntentDecember 1, 2003
The intent is to provide assistance of no more than the prescribed rates for the applicable situation after deducting any non-exempt income of the family unit. [For more information, see Related Links – Income and Exemptions.] Assistance is issued for items or costs authorized in the applicable Act or regulation to the level required for meeting basic needs.
Applicants found ineligible for income assistance or disability assistance may be assessed for hardship assistance. [For more information, see Related Links – Eligibility for Hardship Assistance.]
Cheque Issue DatesDecember 1, 2003
For information on dates pertaining to monthly cheque issue, see Resources for Clients – BC Employment and Assistance Cheque Issue Dates.
Support Allowance: November 25, 2008November 25, 2008
Support allowance in the amount shown in Rate Table – Income Assistance – Support Rate [see Rate Tables] is paid to recipients. The support allowance is prorated based on the number of days remaining in a calendar month, beginning with the date of application.
Note: Clients in emergency shelters or transition houses are eligible for the support allowance.
Family Bonus Top-up
For information about the family bonus top-up, see Related Links – Family Bonus Supplement.
Comforts Allowance: November 25, 2008November 25, 2008
Comforts allowance in the amount shown in Rate Table – Payment of Assistance – Comforts Allowance [see Rate Tables] is paid to recipients in any of the following:
a special care facility
extended care unit of a hospital
an alcohol and drug treatment facility [see Related Links – Alcohol and Drug Residential Treatment]
Note: Residents in CLBC-contracted residential facilities are not eligible for the comforts allowance. [see Clients in CLBC Facilities]
Dependants who Turn 19 While Attending Secondary SchoolDecember 1, 2003
A dependent child of a family unit receiving income assistance or disability assistance, who turns 19 while attending secondary school may remain on the family unit for the purposes of determining the monthly income assistance or disability assistance rate for the family unit. This provision may continue for each calendar month that the person (the former dependent child) is residing with the family unit and attending school, until the end of that school year. The amount of support allowance that may be issued is shown in Rate Tables – General Supplement – Family Bonus Top-up Supplement. [see Rate Tables]
Note: The same provision does not exist in Schedule D (Hardship) of either the EA Regulation or the EAPWD Regulation for recipients of hardship assistance.
Shelter DefinitionsDecember 1, 2003
For definitions that are relevant to the discussion of shelter allowance, such as “rent”, “landlord”, “tenant”, “hotel”, and “residential premises”, see Residential Tenancy Act under Resources for Clients – Residential Tenancy Office.
For the purposes of determining the applicable shelter allowance, a family unit includes a child who is not a dependent child and who resides in the parent’s place of residence for not less than 40% of each month, under the terms of a court order or an agreement filed in a court in BC. [For the legal reference, consult the EA Regulation, Schedule A 4(1) or the EAPWD Regulation, Schedule A 4(1).]
Allowable Shelter CostsDecember 1, 2003
When calculating the actual shelter costs of a family unit, only the following items may be included:
- rent for the family unit’s place of residence
- if the family unit’s place of residence is owned by a person in the family unit, any of the following costs for the place of residence:
- mortgage payments
- a house insurance premium
- property taxes
- with the minister’s prior approval, the actual cost of maintenance and repairs [see Policy – Home Maintenance and Repairs]
- any of the following utility costs:
- fuel for cooking or heating
- garbage disposal provided by a company on a regular weekly or bi-weekly basis
- rental of one basic residential single-line telephone
In addition to the shelter costs above, both of the following can be included in calculating shelter costs (to the maximum shelter allowance) for a family unit:
- monthly strata corporation assessment fees for a residence owned and lived in by the client
- a house insurance premium for co-op and strata owners
If utility costs fluctuate, they may be averaged over the following two time periods:
- October 1 to March 31
- April 1 to September 30
Documentation of actual shelter arrangements and costs must be provided by the client and scanned and profiled to the client's case.
Home Maintenance and RepairsDecember 1, 2003
Home maintenance and repair costs referred to in Schedule A, section 5(2)(f) mean only those essential items of protection, replacement, and repair that are part of the physical structure of the recipient’s home. The costs may be prorated to future months, provided eligibility to include these costs continues. Schedule A stipulates that prior approval must be given by the minister (EAWs are the delegated authority) for home maintenance costs.
This category of costs does not include replacement of, or repairs to, appliances or decorative items.
Room and Board Situations: June 1, 2010June 1, 2010
A family unit that is living in a room and board situation (other than in a special care facility or with a parent or child of a person in the family unit) is eligible to receive the smaller of the following amounts:
- the sum of the actual cost of room and board plus the amounts shown in Rate Table: Payment of Assistance – Room and Board Situations [see Rate Tables] for each client and dependent child in the family unit
- the amount calculated under Schedule A for the applicable family unit size
Room and Board with Parent or Child
A family unit living in a room and board situation with a parent or child of a person in the family unit is only eligible to receive the support allowance applicable to the family unit (that is, the family unit is not eligible for shelter allowance). [For the support rates, see Rate Tables – Income Assistance, Disability Assistance or Hardship Assistance.]
Re-mortgagingDecember 1, 2003
Re-mortgaging can be approved prior to the end of the mortgage term by the Supervisor. Clients must be informed that if they are re-mortgaging prior to the end of the mortgage term, any increases in mortgage payments will not result in an increase in the shelter allowance even if they are currently receiving less than the family unit’s maximum shelter rate.
Special Care Facility User Charges: January 1, 2014January 1, 2014
For a person who receives accommodation and care in a special care facility, the ministry pays a user charge to the facility and a comforts allowance to the person, as shown in Rate Table – Payment of Assistance [see Rate Tables].
Daily User Charges
The ministry pays the daily user charge for Ministry of Health (MoH) special care facilities, including Mental Health Residential Care Programs and Alcohol and Drug Residential Treatment facilities. Clients residing in special care facilities are eligible for the comforts allowance, as shown in Rate Table – Payment of Assistance.
Monthly User Charges
The ministry pays the monthly user charge for Ministry of Health (MoH) special care facilities, including Residential Care Facilities and Family Care Homes. Clients residing in special care facilities are eligible for the comforts allowance, as shown in Rate Table – Payment of Assistance.
Clients in CLBC-contracted residential facilities are provided funds for support and shelter and therefore are not eligible for the user charge. [see Clients in CLBC Facilities]
Calculating User Charges
When a recipient is admitted to a special care facility, the approved accommodation and care rate for that facility is paid for the period that includes the day of admission, but excludes the day of discharge or death.
Excess earned income and unearned income received by the client must be deducted from the monthly invoice submitted by the facility to the ministry. For example, the facility must deduct $500 from the invoice if a client receives $500 in monthly CPP benefits. Note: The system calculated CPP tax exemption should not be deducted from the invoice.
The Ministry of Health established a standard methodology for pro-rating the client rate to ensure all health authorities use the same approach (for clients). If a client is admitted to or discharged from residential care services part way through a month, the monthly amount is pro-rated as follows:
Pro-rated Amount = Client Monthly Rate x Number of Days in the Facility
Number of Days in the Month
To ensure that providers and clients are not adversely affected, if a client is admitted or transferred they would be charged based on the actual number of days in the month that they are in the facility. Example:
Mrs. Green (whose monthly rate is $970.50) was admitted to residential care on May 10. For May, the charge would be for 22 days calculated as $970.50 ÷ 31) x 22 = $688.74.
The daily user charge may also be paid while a recipient is absent from the special care facility for either of the following:
- for 14 days for admission to an acute care hospital
- for 14 days for visitation, and seven days extension if approved by the EAW for valid reasons
According to Schedule A of the EA and EAPWD Regulation, the user charge paid to a special care facility is for “accommodation and care," which is distinct from “support and shelter.” Therefore, issuing user charges when the client has been issued support and shelter allowances is not considered a duplicate issuance of support and shelter.
Case Example #1
A single person is residing in an MoH approved alcohol and drug residential treatment program. This client has been in receipt of income assistance for several months and checked into the facility January 15 and will remain in the facility until February 15. The client would like to maintain their place of residence ($400 rent) while in the facility.
January assistance (issued at the end of December): Because the client received their full income assistance for January at cheque issue, they are not eligible for comforts allowance in January. The daily user charge for January 15 – 31 may be issued to the facility, assuming the client resides at the facility for this period of time.
February assistance (issued at the end of January): The client is eligible for shelter allowance and comforts. On cheque issue, $400 would be issued for shelter (in most cases this would be sent directly to the landlord). A comforts allowance, less the additional $25 above the shelter maximum of $375 provided for rent, would be issued to the client. The daily user charge for February 1 – 14 would be issued to the facility, assuming the client resides at the facility for this period of time and February 15 is the date of discharge. On discharge, the client is eligible for pro-rated support for the balance of February.
Case Example #2
A client, whose family unit includes a spouse and two children, has been in receipt of income assistance for several months. The client checked into an MoH approved alcohol and drug residential treatment program on January 15 and will remain in the facility until February 15. The client would like to maintain their place of residence while in the facility.
January assistance (issued at the end of December): Because the client received their full January income assistance at cheque issue they are not eligible for comforts allowance for January. The daily user charge for January 15 – 31 may be issued to the facility, assuming the client resides at the facility for this period of time.
February assistance (issued at the end of January): The client is eligible for comforts allowance. The client’s family would receive their full family unit’s shelter rate, plus the full family unit’s support rate minus the client’s comforts allowance amount. The daily user charge for February 1 – 14 would be issued to the facility, assuming the client resides at the facility during this time and is discharged on February 15. On the client’s discharge, the family unit is not eligible for further support allowance for February.
Clients in CLBC Facilities: June 1, 2007June 1, 2007
Clients in CLBC-contracted residential facilities are eligible for disability assistance (support and shelter) as shown in the Rate Table – Payment of Assistance, a well as supplemental assistance (if eligible). As such, clients are responsible for paying their own client contribution (rent) to the service provider. The amount a client must pay as client contribution (rent) is standardized by CLBC and adjusted whenever disability assistance is adjusted. If clients wish to have their rent paid directly to the service provider, the client (or designate) should contact their local office.
The remaining support allowance is intended to cover personal expenses, including clothing. This client group is not eligible for the clothing supplement.
Shared ResidenceDecember 1, 2003
If two or more family units share the same place of residence, the actual shelter costs of any one of the units is the lesser of the following:
- the calculation of the following steps:
- dividing the actual shelter costs for all of the family units by the number of persons occupying the residence
- multiplying the result by the number of persons in that one family unit
- the amount declared by the family unit as its shelter cost
Temporarily Reduced Family UnitDecember 1, 2003
For information on shelter costs where the family unit size is temporarily reduced, see Related Links – Living Arrangements – Policy.
TransientsDecember 1, 2003
Support allowance is provided to transients for the cost of food. Shelter allowance for transients is based on the actual cost of housing in a hostel, if one exists in the community.
"In Kind" Assistance: October 22, 2007October 22, 2007
In communities that have no ministry office, or in any community after regular office hours, there may be unique and extremely urgent situations where an individual or family has a compelling need and there are no means to meet this need.
In emergency situations where an immediate need has been identified and where eligibility cannot be determined via a formal application, ministry staff may issue “in kind” goods or services for essential food and shelter. Ministry staff will assess immediate needs based on the criteria established in the immediate needs policy. [see Related Links – Immediate Needs]
Note: Where an immediate need has been identified, the provision of “in kind” assistance is to be used only if at least one of the following also applies:
an application cannot be expedited
contracted resources are not available to meet the need
alternative resources are not available to meet the need
Issuance of “in kind” goods and services must be limited to a one-time issue (limited to a maximum of one issue per month and three issues per calendar year). “In kind” assistance must be issued using a supplier cheque or Purchase Authorization (HR149). [see Policy – Methods of Payment]
The local office is responsible for completing the Quarterly Monitoring – In Kind Expenditures [see Forms and Letters] and forwarding to the regional office on a quarterly basis. Regions will collect and monitor the expenditures related to the provision of "in kind" assistance.
[For information regarding purchase authorizations, see Related Links – Immediate Needs]
Methods of Payment: February 25, 2008February 25, 2008
Direct Deposit is the mandatory method of payment to eligible recipients. Ministry staff must present Direct Deposit as the mandatory payment method when new applicants apply for assistance, or for existing recipients, at any other time of contact. Exceptions are permitted only under special circumstances. For exceptions, please refer to the Exceptions Code Table in Procedures.
When assistance is issued by cheque, the cheques must be mailed to the recipient's residential address, or in rural areas to a postal box. Ministry staff must never cash a recipient’s cheque.
The daily user charge for Residential Care Facilities and Family Care Homes are billed to the ministry using the Statement of Account – Adult Residential Resources (SD150A) billing form.
Purchase Authorizations (HR149) are an alternative to issuing imprest cheques. They are used to authorize payment to a supplier for the provision of goods or services to a client, in particular when the exact cost of those goods or services is not known. They are issued to the supplier who then provides the goods or services to the client and invoices the ministry.
Ministry staff must never cash a recipient’s Purchase Authorization.
Effective Date of Eligibility - Original Decision: July 20, 2011July 20, 2011
[See also Resources for Staff – Effective Date of Eligibility – Workflow Chart]
When the original decision approves the client’s eligibility, the effective date of eligibility is dependent on the type of assistance applied for.
- Applicants for income assistance are eligible for income assistance from the date of their application.
- Applicants for disability assistance, who were already designated as a person with disabilities and are re-applying for disability assistance (returning to the caseload), are eligible for disability assistance from the date of their application.
- Applicants who qualify as a person who has persistent multiple barriers to employment (PPMB) are eligible to receive income assistance at the PPMB rate on the first day of the month after the date of the original decision.
- Applicants for persons with disabilities designation are eligible to receive disability assistance on the first day of the month after the date of the original decision.
- Applicants for persons with disabilities designation who are found eligible for the PWD designation prior to their 18th birthday will receive benefits effective the date of their birthday.
- Applicants for a supplement are eligible for the supplement as of the date of the original decision.
T5007 Tax Receipt: July 1, 2010July 1, 2010
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires that everyone who receives provincial income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance to report this income on their tax return. Financial and Administrative Services Branch (FASB) issues a T5007 tax report to clients who receive more than $500 in assistance to help them prepare their tax returns. The income shown on the T5007 is not taxable, but is used to calculate entitlement to federal tax and provincial tax credits, and Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB).
How T5007 Amounts are Calculated
All reportable assistance amounts issued in (as opposed to “for”) the calendar year are included on the T5007. Usually, this will be for the assistance months from February to January (because assistance for a month is issued in (at the end of) the previous month).
The following categories of assistance are NOT included in T5007s:
medical and health supplements
child care subsidy
job training supplements
Ministry T5007 Information Line for Clients
Clients with questions about T5007s can call the Provincial Services Contact Centre [see Contacts].
Clients can expect to receive their T5007s by the end of the third week in February. T5007s are sent to clients’ last known address as of December 31.
Replacement T5007 Tax Receipts
The ministry will provide duplicates of T5007 tax receipts or a system generated printout upon client’s request. Clients do not need to attach a copy of their T5007 to their tax returns as long as they report the correct amount on lines 145 and 250 on the T1 General form.
Clients and former clients who would like a copy of their T5007 information can either:
- contact their local office for a printout
- contact Provincial Services Contact Centre to request a duplicate T5007 [see Contacts]
65 and Older and Pending Old Age Security: October 29, 2012October 29, 2012
If a recipient, or an applicant with the PWD designation, who is 65 years of age or older is eligible for Old Age Security (OAS), but is not receiving OAS, they may still be eligible for assistance. Any assistance issued is to be on a month-to-month basis and is not repayable. Confirmation of OAS application is required. The amount of assistance is found in the Rate Tables – Income Assistance. Recipients are not to be issued Hardship – Awaiting Other Income due to pending OAS income.
An applicant, who is 65 years of age or older and is eligible for Old Age Security (OAS) may still be eligible for hardship assistance if they:
- do not have the PWD designation and,
- are not receiving OAS
[For more information, see Related Links – Hardship – Awaiting Other Income.]