BC Employment & Assistance 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.

 

What's New

Effective: April 1, 2017

Health Supplements and Programs

The ministry may provide a monthly alternative hearing assistance supplement to assist eligible clients to meet costs associated with overcoming barriers related to having permanent profound bilateral hearing loss, if a client cannot benefit from a hearing instrument.

OIC #168 (BC Reg. 118/2017) amended both the Employment and Assistance Regulations and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulations.

Eligibility

Hardship Assistance

An exemption has been added to regulation and policy to fully exempt as income and asset:

  • Foster Care payments,
  • CPP benefits for a Child of a CPP Disabled Contributor, and
  • money that is payable to or for a child from property held by the Public Guardian and Trustee.

OIC #129 (BC Reg. 96/2017) amended both the Employment and Assistance Regulations and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulations.

Disability Assistance and Hardship Assistance for Persons with Disabilities support, comforts and room and board rates have been increased.

OIC #128 (BC Reg. 95/2017) amended the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulations.

Effective: January 1, 2017

Support and Shelter

Effective January 1, the Ministry of Health introduced new client rates for residential care services and assisted living services in BC. Policy, procedures, and the rate table have been updated to reflect this change.

Effective: February 27, 2017

Information Privacy & Security (FOIPPA)

Application & Intake

Eligibility

The Self Serve Assessment and Application will be replaced by an application that is accessible through My Self Serve. The new application will include an electronic signature. 

Case Administration

The Self Serve Assessment and Application will be replaced by an application that is accessible through My Self Serve. The new application will include an electronic signature. Consent to Disclosure of Information is available in the Information Privacy & Security (FOIPPA) topic. This topic has been added to Related Links. Procedures for Direct Deposit have been updated as the system does not automatically enter codes for when direct deposit is not available.

Decisions, Reconsideration & Appeal

The Self Serve Assessment and Application will be replaced by an application that is accessible through My Self Serve. Other enhancements include being able to submit and communicate decisions regarding reconsiderations via My Self Serve.

Effective: December 7, 2016

Eligibility

Hardship Assistance

An exemption is being added to regulation and policy to fully exempt as income and asset, settlements and awards paid to clients where legal claims were made against the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, or Community Living BC.

OIC #906 (BC Reg. 283/2016) amended both the Employment and Assistance Regulations and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulations.

Effective: November 1, 2016

Support & Shelter

The 2017 Cheque Issue Schedule and Cut-off Dates has been updated in Additional Resources.

Effective: October 19, 2016

PWD Designation and Application

Health Supplements & Programs

Beginning October 19, 2016, clients receiving the Monthly Nutritional Supplement (MNS) from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (SDSI) or Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) will be able to access a streamlined MNS application process when moving on or off reserve.

With client consent, an existing MNS application can be shared with SDSI or INAC so a client does not have to complete a new application when moving on or off reserve. A new eligibility decision is then made by either SDSI or INAC based on the information in the existing MNS application.

The Designation Application topic is being updated to align with the MNS topic.

Effective: October 3, 2016

Case Administration

Application and Intake

Policy has been updated as a result of the new process for intake of applicants with disability related communication barriers.

General Supplements & Programs

The rate table has been updated to reflect increase in federal OAS/GIS rates, effective October 1, 2016. A new table has been added to Additional Resources called Senior’s Supplement Rates by Income and Marital Status.

Effective: October 1, 2016

Eligibility

Hardship Assistance

In September, a regulatory change was made to exempt money provided to clients from Employment Insurance Maternity benefits, Employment Insurance Parental benefits, and Special Benefits for Parents of Critically Ill Children for the purposes of calculating net family income of a family unit. The change ensures that money provided under these programs is exempt under the Employment Assistance as unearned income and as an asset in both the Employment and Assistance Regulation and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation. 

OIC #677, BC Regulations 233/2016 amends the Employment and Assistance Regulation and the Employment and Assistance for Persons With Disabilities Regulation.

Effective: September 21, 2016

Case Administration

Support and Shelter

The Family Composition policy on determining eligibility based on family unit, including determining if two persons are residing together and assessing for a marriage-like or dependency relationship has been updated. The Persons Fleeing Abuse policy on eligibility for policy exemptions and supplements has also been updated for applicants or recipients who are fleeing abuse.

Support and Shelter

Effective January 1, the Ministry of Health introduced new client rates for residential care services and assisted living services in BC. Policy, procedures, and the rate table have been updated to reflect this change.

Effective: September 1, 2016

Case Administration

Application & Intake

Eligibility

PWD Designation & Application

Support & Shelter

General Supplements & Programs

Health Supplements & Programs

Hardship Assistance

Decisions, Reconsideration & Appeal

Compliance & Debt Management

Beginning September 1, 2016, recipients who have the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Designation and are receiving disability or hardship assistance will receive a $25 monthly increase, and a $52 Transportation Support Allowance (TSA).  The TSA can be provided as cash or as an in-kind bus pass with a value of $52.

Effective: September 1, 2016

Application and Intake

PWD Designation & Application

Starting September 1, 2016, the ministry will introduce a simplified process to apply for the Person with Disabilities (PWD) designation for individuals who have already been approved for certain federal or provincial disability programs. Under this new process, applicants already eligible for one of the following programs will complete the new 2-page PWD Designation Application – Prescribed Class form:

  • Community Living BC (CLBC) – (including Personal Supports Initiative (PSI) which provides services to adults with FASD and Autism who have been assessed as having significant limitation to adaptive functioning)
  • MCFD’s At Home Program (including Medical Benefits and Respite Benefits)
  • Ministry of Health’s BC Palliative Care (PharmaCare Plan P)
  • Canada Pension Plan – Disability Benefits

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.

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