BC Employment & Assistance Policy & Procedure Manual

Search BCEA Policy & Procedure Manual

Welcome to the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) Policy and Procedure Manual.

The BCEA Policy and Procedure Manual is a one-stop source for all BCEA policy, procedure and program information.

BCEA policy and procedure information is organized by Category. Each Category has a set of Policy Topics. To view an expanded list of available Policy Topics, click on the appropriate Category.

Topics provide related content such as an overview, policies, procedures, and links to relevant acts, regulations, contacts, rate tables and resources.

For more information on how to use the BCEA Policy and Procedure Manual, please visit our Navigation & Search Tips page.

For a preview of regulatory changes which will come into effect September 1, 2016, please see the following links: EA Regulations  and EA PWD Regulations.

What's New

Effective: July 25, 2016

General Supplements and Programs

The federal government has increased the maximum national child benefit supplement rates effective August 1, 2016. The General Supplements and Programs Rate Table has been updated to reflect this increase in the Family Bonus Supplement.

Effective: July 18, 2016

Eligibility

General Supplements and Programs

Policy is clarified that insurance benefits can be considered an award and exempt up to the family’s asset level.

Eligibility

Policy is clarified that insurance benefits can be considered an award and exempt up to the family’s asset level.

Policy has been updated to reflect that the Canada Child Benefit is exempt and has replaced the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit.

Effective: July 13, 2016

Eligibility

Policy has been amended to clarify that the assets of a patient controlled by a committee do not count towards a client’s asset limit.  

Effective: June 27, 2016

General Supplements and Programs

For dogs that are to undergo a certification test administered by the Justice Institute of BC, the Guide Dog or Service Dog Supplement may be issued up to 2 months before the date of the test in order to help cover the travel costs and certification test fee. 

Effective: March 18, 2016

Hardship

Compensation paid to children of a deceased worker under section 17 or 18 of the Workers Compensation Act is now exempt as unearned income and an asset.

Verification and Eligibility  

Compensation paid to children of a deceased worker under section 17 or 18 of the Workers Compensation Act is now exempt as unearned income.

Effective: January 25, 2016

Decisions, Reconsideration & Appeal

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

General Supplements

  • Camp Fees
    • Note: Effective May 2, 2016: renamed to Camp Fees Supplement

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

Effective: January 18, 2016

General Supplements

This amendment to the Guide Animal Supplement follows 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.

Effective: 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 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.

Effective: 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.

Effective: November 23, 2015

Program Administration

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

Effective: October 22, 2015

Verification and Eligibility  

The 2016 Cheque Issue Schedule and full Cheque Date schedule have been updated in Additional Resources.

Effective: October 1, 2015

General Supplements

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

Effective: September 1, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

  • Students  
    • Note: Effective May 2, 2016: renamed to Education and Training
  • Income and Exemptions
    • Note: Effective May 2, 2016: renamed to Income Treatment and Exemptions

Employment Programs, Planning & 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 & 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

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.

Effective: 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.

Effective: July 27, 2015

General Supplements

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

Effective: 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.

Effective: 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.

Effective: 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.

Effective: May 25, 2015

Verification and Eligibility

  • Payment of Assistance
    • Note: Effective May 2, 2016: renamed to Support, Shelter, and Special Care Facilities

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.

Effective: 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 Additional Resources to improve accessibility of this information.

Effective: May 1, 2015

Application

Verification and Eligibility

General Supplements

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.

Share Button