BCEA Application - Stage 2 - Eligibility Interview

Overview

Once Stage 1 of the application process is successfully completed, applicants may proceed to the application process Stage 2 for income assistance, disability assistance, or hardship assistance under the BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) Program.  At the second stage of the application process, ministry staff will:

  • review the applicant’s current work search, if required
  • ensure that the applicant has had an orientation
  • gather information about the applicant’s situation
  • assess the eligibility of the family unit for income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance, and/or supplements.
  • assess the applicant(s) for an employment plan

Policy

Effective: May 1, 2015

For a family unit to be eligible for income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance, all applicants in the family unit must provide the required documentation and complete an Application Stage 2 eligibility interview. (Applicants receive a checklist of documents they are required to provide prior to an eligibility interview.)  Applicants must present the documents they were advised to submit as indicated on the checklist.

At the Stage 2 eligibility interview, applicants must be able to prove their family unit meets (or, if applying for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation, will likely meet within 6 months) all the eligibility criteria, including the following:
 

  • At least one adult in the family unit has been financially independent for at least two consecutive years, unless exempted from this requirement.  [For more information, see Related Links – Two-Year Financial Independence]
  • All members of the family unit have identification and all applicants have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). [For more information, see Related Links – Identification Requirements.]
  • All applicants in the family unit have had an orientation prior to the Stage 2 eligibility interview [see Related Links – Orientation]
  • The family unit meets citizenship requirements. [For more information, see Related Links – Citizenship Requirements.]
  • The family unit has pursued all other available income, as required.  [For more information, see Related Links – Pursuing Income.]
  • The family unit’s net income and assets do not exceed the limits set out in regulations.  (Applicants applying for the PWD designation may have their income and assets tested at the higher limits – including assets over the PWD level in the process of being transferred into a trust or RDSP – applicable to recipients of disability assistance.) [For more information, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions; and Assets and Exemptions.]
  • Applicants do not have any outstanding arrest warrants issued under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) or any other enactment of Canada in relation to an offence that can be prosecuted by indictment.

Applicants not eligible for income assistance or disability assistance should be assessed for hardship or repayable warrant supplements. [For more information, see Related Links – Eligibility for Hardship Assistance and Warrants.]

Effective: November 1, 2005

Children with disabilities may start the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation application process six months before their 18th birthday. This ensures they have sufficient time to have their PWD designation application submitted and adjudicated so they can start receiving disability assistance as soon as they turn 18 if eligible.

[For detailed policy and procedures regarding 17-year-old applicants for PWD designation, see Related Links –Designation Application – Policy and Procedures.]

Effective: July 20, 2011

Youth with special needs receive programs and services through the Ministry of Children and Family Development until they are 19 years of age.  These individuals may delay applying for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation while they are still eligible for those services.

These youth would then apply to the ministry for a PWD application six months before their 19th birthday.  Starting the application process at that time will allow youth with disabilities sufficient time to schedule appointments with medical practitioners and prescribed professionals, and to have their PWD application completed and adjudicated so they can start receiving disability assistance when they turn 19, if eligible.

[For detailed policy and procedures regarding 17-year-old applicants for PWD designation, see Related Links – Designation Application – Policy and Procedures.] 

Effective: June 26, 2014

Some applicants may require additional services to apply for assistance. The ministry offers alternative methods of service delivery, such as interpreter services and trusted third parties [see Related Links – Individual Case Management].

Effective: July 20, 2011

[See also Additional Resources – 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 who are youth in government care (under the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development), who have been found eligible for disability assistance as of their 19th birthday, are eligible to receive the shelter allowance for the full month in which they turn 19, as calculated in Schedule A for any rent owing, and the support allowance prorated from the day they turned 19 to the end of that month.
  • Applicants for a supplement are eligible for the supplement as of the date of the original decision. 

[For more information  on management of individual clients’ cases – see Related Links – Individual Case Management.] 

Procedures

Effective: June 26, 2009

For clients with language barriers who are unable to understand or communicate through written or spoken English, the ministry can provide access to contracted interpretation services by telephone and, on a case-by-case basis, in person. 

[For information on how to access interpretation services, see Related Links – Individual Case Management.]

Effective: October 1, 2012

Before proceeding with the Stage 2 eligibility interview, make sure the person has satisfied the requirement to conduct a reasonable work search or has been exempted from this requirement.  Applicants assessed as having an immediate need for food, shelter or urgent medical attention can proceed directly to Stage 2 of the application process, and will be assessed for hardship assistance while they complete their work search requirement. [see Related Links – Work Search and Immediate Needs – Work Search Required]  The work search must be waived at Stage 1 of the application process if the person:
 

  • is fleeing an abusive spouse or relative
  • has a physical or mental health condition that precludes the person from completing a search for employment
  • or any person in the family unit is a person with disabilities (PWD)
  • has reached 65 years of age, or
  • cannot legally work in Canada.

 [For more information, see Related Links – Work Search – Policy – Exemptions.]

Effective: September 1, 2015
 

  1. Applicants must provide the following documents before their eligibility interview: Identification

Three pieces of ID for applicant and spouse, if applicable, including all of the following:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card or documents which can verify the SINs provided by the applicants [See Related Links – Identification Requirements]
  • one valid piece of photo identification such as BC Identification card, Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) issued by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Canadian driver’s licence, BC Services Card (Photo Card),  Driver’s license and Services Card (Combined Card), passport, original citizenship papers or immigration documents, or federal confirmation of release issued by the Correctional Service of Canada (sometimes called an offender identification card)
  • one additional piece of identification such as birth certificate, credit card, BC Care Card, BC Services Card (Non-Photo Card), or one of the older versions of the Certificate of Indian Status (CIS or Status card)  issued by INAC.  These Status cards include the Laminated Certificate of Indian Status, Certificate of Indian Status “All-in-One,” or Certificate of Indian Status “Pilot Project” 

One piece of ID for each dependent child, if applicable

Note:  The SCIS card is acceptable as primary ID, while the older versions of the CIS cards are only acceptable as secondary ID. The CIS cards cannot be used as secondary ID when the SCIS is used as primary ID [For more information, see Identification Requirements – Proof of Identity.]

[see Additional Resources – on valid Birth Certificate documentation – Vital Statistics Agency – information regarding birth certificates] [see Contacts and Additional Resources on SCIS and CIS – INAC – information regarding Status cards]
 

  1. Proof of actual shelter costs or arrangements

May include the following:

  • rent receipt, Shelter Information form (HR3037), or lease showing the applicant’s name and address, total rent, and landlord’s name and phone number
  • recent utility bills
  • household insurance records for homeowners
  • mortgage agreement showing monthly mortgage payments
  • proof of condo/strata title fees
  • mobile home pad rental agreement
  1. Records of income and assets

May include the following:

  • recent pay records
  • bank profile listing all accounts, holdings and lines of credit held jointly or individually, and statement for all open and any closed accounts with activity in the last 60 days  order or agreement for child support and/or spousal supportrecords of bonds, trust funds, GICs, RRSPs, and any other assets
  • self-employment business records
  • income verification from other programs (e.g., CPP, WCB, EI)
  1. Work-related documents

May include the following:

  • pay records and Records of Employment from all employment (if employed within the last 60 days)

Effective: September 1, 2016

To conduct an eligibility interview with an applicant, follow this procedure:
 

  1. Query for ready Service Requests (SRs). The SR status is updated to “ready” when documents are submitted.
     
  2. Review application process to-date. If  not all of the documents have been submitted, make note of  what is missing and advise the applicant.

Note:  If eligibility can be determined based on documents provided, the EAW can perform the Stage 2 eligibility interview, determine eligibility and determine if a cheque hold is necessary for ensuring any outstanding documents are received before the cheque is released.
 

  1. If all documents have been submitted and the ministry’s Strategic Third Party Assist and Referral Team (START) review is complete, contact the applicant for the eligibility interview.
     
  2. Review the application documents and START results, and confirm the applicant’s original identification and match to information on the case.
     
  3. Review required fields for potential hardship assistance eligibility.
     
  4. Discuss the requirement to complete an employment plan (if not exempt). 
     
  5. Determine if the applicant is already case managed by EPBC and run the Assisted Eligibility tool.
     
  6. If the applicant is not eligible for income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance follow the procedures for Communicating Decisions [See Related Links – Original Decisions].
     
  7. If the applicant does request a reconsideration, ensure that the applicant has signed the Application for Income Assistance Part 1 and 2 forms (HR0080A and HR0080) forms. [See Related Links – Original Decisions and Reconsideration].
     
  8. If the applicant is eligible for assistance, or is likely to be eligible for disability assistance within 6 months and does not have the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation,  and the client should be informed of family maintenance services as a resource to obtain or defend an order or agreement for child or spousal support, provide a copy of the Family Maintenance Services Information Sheet. [see Related Links – Family Maintenance Services]
     
  9. Determine the type of Employment Plan required, and complete it [see Related Links – Employment Plan].

Note: An Employment Plan is not completed where the family unit is only eligible for hardship category – Immediate Needs – Work Search Required – Code S [see Related Links – Immediate Needs – Work Search Required].
 

  1. Explain the applicant’s rights and responsibilities and confirm their understanding, then record on the applicant’s case that this was done. If the applicant is being assisted by an interpreter, record the name, address and phone number of the interpreter on the applicant’s case.
     
  2. Where eligible, create the document signing package, generate the imprest cheque, and complete the appropriate cheque hold, until the package is signed.

    Note: If the applicant is applying for the PWD designation, see Related Links – Designation Application for policy and procedures on applying for the PWD designation.
     
  3. If the applicant is unable to come into the office to sign the package, advise the applicant to sign the package in the presence of a trusted third party (for example, a government agent) who will validate the documents and authenticate the person’s identity.

Note:  In exceptional circumstances whereby an applicant is unable to reach an EAW/ministry staff or a trusted third party, the ministry may accept witness signatures from members in the following groups:

  • other government staff; or
  • prescribed professionals (see EAPWD Regulation, Section 2.2).

Note: If the applicant is a 17-year-old applying for the PWD designation, and does not have the capacity or cannot attend the office due to a physical or mental impairment, the parent/guardian may complete and sign the application on the applicant’s behalf. If the applicant is a 17-year-old applying for PWD designation through Youth Transition program, the ministry may accept the package without a witness signature.

 

  1. The cheque is not released until both the Application for Income Assistance Part 1 and 2 forms (HR0080A and HR0080) forms are signed, as well as other applicable documents such as the  Employment Plan.

Note: If the stage 2 application has been completed in person, the documents package should be signed with the applicant, and where determined to be eligible, prior to the cheque being generated.
 

  1. Once all of the required documents are signed, add MSP and PharmaCare coverage for each eligible family member and update the local office to the office where the recipient resides.
     
  2. Complete remaining activity plan steps including CRA check. If the CRA check identifies any eligibility concerns, notify the recipient and resolve prior to issuing any further assistance.
     
  3. For pending PWD designation applicants who were not eligible for income assistance or hardship assistance at the time of application, who now have been approved the PWD designation, review the latest application (HR0080), and if updates are required, complete a reapplication (HR0080R).

Effective: September 1, 2015

The BCEA Application for Income Assistance (Part 1 and 2) form is a legal document and, as such, it is important that it be completed correctly and that the applicants understand what they are signing.  The following are some key points to remember when completing the application form:
 

  • Applicants may not strike out or change any part of the form.  If any changes are made to the information provided by the applicant(s) and entered on the form, these changes must be initialled by the applicant(s) and the ministry staff person taking the application.
  • Ensure the correct person is signing the form.  This means that the identity of the person is established.  Make sure, as well, that the person signing the form has the legal authority to do so.  For example, if a parent has power of attorney to sign on behalf of an adult child with developmental disabilities, the parent must be the signatory.  This may also apply to the Public Trustee.  Obtain a copy of the power of attorney documents for the case.
  • In rare situations, the EAW may be required to attend court and testify on behalf of the ministry.  For this reason, always sign using your regular signature and follow a standard and consistent procedure on all applications.
  • Make sure the date and location where the application is signed are both correct.
  • Advise the applicants that, by signing the application form, they are attesting to the accuracy of the information provided.
  • Date and sign all copies of accompanying documents provided (e.g., identification) prior to scanning and profiling.  If original documents are retained, follow the same procedure.
  • Make sure applicants understand all of the rights and responsibilities associated with receiving assistance.  For example, they must submit a monthly report (HR0081), and they must notify the ministry of any changes in circumstances that might affect their family unit’s eligibility for assistance. At the eligibility interview applicants must be provided with the How to Complete Your “Monthly Report” Form brochure.  [For Brochure See Link – Additional Resources]

Effective: July 20, 2011

[See also Additional Resources – 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.  Staff will determine eligibility for income assistance as of the date of the application and may need to pro-rate assistance as set out in section 26 and Schedule A of the Employment and Assistance Regulation.
  • Applicants for disability assistance, who were already designated as a person with disabilities and are re-applying for disability assistance, are eligible for disability assistance from the date of their application.  Staff will determine eligibility for disability assistance as of the date of the application and may need to pro-rate assistance as set out in section 23 and Schedule A of the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.
  • 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 approval decision.  Staff will determine eligibility as of the first day of the month after the date of the original approval decision.
  • Applicants for persons with disabilities (PWD) designation are eligible to receive disability assistance on the first day of the month after the date of the original approval decision.  Staff will determine eligibility as of the first day of the month after the date of the original approval decision.
  • Applicants for PWD designation who are found eligible for the PWD designation prior to their 18th birthday will receive benefits effective the date of their birthday.  The imprest cheque will include prorated support and any outstanding shelter for the portion of the month remaining following the client’s 18th birthday. 
  • Applicants who are youth in government care (under the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development), who have been found eligible for disability assistance as of their 19th birthday, are eligible to receive the shelter allowance for the full month in which they turn 19, as calculated in Schedule A for any rent owing, and the support allowance prorated from the day they turned 19 to the end of that month.
  • Applicants for a supplement are eligible for the supplement as of the date of the original approval decision.  Staff will determine eligibility for the supplement as of the date of the original approval decision.
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