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Time Limits


Procedures

Time Limits Exclusion Categories: April 2, 2012

Time Limit Exclusions: Clients Considered Expected to Work - Medical Condition: October 9, 2008

Factors in determining if a condition 'interferes' with any type of employment

Reviewing Time Limit Exclusions for Expected to Work - Medical Condition: October 9, 2008

Time Limit Exclusions: Sole Recipient with a Disabled Child: May 20, 2010

Factors that Determine if Recipient is Precluded From Working Full Time: May 20, 2010

Overrides to Time Limits Count

Time Limits Count

Time Limit Consequences: October 9, 2008

Applying Time Limits Reductions: September 17, 2004

Time Limits Confirmed

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Time Limits Exclusion Categories: April 2, 2012
April 2, 2012

[For clients about to reach the 24-month time limit, see Resources for Staff – Time Limits: Employability Assessment Review and Case Management.]

The shaded areas in Table: Time Limits Exclusion Categories below require staff action to apply the appropriate time limits manual exclusion reason. The areas not shaded and without exclusion codes are automatically updated by the system and are displayed on the Time Limits Summary screen of the Time Limits web application.

Any medical verification submitted by a client is to be used by the Employment and Assistance Worker (EAW) to help determine if a client meets the criteria for a time limit exclusion.  The decision to exclude a client from time limits is made by the EAW and not by a health professional.

For the purposes of this topic, health care worker refers to a person who is authorized under an enactment to practice one of the following professions:

  • medical practitioner
  • registered psychologist
  • registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse
  • occupational therapist
  • physical therapist
  • social worker
  • registered clinical counsellor

Table: Time Limits Exclusion Categories

NEO Reason Category
(Description)
 
Verification 
ü N/A Person has reached 65 years of age Age of recipient – in Contacts on the Case (birth certificate)
ü N/A Sole Recipient with dependent child under 3 years of age Age of child – in Contacts on the Case (birth certificate)
ü 04 Sole recipient with dependent child with physical or mental condition

Child – in SD More Info on the Case (birth certificate)

Physical or mental condition – note, letter, or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • indicates that the receipient is unable to leave the home for purposes of employment
  • identifies the duration of the condition
ü 05 Sole recipient with child in home of relative (CIHR) under 3 years of age Age of CIHR – in SD More Info on the Case (birth certificate)
ü 06 Sole recipient with CIHR with physical or mental condition

CIHR – in SD More Info on the Case (birth certificate)

Physical or mental condition – note, letter, or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • provides information to determine whether, in the minister's opinion, the recipient is unable to leave the home for purposes of employment
  • identifies the duration of the condition
ü 07 Sole recipient with foster child under 3 years of age

Foster child – note or letter from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) or social worker, indicating:

  • foster child placement
  • foster child age
  • duration of the placement
ü 08 Sole recipient with foster child with physical or mental condition

Foster child – note or letter from MCFD or a social worker, indicating:

  • foster child placement
  • foster child age
  • duration of the placement

Physical or mental condition – note, letter, or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • provides information to determine whether, in the minister's opinion, the recipient is unable to leave the home for purposes of employment
  • identifies the duration of the condition
ü 27 Sole recipient with dependent child designated by MCFD to be a "special needs child" or "special needs child" placed with kith or kin MCFD child – note or letter from the MCFD or social worker indicating child is designated special needs or special needs child placed with a kith or kin

Information is used to determine whether, in the minister's opinion, the recipient is unable to leave the home for purpose of employment

Questionnaire (HR3107) to be completed by EAW with client
  34 Sole recipient with  dependent child with a physical or mental condition that precludes employment more than 30 hours a week

Child – in SD More Info on the Case (birth certificate)

Physical or mental condition – medical form (HR3103) completed by the dependent child's doctor that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • indicates the severity and duration of the condition
  • outlines care requirements resulting from condition

If the required medical information is on the case, the Medical Report – Child (HR3103) is not required

Questionnaire (HR3107) to be completed by EAW with client

  36 Sole recipient with child in home of relative (CIHR) with physical or mental condition that precludes employment more than 30 hours a week

CIHR – in SD More Info on the Case (birth certificate)

Physical or mental condition – medical form (HR3103) completed by the dependent child's doctor that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • indicates the severity and duration of the condition
  • outlines care requirements resulting from condition

If the required medical information is on the case, the Medical Report – Child (HR3103) is not required

Questionnaire (HR3107) to be completed by EAW with client

  37 Sole recipient with dependent child designated by MCFD to be a "special needs child" or "special needs child" placed with kith or kin that precludes employment for more than 30 hours a week MCFD child – note or letter from the MCFD or social worker indicating child is designated special needs or special needs child placed with a kith or kin

If the required medical information is on the case, the Medical Report – Child (HR3103) is not required

Questionnaire (HR3107) to be completed by EAW with client
  38 Sole recipient with a foster child with physical or mental condition that precludes employment for more than 30 hours

Foster child – note or letter from MCFD or social worker, indicating:

  • foster child placement
  • foster child age
  • duration of the placement

Physical or mental condition – medical form (HR3103) completed by the dependent child's doctor that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • indicates the severity and duration of the condition
  • outlines care requirements resulting from condition

If the required medical information is on the case, the Medical Report – Child (HR3103) is not required

Questionnaire (HR3107) to be completed by EAW with client

ü N/A Person residing in special care facility or private hospital

Residence – note, letter, or telephone call from the institution, indicating:

  • residency status
  • duration of the residency
ü N/A Person admitted to hospital because person requires extended care

Residence – note, letter, or telephone call from the institution, indicating:

  • residency status
  • duration of the residency
ü 11 Person residing with and caring for spouse with physical or mental condition

Spouse – in Contacts on the Case (birth certificate)

Physical or mental condition – note, letter, or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker that:

  • identifies the spouse’s medical condition
  • provides information to determine whether, in the minister's opinion, the recipient is unable to leave the home for the purpose of employment
  • identifies the duration of the spouse’s condition
  12 Person with drug or alcohol problem

Drug or alcohol problem

Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) as follows:

  • if client appears to have a problem that “interferes” * with employment, provide a HR3069 for completion by the physician

HR3069 can be used as a guideline but should not be distributed for completion by anyone but a medical physician.

Note: the Supervisor may approve this exclusion reason if a recipient is unable to submit or obtain the requested verification and it is clear that there is a drug or alcohol problem that interferes with employment. The decision may be based on pertinent information from the EAW, a mental health worker and/or drug and alcohol counsellor.

  29 Person with Mental Health Condition and Drug or Alcohol problem

Mental health condition and drug or alcohol proble

Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) as follows:

  • if client appears to have a condition that “interferes” * with employment, provide an HR3069 for completion by the physician

HR3069 can be used as a guideline but should not be distributed for completion by anyone but a medical physician.

Note:

  1. The Supervisor may approve this exclusion reason if a recipient is unable to submit or obtain the requested verification and it is clear that there is a mental health condition and a drug or alcohol problem that interferes with employment.  The decision may be based on pertinent information from the EAW and/or a drug and alcohol counsellor.
  2. The EAW should approve this exclusion reason if the Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) lists only one condition that interferes with employment but additional verification is available to determine that the client has both conditions (e.g., discussion with mental health or alcohol and drug counsellor, client self-discloses, phone call from health care worker, etc.).
  13 Person with mental health condition

Mental health condition

Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) as follows:

  • if client appears to have a condition that “interferes” * with employment, provide an HR3069 for completion by the physician

HR3069 can be used as a guideline but should not be distributed for completion by anyone but a medical physician.

Note: the Supervisor may approve this exclusion reason if a recipient is unable to submit or obtain the requested verification and it is clear that there is a mental health condition that interferes with employment. The decision may be based on pertinent information from the EAW and/or a mental health worker.

  14 Person with temporary medical condition

Temporary medical condition

Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) as follows:

  • If client appears to have a condition that “interferes” * with employment, provide an HR3069 for completion by the physician

HR3069 can be used as a guideline but should not be distributed for completion by anyone but a medical physician.

Note: the Supervisor may approve this exclusion reason if a recipient is unable to submit or obtain the requested verification and it is clear that there is a medical condition that interferes with employment. The decision may be based on pertinent information from the EAW and/or a mental health worker.

ü 15 Person participating in treatment or rehabilitation program

Drug or alcohol treatment – note, letter, or telephone call from a representative of the designated treatment centre that:

  • indicates that the recipient is participating in treatment
  • provides information to determine whether, in the minister's opinion, the recipient’s drug or alcohol treatment interferes* with the recipient’s ability to search for, accept, or continue in employment
  • indicates the duration of the treatment program
ü 16 Person separated from abusive spouse or relative within previous 6 months

Separated from abusive spouse or relative – note, letter, or telephone call from social worker, police, transition house representative, or courts that:

  • confirms the abusive situation
  • provides information to determine whether, in the minister's opinion, the abuse or separation interferes* with the recipient’s ability to search for, accept, or continue in employment
  • indicates the date of the separation
ü N/A Person with persistent multiple barriers See Related Links – Persons With Persistent Multiple Barriers
  N/A Person receiving rate reduction on account of time limits Reached 24-months-in-60-months (24-in-60) time limit – in Contacts, SD More Info tab
  21 Person is pregnant

Pregnant – note, letter, or telephone call from an appropriate health care worker, confirming:

  • pregnancy
  • estimated time of arrival of the child
  N/A Person under 19 years of age Age of recipient – in Contacts on the Case (birth certificate)
  24 In minister-approved literacy, upgrading, adult basic education, or English as a second language training program EAW to approve and include in EP or VPP for maximum of 4 months unless participating in Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) program for 4 months or less.  If program is longer than 4 months, EPBC participants require minister approval.

*Clients will be exempt from time limits if their medical condition interferes to the extent of obstructing, impeding or preventing their ability to participate in employment, including part-time (i.e., minimum 10 hrs per week).

  • [For clients about to reach the 24-month time limit, see Resources for Staff – Time Limits: Employability Assessment Review and Case Management.]
  • For advising clients of their Employment Plan 22 Month Review,
    send the Employment Plan – 22 Month Review (HR3026) Letter [see Forms and Letters].
  • If a client fails to comply with the required activities in the Employment Plan, send the Employment Plan – Failure to Complete (Under 24 Months) Letter (HR3074) [see Forms and Letters].

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Time Limit Exclusions: Clients Considered Expected to Work - Medical Condition: October 9, 2008
October 9, 2008

If it appears that the client has a temporary medical, alcohol and drug or mental health condition that “interferes” with employment, staff must request a Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) to verify the condition.  Use the Information Required – Medical Letter (HR3237) as a covering letter.

The Medical Report will also provide information on the impact of the condition on the client’s employability.  This information will assist in the development of the EP and help determine whether the client meets the criteria for a time limits exclusion category.  [For information on the Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) see Related Links – Employment Plan – Medical Report.]

The Supervisor can waive the requirement for the Medical Report in exceptional circumstances (e.g., client with mental health issues is reluctant to see a doctor).

Clients will be exempt from time limits if their medical condition interferes to the extent of obstructing, impeding or preventing their ability to participate in employment, including part-time (i.e., minimum 10 hrs per week).

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Factors in determining if a condition 'interferes' with any type of employment
April 19, 2004

Duration of Condition

Short-term conditions lasting 3 months or less will generally not be considered to “interfere” if the client can participate in preparatory search activities (e.g., researching job options, preparing a resume, learning to use job directories).

Severity of Condition

If a condition is considered by the medical practitioner to be “mild”, there are likely some types of employment in which the client could participate.  Some “moderate” conditions may also not interfere with all types of employment.

Extent of Restrictions

Conditions that restrict the client from performing certain duties (e.g., heavy lifting, standing for lengthy periods) or certain occupations (e.g., heavy construction, carpentry) will not be considered to interfere if the client can do other duties and other jobs.

Availability of Supports

If there are steps that can be taken or supports available to overcome or reduce the restrictions on employability (e.g., flexible hours, assistive devices, change in type of employment, change in duties), the condition will not be considered to interfere.

Clients should be advised that the ministry, not the doctor or social worker, determines whether the condition interferes with employment.

Clients are assumed to be subject to time limits until a temporary medical, alcohol and drug or mental health condition has been verified and a determination has been made that the client meets all the criteria for a time limits exclusion category. 

[For information on documentation requirements on see Related Links – Employment Plan – Documentation Requirements.]

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Reviewing Time Limit Exclusions for Expected to Work - Medical Condition: October 9, 2008
October 9, 2008

Exclusions from time limits due to temporary medical, drug and alcohol or mental health conditions are intended to be temporary.  As such, these exclusions must be reviewed to ensure that circumstances for which the exclusion was granted still exist and still interfere with employment.

While reviews can be conducted at any time, they should be conducted at least 60 days prior to the end date.  End dates may not exceed 12 months.  If the condition still exists after 12 months, the client must submit a new Medical Report – Employability (HR3069).  Use the Information Required – Medical Letter (HR3237) as a covering letter when requesting a new HR3069 [see Forms and Letters].

In the absence of information that warrants an extension, the client will automatically be subject to time limits when the end date for the condition is reached.

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Time Limit Exclusions: Sole Recipient with a Disabled Child: May 20, 2010
May 20, 2010

A sole recipient who cares for a dependent child, child in home of a relative (CIHR), special needs child or foster child with a physical or mental condition, where the child's physical or mental condition precludes the recipient from working, on average, more than 30 hours per week, is excluded from Time Limits.

For the above categories of family units:

  • Recipients are excluded from time limits
    The months in which a family unit meets the above criteria will not count towards the 24 in 60 time count.
  • An exemption from earned income of $300 per month
    The $300 Earnings Exemption is extended to sole recipients with a dependent child, CIHR, special needs or foster child who are unable to work full-time because they are caring for a child with a serious physical or mental condition.

The child’s condition alone will not determine if a client is eligible for earnings exemption.  The impact on the parent’s employability is the key factor.

Medical Report - Child (HR3103) is to be completed by the child's doctor.

Where the sole recipient/caregiver is not the legal guardian (e.g., CIHR), the Medical Report - Child (HR3103) and the Information Sheet (HR3110) are to be given to the client.

The client is responsible for ensuring the legal guardian signs the Medical Report - Child (HR3103).

  • If the required medical information is on the case, the Medical Report - Child (HR3103) is not required.
  • EAW is to complete Medical Report - Child (HR3103) and Questionnaire (HR3107) [see Forms and Letters]
  • For clients denied the $300 earnings exemption, ministry staff are to provide the client with the Sole recipient with a child with physical or mental condition- Denial Letter (HR3104) [see Forms and Letters].
  • For clients no longer eligible for the $300 earnings exemption, ministry staff are to provide the client with the Sole recipient with a child with physical or mental condition – No Longer Eligible Letter (HR3268) [see Forms and Letters].

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Factors that Determine if Recipient is Precluded From Working Full Time: May 20, 2010
May 20, 2010

Duration of Condition

Short-term conditions lasting 3 months or less will generally not be considered.

Severity of Condition

If a condition is considered by the medical practitioner to be "mild," then it likely will not interfere with the parent's ability to work more than 30 hours a week. 

Extent of Restrictions to work 30 hours a week or more

The Questionnaire (HR3107) [see Forms and Letters] should be used to assess conditions that restrict the client from working more than 30 hours a week.

Availability of Other Resources or Supports

The EAW will complete the Questionnaire (HR3107) with the recipient to review available resources  (e.g., other family members, childcare worker, day-care, school, etc.).

Clients should be advised that the ministry, not the doctor determines whether the condition interferes with employment.

Clients are assumed to be subject to time limits until the authorizer determines the client meets all the criteria for time-limits exclusion category.

[For information on documentation requirements see Related Links – Employment Plan.]

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Overrides to Time Limits Count
April 19, 2004

Overrides are used to correct information previously indicated on the system.  Overrides for individual recipients are managed on the Time Limits Summary screen of the Time Limits web application.

An override can reverse the existing time limits count for any past month in which an individual recipient received income assistance if the time limits count was incorrect.

Once the correction is made, both the time limits count on the system and the Time Limits Summary screen of the web application will be automatically updated. 

Example

A female recipient submits a doctor’s note confirming that she has been pregnant for the past two months.  After entering the correct time limits exclusion reason on the system, staff check the Time Limits Summary screen to ensure that the months in which the recipient received income assistance while pregnant are not counted.  If the Time Limits Summary screen is incorrect, staff must use the override function to correct the time limits count with the appropriate months.

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Time Limits Count
April 19, 2004

For both applicants and recipients, staff must ensure that the time limits information (current information on the system) and Time Limits Summary screen (past information in web application) are correct.  Staff must also ensure that past and current time limits information is considered when developing employment plans.

Time Limits Information (Current Information on the system)

Once the appropriate verification has been obtained, authorized staff are to update the time limits information on the system by entering the appropriate time limits exclusion reason and end date on the Case, Contact, SD More Info view tab.

Time limits exclusion reasons may be entered for a period of up to 12 months.  Extensions beyond 12 months require reconfirmation. 

Time Limits Summary (Past Information in Web Application)

Once the appropriate verification has been obtained, the override function on the Time Limits Summary screen can be used to correct the time limits count of past months. 

A printed Time Limits Summary may be offered to a recipient to assist with employment planning discussions, or may be issued to the recipient upon request.  The Time Limits Summary may not be provided to any person other than the individual recipient.

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Time Limit Consequences: October 9, 2008
October 9, 2008

For Recipients

Before time limits consequences are applied to a client, staff must carefully review the circumstances of the impacted client to ensure that time limits consequences are appropriate.  The Time Limits (Post-24) Guidelines provide specific details on when to and when not to apply time limits consequences.  It is critical that time limits consequences not be applied in cases of passive non-reporting. [see Resources for Staff: Time Limits (Post-24 Month) Guidelines]

Example

A service provider advises the EAW that the client missed a mandatory appointment. The EAW signals the cheque.  The client does not pick up the cheque on issue day and there is no further contact with the client.

In this case, time limits consequences should not be applied because the ministry is not certain that the client was non-compliant.  The client may have simply missed the appointment because he/she no longer requires assistance.  Therefore, a sanction should not be recorded on the sanctions sub view tab and the time limits indicator (NC-X) should not be updated.

The following steps must be taken if a recipient appears to be non-compliant and the family unit may have time limits consequences applied:

Step 1

EAW reviews client circumstances and Time Limits (Post-24) Guidelines and determines if time limits consequences are appropriate. [See Resources for Staff: Time Limits (Post-24 Month) Guidelines]

Step 2

EAW consults with the Supervisor and, if consequences are appropriate, the Time Limits Client Information Sheet [see Resources for Staff: Time Limits Client Information Sheet] must be completed and sent via e-mail to the regional Policy and Program Implementation Manager for review.

Step 3

After review is completed by PPIM, EAW advises recipient in person or by phone of decision.  No action on the case should take place until the PPIM completes the review and makes a recommendation back to the Supervisor/EAW.  If time limits consequences are applied, client must be advised of right to appeal.

Step 4

EAW closes EP using appropriate close reason, if the consequence is ineligibility, and records employment-related sanction on the sanction sub view tab if applicable.

Step 5

EAW updates the time limits indicator (NC-X) on the Case, Contact, SD More Info view tab.  The Consequence End Date will automatically appear.  The Consequence End Date is entered into the appropriate template letter, which is then mailed to the client:

For failure to meet employment-related obligations, use the Sanction Letter – Employment Related Obligations (+24 months) Letter (HR3075)

For non-compliance with the Employment Plan, use the Sanction Letter – Employment Plan (+24 months) (HR3076) [see Forms and Letters]

Step 6

EAW closes the case if the consequence is ineligibility (use the time limit close reason and place comment on the system indicating that time limits consequences are in effect). The system will automatically calculate and apply time limits reductions.

All communication with clients, verbal or written, on time limits must be recorded.

For Applicants

The Time Limits (Post-24) Guidelines provide detailed information on procedures for assessing post-24 clients if they reapply for income assistance. [See Resources for Staff: Time Limits (Post-24 Month) Guidelines]  Steps to be taken by EAW for applicants who have reached their time limit:

Step 1

EAW reviews case history and time limits indicator (NC-X) to determine if time limits consequences have been applied  (for couples and two-parent families the spouse must be reviewed in addition to the applicant).  If the client case has an Information Alert detailing a possible time limits implication, the EAW must determine if time limits consequences should be applied.  Refer to the Time Limits (Post-24) Guidelines for detailed procedures.

Example 1

An EAW receives notice from a service provider that Josh, who is post-24, missed a mandatory appointment.  The EAW signals the cheque but Josh never picks up the cheque.  The case is closed after an information alert is placed on the system by the supervisor.

Two months later Josh reapplies for assistance.  During the intake interview Josh states he missed the appointment because it was a lousy program and he felt it would not help him obtain employment.

Time limits consequences are applied, as it is determined that Josh was non-compliant with his EP when he left assistance.

Example 2

Mary does not show up for a mandatory employment plan review.  The EAW signals the cheque but Mary never picks up the cheque.  The case is closed after an information alert is placed on the system.

Two months later Mary reapplies for assistance.  During the intake interview Mary states she found a job and did not require further assistance at the time.  Mary was laid off due to a shortage of work.

Time limits consequences are not applied and the information alert is removed.

Step 2

If time limits consequences are in effect, the EAW must determine if the client meets a time limit exclusion category.  [see Table: Time Limits Exclusion Categories]  The Medical Report - Employability (HR3069) must be submitted to verify a client’s temporary medical, drug or alcohol or mental health condition.  Use the Information Required – Medical Letter (HR3237) as a covering letter when requesting a new HR3069, [see Forms and Letters].

If a client meets a time limits exclusion category, enter the appropriate reason and advise client that eligibility will cease on the end date of the exclusion category.

Step 3

If a client remains ineligible due to time limits, use appropriate CLS/Resolution reason. No further review is required.

If time limits consequences are being considered for the first time, follow procedures for Recipients [see Procedures - Time Limits Consequences - For Recipients].

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Applying Time Limits Reductions: September 17, 2004
September 17, 2004

[See Resources for Staff: Guidelines for Applying Reductions]

  • Families with children on BCEA are not to be ‘doubly’ impacted in cases where reductions due to not meeting employment-related obligations and reductions due to time limits overlap.
  • Staff will be required to issue an imprest cheque using support for the amount of the employment-related sanction reduction.

Example

  • Jane, a single parent with a five-year-old child, reached her time limit and was subsequently exempted because she was compliant with her EP and met her employment-related obligations.
  • Three months later Jane is offered a job but she refuses to accept the employment, as she considers the pay too low.
  • The EAW finds Jane non-compliant with her employment-related obligations, records the sanction and applies TL consequences.

In this example the employment-related sanction is a $100 reduction for 2 months and the TL consequence is a $100 reduction for 36 months.  However, in such situations, the sanction is to be limited to a $100 reduction for 36 months.   The employment-related sanction must still be recorded on the Sanction sub view tab and TL indicator (NC-X) updated.  Staff are to issue a $100 imprest cheque using support for two months.

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Time Limits Confirmed
April 19, 2004

The Count Confirmed Date field on the Time Limits Summary screen indicates when the worker last reviewed a recipient’s time limits information.  After the time limits count is reviewed and confirmed with the recipient, preferably through direct contact (e.g., in person or by telephone), the worker needs to update the indicator by clicking the Confirmed button.

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