Underage Applicants

Overview

Parents carry the primary responsibility for their dependent children.  Children may be eligible for income assistance apart from the family only after reasonable efforts have been made to have the parent or guardian support them.

A referral to the Ministry of Children and Family Development is required when an applicant is under 17 years of age or there are child protection concerns.

Policy

Effective: October 1, 2012

Children under the age of 19 have the right to apply for income assistance. The Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act do not limit eligibility based on age.

Applicants must be age 18 or over to be eligible for disability assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act.  Children with disabilities, who are likely to meet the eligibility criteria when they turn 18, may begin the Persons with Disabilities Designation Application process up to six months prior to their 18th birthday.  [For more information, see Related Links – Designation Application.]

Parents are expected to support their dependent children until the children are age 19.  If all efforts to reunite the children with their parents or legal guardians have failed and the children meet all other eligibility criteria, then income assistance may be granted.

[For information on Three Generation Families, see Related Links – Family Composition  – Policy – Three Generation Families].

Effective: May 20, 2010

After an application for income assistance is taken, a referral is made to a Social Worker (SW) with the Ministry of Children and Family Development when at least one of the following situations exists:
 

  • there are child protection concerns regarding an applicant for assistance who is under 19 years of age
  • the applicant for assistance is under 17 years of age

[For more information, see Related Links – Protection of Children.]

With the approval of the SW, assistance, including medical coverage, may be issued on a temporary basis during the period of review conducted by the SW.  Assistance issued during this period must be approved by a regional manager.

Procedures

Effective: May 20, 2010

A regional manager must approve assistance issued to either of the following because of potential legal and child protection issues:
 

  • an unmarried child in a marriage-like relationship
  • a child under 17 years of age

In the case of an unmarried child in a marriage-like relationship, a regional manager’s approval is required when one or both of the applicants are under 19.

Effective Date:  May 20, 2010

A regional manager must approve assistance granted to a child under 17 years of age because of the additional legal and child protection concerns.

Effective: April 19, 2004

Recipients under 19 years of age have the same employment obligations as for other employable recipients. [see Related Links – Employment Plan or No Employment Obligations]

Recipients under 19 are required to have an Employment Plan.  Activities in the plan should first focus on high school completion.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Children-in-care (CICs) who are residing in foster homes or in approved independent living situations with their dependent infant children may apply for assistance, including medical coverage, to provide for the infant’s needs. The assistance paid to the under-19-year-old parent is based on the CIC’s family unit support and shelter rate minus the basic foster home payment.

Ensure that the underage parent is aware to apply for the Canada Tax Benefit.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Applicants and recipients under 19 years of age have the right to reconsideration and appeal in regards to the denial, reduction or discontinuance of assistance. [For more information, see Related Links – Reconsideration and Appeal.]

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: May 20, 2010

Underage Applicants
Supervisor Approving assistance issued to 17 and 18 year old applicants, if there are no protection concerns.

Manager

 

Approving assistance issued to a child of any age if there are protection concerns.

Approving assistance issued to an unmarried child in a marriage-like relationship.

Approving assistance issued to a child under 17 years of age.

Effective: May 20, 2010

A referral to the Ministry of Children and Family Development is required when an applicant is under 17 years of age or there are child protection concerns.

A summarized Authority Level matrix is available in Additional Resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question   Does a manager have to approve an under 19 in a marriage-like relationship if one applicant is over 19?

Answer   Yes, if either applicant in a marriage-like relationship is under 19, then a manager’s approval is required because of potential legal and child protection issues. If an applicant is under 19 and married, a manager’s approval would not be required as they would no longer meet the definition of child.