Identification Requirements

Overview

To be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance, applicants and recipients must meet identification requirements.  The identity of each member of the family unit must be established, including verification of the Social Insurance Number of each applicant.

The identification requirements apply to family units under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Policy

Effective: June 30, 2008

ID requirements consist of both of the following:

  • proof of identity for all family members
  • a social insurance number for all adult family members.

To establish proof of identity, the applicant must provide the original documents at the time of application or there must be copies already on the case/contact where there is an existing case. Where a former client reapplies and staff are able to view previously scanned documents that in the EAW’s opinion establishes the applicant’s identity, the identification requirements are considered satisfied. [see Policy - ID on Existing File]

An applicant can meet the requirement to provide a social insurance number by providing an original document or other information which verifies the SIN provided by the applicant.  [See Policy – Verification of SIN]

In cases where a couple, with or without dependent children, applies for assistance, only the primary applicant in the family unit must meet the ID requirements to be considered eligible for income assistance or disability assistance.  The other family members must meet the ID requirements as soon as possible.

Effective: January 9, 2015

At the time of application for assistance, each applicant must provide two pieces of identification (ID).  One must be a photo ID from the list of primary ID, and the second may be selected from either the primary or secondary ID list. [see Policy - Table: Primary and Secondary ID]

For each dependent child, at the time of application for assistance or when a dependent child is added to an existing case, one piece of ID from either the primary or secondary ID list is required. A birth certificate is the preferred proof of ID for a dependent child. [For more information on exceptions to ID requirements for dependent children, see Policy – Exceptions]

Photo ID documents are required for all ID in the list of primary ID.  Interim documents (for example, interim driver’s licence) are not to be accepted as primary ID.  In cases where a photo ID has expired, it is acceptable as primary ID as long as the EAW is satisfied that the photo resembles the applicant and therefore proves the applicant’s identity.

Table: Primary and Secondary ID

Primary ID (Photo ID) Secondary ID
  • BC Driver’s Licence and Services Card (Combined Card)
  • BC Services Card (Photo Card)
  • BC Identification (BCID) card
  • Canadian driver’s licence
  • Passport
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) issued by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) [see Additional Resources]
  • original citizenship papers or immigration documents—, these include: Record of Landing (IMM1000), Sponsorship Undertaking: Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292), Permanent Resident Card, Canadian Citizenship Certificate (after February 1, 2012), and a refugee protection claim or Temporary Resident Permit (IMM1442). (See note below).
  • Canadian Citizenship Certificate issued prior to February 1, 2012 (wallet sized card issued and includes photo).
  • offender identification card issued by Correctional Service Canada
  • BC Services Card (Non-Photo Card)
  • birth certificate
  • citizenship papers or immigration documents (without photo)
  • credit cards
  • CareCard
  • older versions of the Certificate of Indian Status (CIS) issued by AANDC (Laminated Certificate of Indian Status, Certificate of Indian Status “All-in-One,” or Certificate of Indian Status “Pilot Project”) [see Additional Resources]
  • other documents that, by themselves or in conjunction with other documents, would be considered acceptable identification for cheque cashing purposes at banks or other financial institutions
  • Other acceptable proof of ID for a dependent child [Also see Policy – Exceptions]                                                                 

Note: Canadian Citizenship Certificates (issued after February 1, 2012), immigration documents IMM 1000 and IMM 5292 (all are without photos) must be presented with another piece of primary ID that contains a recent photo, in addition to a secondary ID. Applicants holding a Temporary Resident Permit IMM 1442 should obtain a work permit as soon as possible in order to qualify for a SIN and other primary IDs.

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. The toll-free number may be used to verify the validity of the card in questionable circumstances, or if the photo does not match the applicant. If a call to the automated system indicates that the card’s serial number is invalid, return the card to the applicant and inform them to contact AANDC. [see Contacts – AANDC]

Following is an example of the Secure Certificate of Indian Status card.
Sample Secure Certificate of Indian Status Card

All persons holding the Sponsorship Undertaking: Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292) [see Forms and Letters] automatically receive the Permanent Resident Card. There is a $50 fee for the card and the card expires every five years.

Note: Children receive their own Permanent Resident Card.

Applicants must be registered on the system in the name for which they have produced identification.

Applicants who are unable to provide the required identification, may opt to access the ministry’s Client Identification Process (CIP) [see Procedures – Establishing Proof of Identity].  Assuming all other eligibility requirements are met, applicants who meet identification requirements using CIP will be eligible for Income Assistance on a temporary basis (up to 6 months) while they continue to pursue the required identification documents.

Effective: October 1, 2012

All applicants and adult dependants are required to have a verified and valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). Documents that may be used for verification of a SIN consist of:
 

  • A valid SIN card
  • A copy of a valid SIN card on the client’s existing case.
  • Confirmation of SIN letter from Service Canada
  • An original Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency containing SIN and name, or a copy of this document on the client’s existing case.
  • Other original formal documentation from the Government of Canada that contains social insurance number and name, or a copy of this documentation on the client’s existing case.

Note: A valid SIN card refers to a Social Insurance Card issued by Service Canada.  Metal cards that have Government of Canada printed on them are not valid SIN cards.

Assuming all other eligibility requirements are met, clients may be eligible for hardship assistance SIN required, while they await documentation to verify their SIN. [For more information, see Related Links – SIN Required.]

The following applicants and recipients are exempt from meeting the Social Insurance Number (SIN) requirement when determining eligibility for income assistance or disability assistance:
 

  • Refugee claimants
  • Temporary Resident Permit holders,
  • Those who qualify for an exemption from citizenship requirements,
  • Those with permanent resident status waiting to receive a Social Insurance Number

Effective: December 1, 2008

If a former client reapplies and no longer has the required ID or SIN documents in their possession, but copies are on their case, no identification supplement should be issued.

Physical files that have been moved to offsite storage can be requested by an authorized person (SAS or CSW). The file retrieval process will normally take 2 – 5 days.

Note: In cases where hardship would result from the file retrieval process, hardship assistance (Identity Not established or Sin Card Required) may be considered if all other eligibility criteria are met. 

Applicants without the required ID may opt to access the ministry’s Client Identification Process (CIP) [see Procedures – Establishing Proof of Identity].  Assuming all other eligibility requirements have been met, applicants who meet identification requirements using CIP will be eligible for Income Assistance on a temporary basis (for up to 6 months) or until copies of required ID are retrieved from off-site.

In cases where the physical file was sent to off-site storage from an Employment and Assistance office other than from the ministry office where the application for assistance is being made, contact the office that originally sent the file off-site and ask authorized staff at that office to request the file (only offices that sent a file off-site can request the file to be retrieved).

Effective: January 9, 2015

The following are exceptions to ID requirements:
 

  • For newborn infants, a copy of the registration of live birth, application for a birth certificate or ankle bracelet from the hospital is sufficient for identification purposes for a three-month period.
  • For Children in Home of Relative (CIHR) recipients, one piece of identification from either the primary or secondary ID list, plus a photograph of the CIHR child is sufficient for identification purposes.
  • Where a client is incapable of managing his or her normal daily responsibilities due to health issues beyond his/her control and is therefore unable to obtain ID or a SIN, a third party can assist them in obtaining the documents needed to meet the ministry’s ID requirements.
  • Where an applicant or recipient is unable to provide one piece of ID for a dependent child from either the primary or secondary ID list (because the ID does not exist or is not legally accessible), a supervisor has authority to accept other proof of identity.

Examples of other acceptable proof of identity include:
 

  • a signed letter from medical personnel (e.g., physician, nurse, nurse-practitioner, registered midwife, or hospital social worker) who attended the birth of the child (for a newborn).
  • a signed letter from an authority (e.g., a social worker from the Ministry of Children and Family Development) regarding the identity and residence of the child.

Effective: March 8, 2012

Until the required identification documents are received, the family unit is not eligible for income assistance or disability assistance.  Assuming all other eligibility requirements are met, clients may be eligible for hardship assistance under identity not established while they apply for replacement ID. [For more information, see Related Links – Identity Not Established.]

Applicants who are unable to provide the required identification, may opt to access the ministry’s Client Identification Process (CIP) [see Procedures – Establishing Proof of Identity].  Assuming all other eligibility requirements are met, applicants who meet identification requirements using CIP will be eligible for Income or Disability Assistance on a temporary basis (up to 6 months) while they continue to pursue the required identification documents.

The ministry may issue funds to assist recipients in obtaining the required ID, with the exception of immigration documents.  [For more information, see Related Links – Identification Supplement.]

If the client does not produce the required identification documents within 6 months, their case must be reviewed with the supervisor for action.  The Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (Section 10) authorize the ministry to request or seek verification of information related to eligibility provided by a client, including identification. 

If it is established that the client has been attempting to obtain the documentation but for reasons outside his/her control has not been successful, an extension may be given with supervisor approval. Ministry staff should assist the client in obtaining identification documents and consider eligibility for an ID supplement. [See Related Links – Identification Supplement]

If it has been established that the client has not been pursuing the required identification documents, the requirements for continued eligibility for income assistance are not being met and further assistance should be denied.

Procedures

Effective: December 1, 2008

To collect identification, follow these steps:
 

  1. Obtain required ID and SIN documents for each member of the family unit and scan and profile.

Note: Where a former client reapplies and staff are able to view previously scanned ID or SIN documents on the contact or case that in the EAW’s opinion establish the applicant’s identity, the identification requirements are considered satisfied. [see Policy - ID on Existing File] [see Policy – Verification of Social Insurance Number]

  • When an applicant has none of the required identification and has no prior relationship with the ministry, a referral to PLMS is required in order to complete the Identity Verification Process [see Procedures – PLMS Identify Verification Process].
  1. Ensure that applicants are registered on the system in the name for which they have produced ID and other required documents.  An “aka” (also known as) is required when a client’s name changes.
     
  2. Where identification is questionable or appears altered, refer to the Prevention, Compliance and Enforcement Identification Guide located in each Employment and Assistance Office.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the validity of the identification presented contact the Prevention and Loss Management Services office in your area and request to speak with a Ministry Investigator for further assistance.
     
  3. If the applicant is unable to provide the required ID documents or the ministry is not satisfied that an applicant has proven their identity, the applicant may opt to access the Client Identification Process (CIP). 

To complete the CIP, follow these steps:
 

  • If the applicant has presented in person, obtain their consent to capture their digital image and signature on the client identification form (HR3266) [see Forms and Letters].

Note:  The digital image and electronic signature are voluntary and are not mandatory.  In cases where the applicant does not wish to access the CIP and hardship would result while awaiting identification documents, Hardship Assistance Identity Not Established may be considered.

[For more information, see Related Links –Identity Not Established.]
 

  • Complete the digital image field on the case
     
  • Record the applicant’s information on level one and two of the Client Identification Form (HR3266), scan and profile to the contact. 

Note: If the applicant has requested remote service, complete level one and two of the Client Identification form (HR3266) at the first point of contact.
 

  1. Once the Client Identification Process has been completed, the applicant’s identity has been verified, and all other eligibility requirements have been satisfied, the applicant may be eligible to receive income or disability assistance on a temporary basis while pursuing required ID documents [see Related Links – BCEA Application – Stage 2 – Eligibility Interview].
     
  2. Applicants who do not have a verifiable SIN number can be considered for hardship assistance under SIN Required [see Related Links – SIN Required].
     
  3. Assist client in obtaining identification documents and consider eligibility for an ID supplement, using the office address as the receiver. [See Related Links – Identification Supplement]
     
  4. Cases issued temporary regular Income Assistance are monitored using Photo ID Stats By Digital Profile Code report.  Review status with client regularly.
     
  5. Once identification documents are received, scan and profile. Add note to provide identification to the client at next contact.
     
  6. If client does not produce the required identification documents within 6 months, review with supervisor for action.

See Additional Resources – on valid Birth Certificate documentation – Vital Statistics Agency – information regarding birth certificates.

Effective: August 5, 2011

Applicants who apply for income assistance and present without any of the required identification and have no prior relationship with the ministry are to be referred to PLMS for the Identity Verification Process.  To complete the process, follow these steps:
 

  1. When a case meets the above referral criteria, the referring office generates a notification and to the local PLMS office.
  2. Follow the activity plan. 
  3. PLMS will complete the required third party checks and compare them to the information gathered on the level one and two of the Client Identification form (HR3266). 
  4. PLMS will report the findings on the Identity Verification Checklist (HR3271) and scan all documents and profile. 
  5. PLMS will make every attempt to mitigate any issues, however; if unable, they will report the issues for EAW follow up on the Identity Verification Checklist.    

Effective: July 31, 2008

If a client loses their immigration documents, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will replace the documents for a fee. Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation will not pay to replace immigration documents even if the documents are required for the purposes of determining eligibility for assistance.  Clients should be directed to contact CIC. [See Contacts].

Authorities and Responsibilities

 

Responsibilities

Effective: January 9, 2015

Supervisor is responsible for:

  • approving other acceptable proof of ID of a dependent child not listed in the primary or secondary ID table

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question   Will the ministry still accept the CareCard now that the BC Services Card has been introduced?

Answer   Although the BC Services Card was launched on February 15, 2013, the CareCard will remain a valid piece of government identification until 2018.

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