Individual Case Management

Overview

Front line staff translate BC Employment and Assistance legislation, regulations, and policy into practice. Case management is primarily the responsibility of the Employment and Assistance Worker (EAW).

EAWs are responsible for overall management of individual clients' cases, which includes initiating and reviewing employment plans, assistance reviews, case closure, notifying clients about changes in eligibility, conducting home visits, residency verifications, assessing and referring clients for family maintenance services, identifying and issuing of “in kind” assistance in unique and extremely urgent situations, and measures to detect and prevent fraud. Contracted Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) service providers may also have a role in managing the provision of employment-related services and supports.

EAWs are responsible for assisting clients to reach their full social and economic potential. They must balance the two inter-related roles of determining eligibility and supporting clients to employment.

Contracted services support the efforts of the ministry case manager in helping clients become independent of assistance through sustainable employment.

Direct Deposit is the mandatory method of payment to eligible recipients. Exceptions are permitted in limited circumstances if approved by the ministry.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires that the province provide a T5007 tax form to all persons who received more than $500 in assistance in a calendar year. The ministry operates a special service office in the early part of each calendar year to respond to T5007-related questions from recipients.

Policy

Effective: December 1, 2003

Case management in the ministry embodies four principles:
 

  • focus on employment and independence
  • focus on personal responsibility
  • engage clients quickly in services and activities toward employment and independence
  • convey high expectations for success

Employment and Independence

All programs, staff, interaction with clients, sequencing of activities, referrals, and procedures should reflect a work-first approach.

Personal Responsibility

Staff present the program options and client supports in alignment with the BCEA principles and objectives.  Clients choose to participate or not and are informed early about the consequences [see Related Links – Sanctions] of not participating in programs and activities.  Consequences are applied fairly and consistently as appropriate through regular monitoring. 

Engage Clients Quickly

All clients with employment-related obligations have an Employment PlanCase managers are in frequent contact with clients and coordinate services for seamless delivery.

High Expectations for Success

Attainable employment and independence plans are the building blocks of sustainable employment. Case managers focus and build on clients’ strengths and capabilities to assist them to achieve independence or increase employability.

 

Effective: December 1, 2003

EAWs balance the two inter-related roles of facilitating employment and determining eligibility.

The role of facilitating employment is to:
 

  • guide clients as they progress through stages of employment preparation while receiving assistance
  • assist clients to capitalize on their capabilities
  • draw on their understanding of work-finding strategies, employment and community resources to assess and monitor client progress
  • focus on the ministry’s mission and the objectives of the BCEA program

The role of determining eligibility is to:
 

  • enforce program mandates
  • determine and verify initial and on-going eligibility
  • rely on legislation, regulation, and policy to guide and make the best decisions
  • monitor and re-assess for continued compliance

[For more information on original administrative decisions – see Policy – Original Decisions]

Effective: February 27, 2017

EAWs are the overall case managers of a client’s assistance case.  Other ministry staff may assume a management role in the provision of related programs and services to a client, for example, employment planning.  Where clients are formally referred to and participating in case management through the Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC), the EPBC service provider manages the employment or independence aspects of the case. 

The EAW is responsible for managing the client’s overall case, which includes:
 

  • conducting the Client Employability Profile as required to explore barriers to employment
  • determining eligibility for assistance and authorizing payments in accordance with legislation and ministry policies
  • completing and ensuring compliance with an Employment Plan
  • determining if the client has employment-related obligations
  • completing the Employability Screen for clients requesting Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) status
  • assisting clients to explore other possible sources of income
  • assessing and referring clients for family maintenance services using the Family Maintenance Questionnaire and Referral (HR3033A) form to ministry legal representative
  • ensuring clients understand the terms and conditions of receiving assistance
  • positively marketing the expected outcome of employment and the services designed to assist in achieving employment
  • ensuring clients understand their referral to a program or service and the consequences of not following through or participating in the program
  • imposing appropriate sanctions where there is non-compliance with an Employment Plan
  • managing any changes or revisions to the Employment Plan
  • explaining the role of contracted EPBC service providers, including the provision of information to ministry staff for monitoring purposes
  • facilitating access to other required services, for example, child care subsidy, and referral to other resources
  • receiving information from contracted EPBC service providers about clients’ attendance, participation, and completion
  • monitoring employment placements and determining if the client will receive net income in excess of assistance rates prior to cheque issue 

The following table outlines the case management responsibilities of ministry staff and contracted EPBC service provider staff:

Table: Case Management Responsibility

Case Function

Staff

Contracted EPBC Service Provider

Conduct intake interview, verify information & determine eligibility

Responsible

 

Complete client assessment(s) as needed to inform Employment Plan:

  • Employability Screen
  • Client Employability Profile

Responsible

 

Complete Employability Screen if determining eligibility for PPMB

Responsible

 

Complete Client Employability Profile if required to explore client barriers

Responsible

 

Complete Employment Plan:

  • set out the terms & conditions of assistance
  • list employment program activities & expectations
  • identify other activities & expectations

Responsible

 

 

Develop an EPBC Action Plan with clients accepted for EPBC case management, and provide:

  • individualized employment services, based on assessed employment needs
  • required employment-related supports

 

Responsible

 

Revise Employment Plan

Responsible

 

Monitor Client Case:

  • document employment & earnings information
  • review financial eligibility
  • monitor client’s work search (for clients not referred to or engaged in ministry-funded programs)
  • assess eligibility for supplements (e.g., Confirmed Job Supplement)

Responsible

 

 

Report on Client Participation Concerns and Outcomes: 

EPBC service providers will provide information that is required by ministry staff to determine ongoing BCEA eligibility and/or compliance with a client’s EP.  They will advise ministry staff if:

  • clients are not participating in EPBC services as agreed in their EPBC Action Plan
  • clients change catchment areas
  • clients apply for EPBC supports that could duplicate ministry supplements
  • clients are eligible to receive monetary supports through EPBC
  • clients obtain employment or launch a self-employment business
  • clients complete all activities and services in their EPBC Action Plan, and their EPBC case is closed

 

Responsible

 

 

Assess Compliance:

  • impose consequences/sanctions

Responsible

 

Effective: September 29, 2009

In working with all clients, staff are expected to provide courteous, professional, and consistent services that apply best practices, ministry standards and values. 

Although it is a client’s responsibility to provide all information and documents necessary to demonstrate eligibility for assistance, staff will assist a client when the client requires or requests assistance.  Staff may also assist a client who requires help in obtaining documents and/or may provide information or requests in writing when required or requested by a client. 

Staff must review each case individually to determine how to assist or provide appropriate accommodation, which may vary depending on the individual circumstances.  Staff must be proactive and make reasonable inquiries in determining whether it may be appropriate to assist the client or provide accommodation. 

[For more information, including clients requiring assistance, see Policy – Duty to Accommodate.]

Examples of how staff may assist clients include but are not limited to:

Obtaining documents

  • With the client’s permission, staff may contact organizations such as banks, employers, landlords, or insurance brokers and request that they send documents directly to the ministry.
  • Staff can provide a client with a list of addresses and/or telephone numbers of agencies where documents may be obtained.
  • Staff will support clients to seek the assistance of advocates or community agencies that can help clients, especially if they are identified to have barriers such as mental or physical disabilities or language difficulties.
  • Staff may extend deadlines if there is a non-legislated timeframe limit and additional time is required or requested in providing information.

[For information on obtaining and providing required information, see Related Links – Information and Verification – Policy – Client Responsibility.] 

Providing information or requests in writing

  • When a client asks for a written response and/or requests information in writing, staff will provide the response or information in writing.
  • Where a client asks for the authority upon which a decision or request from the ministry is based to be provided in writing, the ministry will respond in writing.  For example, when a client asks for a written explanation why the ministry is requesting certain information in order to assess the client’s eligibility for assistance, staff will provide a written explanation for the ministry’s request.
    (i.e. Section 10 of Employment and Assistance Act).
  • In addition, staff may provide clients with information by way of forms, information cards, pamphlets and correspondence which may be of assistance in clarifying information and assist a client in comprehending and processing the information. 

[For Information/Documentation Checklist (HR3034) – see Forms and Letters] 

Effective: October 3, 2016

The British Columbia Human Rights Code (the Code) protects British Columbians from discrimination.  The Code prevails over ministry policy and practice, as well as other legislation.  The ministry is committed to providing an environment that is inclusive and does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital or family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, age (19 years and over), or other grounds protected under the Code. 

Discrimination is contrary to the standards and values of the ministry.  The ministry strives to abide by the Code in all activities and in particular the provision of services to clients.  The ministry is committed to providing accommodation to clients for needs related to the grounds protected under the Code (for example, accommodating the needs of a client with disabilities). 

Through its staff, the ministry has a legal duty to accommodate individual needs to the point of undue hardship where the need is based on a protected ground in the Code, as is consistent with current human rights law.  Undue hardship in this context means the ministry may be excused from this obligation only where it has a reasonable justification, made in good faith, for not accommodating an individual’s needs.  Generally speaking, issues of cost, administrative difficulty or inconvenience will not be sufficient to excuse the ministry’s duty to accommodate the individual needs.  Staff must review each case individually to determine the appropriate accommodation, which may vary depending on the individual circumstances.

The nature and extent of the accommodation will depend on the particular circumstances in which the need arises.  To facilitate a need for accommodation, both the client in need of accommodation and the ministry have a shared responsibility to work together towards reasonable solutions.  However, the ministry recognizes that some clients may not expressly communicate the need for accommodation or may not want to self‑identify.  Staff must be proactive and make reasonable inquiries in determining whether it may be appropriate to offer accommodation. 

The ministry’s duty to accommodate is at all points of contact with an applicant or recipient. For example, from assisting an applicant to complete the Application for Assistance to assisting with requests for crisis supplements or applying for the Persons with Disabilities designation.

[For more information, see Procedures – Duty to Accommodate.] 

Effective: October 1, 2012

Eligibility reviews are reviews of the client’s situation that focus on financial eligibility. They should include discussion about the client’s employment situation. Eligibility reviews are conducted at least once per year and are a major aspect of individual case management. [For more information, see Related Links – Eligibility Review.]

Prevention and Loss Management Services Branch Investigative Officers (IO) also conduct compliance reviews as part of the ministry’s loss management strategy. IO’s review current and past eligibility, gather additional information and, if necessary, adjust the amount of assistance. They may also identify and calculate overpayments, provide notification to clients and record debt. These reviews are generated by data matching, fraud allegations and the File Review and Distribution (FRD) system. [For more information, see Related Links – Referral for PLMS Review or Investigation].

Effective: June 14, 2010

Eligibility for assistance is determined on a month-by-month basis.  Cases should be manually closed in a timely way when there is no eligibility for assistance.  Where no assistance has been issued for two assistance months, the system is programmed to close the case. Certain case types are exempt from the two-month auto close rule, including Medical Services Only cases, Long Term Care cases and cases where a PWD application is pending adjudication.  The auto-closure rule has been extended to six months for clients with the Homeless Indicator tick box checked. [For more information, see Procedures – Case Closure.].

Once a case has been closed (unless closed in error), a new application process is required, which includes the work search.  [For more information, see Related Links - Work Search or BC Employment and Assistance Application – Stage 1.]

Effective: September 29, 2009

To be eligible for income assistance, clients must continue to satisfy the conditions of eligibility.  In many cases where eligibility issues arise, a client may be required to provide information or documentation before further assistance can be issued.  Eligibility issues may result from but are not limited to a change in family status, change in income or employment status. 

Examples of some common eligibility issues are:
 

  • Shelter receipts / confirmation
  • Verification of income
  • Compliance issue with Employment Plan

Where additional information or documentation is required to establish or confirm eligibility, staff are expected to make reasonable attempts to contact a client, either by telephone, My Self Serve (MYSS) messaging (for registered users) or by mail. Staff must document client contact and staff actions.

When all other attempts to reach a client have failed and eligibility for assistance cannot be determined, a client’s cheque may be signalled.  Staff should attempt to resolve signals before cheque issue.  If the ministry is unable to receive the necessary information or documentation to resolve the eligibility issue, assistance may be withheld until the information is received in order to determine eligibility.

Cheque signalling and withholding of assistance are only permitted where eligibility is in question.

[For more information, see Procedures – Reasonable Steps Prior to Cheque Signalling.]

Effective: December 1, 2003

An unexpected change to a client's monthly assistance cheque or supplements, for example, as a result of a recapture, other income, Canada Pension Plan, or Employment Insurance, must be communicated to a client at the time of that change or in advance of the next assistance cheque.  The reason for the decision or change must be clearly communicated as well as the client’s right to a reconsideration of that decision.

Where the notification is in writing, the letter will be scanned to the client's case. If the notification is made in person or by phone, the client contact must be noted on the system. If the notification is made through My Self Serve (MYSS) messaging (for registered users), a copy of the conversation is saved on the recipient’s case. This note will include the reason for the change, and note that the change, reason and reconsideration/appeal options have been discussed with the client.

Effective: October 3, 2016

For applicants (including those completing the Application for Assistance) or recipients who do not comprehend or communicate through written or spoken English, the ministry can provide access to interpretation services by telephone and, on a case-by-case basis, in person. Interpreters may be available on 24 hour notice.

Ministry staff are expected to assess applicants or recipients for comprehension while conducting ministry business.  Upon a request or when it is identified that the applicant or recipient and/or ministry is unable to comprehend what is being communicated, the ministry must offer the applicant or recipient an interpretation service.

The ministry works with professionally trained interpreters.  The use of ministry contracted professional interpretation services is preferred.  However, in cases where appropriate services are not available or the applicant or recipient declines the interpreter offered by the ministry, the applicant or recipient is permitted to use an interpreter of their choice. 

[For more information, see Procedures – Interpretation Services]

[For contact information for interpreters, see Contacts and Additional Resources.]

Effective: March 27, 2013

When interacting with all clients, including those with documented or suspected mental health issues, ministry staff are expected to apply active listening skills and recognize verbal and non-verbal cues which may indicate a need for a more comprehensive level of assistance.

[For more information, see Procedures – Assessing for Comprehension]

Effective: February 28, 2006

A home visit means an official visit by a ministry employee to a client’s residence, for the purpose of providing assistance pursuant to EA and EAPWD legislation.  Home visits may involve entering the client’s residence for the purpose of providing service or assistance. Prior notification must be given to clients for all home visits, regardless of the reason.

Home visits are used, typically by EAWs to:
 

  • offer clients access to programs and services
  • make referrals to employment programs
  • facilitate an application for assistance for those who are ill or homebound

Wherever possible, staff will make a specific appointment to conduct a home visit.  When staff routinely make several home visits in a day, it is acceptable to inform clients of the day and time frame for home visits (for example, Thursday afternoon between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.).  All home visits must be noted on the system.

Staff are required to follow their local office safety protocols/ procedures when conducting home visits. Staff must not explore other areas of the home or go through personal belongings even if invited to do so. Staff must not interview children with regard to applicant or recipient’s circumstances. 

Effective: February 27, 2017

[For information, see Related Links – Information Privacy & Security (FOIPPA).]

Effective: February 28, 2006

A residency verification means an official visit by a ministry employee to a client’s residence, for the purpose of verifying a client’s residency.  A residency verification does not require staff to enter the client’s residence and may be conducted without prior notification to the client.

Residency verifications are conducted by staff to:
 

  • verify a client’s residence

Staff may make unexpected residency verifications for the purpose of verifying a client’s residency.  All residency verifications must be noted on the system.

Staff are required to follow their local office safety protocols/procedures when conducting residency verifications. Staff must not enter the home under any circumstances, even if invited to do so. Staff must not interview children with regard to the client’s circumstances.

Effective: September 1, 2016

The required method of issuing assistance is by Direct Deposit to the client’s bank account. In other situations, assistance may be issued by cheque to the client in-person or by mail.  In these situations the client may be managing their own funds independently. In some situations, either initiated by the client or after careful consideration by the EAW, other forms of administration of funds may be put in place, such as:
 

  • a recipient requests payment be made directly to a landlord or utility
  • the monthly assistance amount is divided into two or more cheques to be issued at intervals through the assistance month
  • the assistance is issued “in kind” by purchase authorization 
  • a third party administers a client’s funds

Note: PWD recipients can request their Transportation Support Allowance ($52) to be fully or partly included in the supplier payment. 

Effective: December 9, 2013

Clients who have difficulty managing their funds, have displayed inappropriate behaviour when interacting with ministry staff, or who may be a risk to themselves or others may have their assistance administered by agreement with a third party.

Reasons for Third Party Administration

Reasons for administering a client through a third party include, but are not limited to: client difficulty managing funds, inappropriate behaviour, verbal and/or physical threats or intimidation, violence towards staff and/or other clients, or legal restrictions on access to ministry offices. The decision to refer a client to a third party administrator (TPA) is at the discretion of the supervisor. The supervisor may also consult with their Community Relations and Service Quality Manager (CRSQ) when necessary, regarding the decision to administer a client through a third party. 

In most cases, clients will be given a warning that they will be referred to a TPA if they continue to demonstrate difficulty in managing their funds or their behaviour does not improve.  In cases where a serious health and safety incident occurs the ministry will immediately refer a client to a TPA.

Notifying Client of Third Party Administration

When a decision has been made by the ministry to third party administer a client, the client will be advised in writing. The client is to be advised when a review of their file will be conducted.  [For more information, see Procedures – Notifying Client of Third Party Administration.]

Referral to Third Party Administrators

TPAs can be an individual or agency, such as a local non-profit or community organization. Ministry staff can refer a client to a TPA or the client may make their own arrangements. The third party arrangement between the client and the TPA typically is guided by a contract.

Third party arrangements must not include ministry employees or any person with whom a conflict of interest may arise.  If a third party expresses an interest in managing a client's personal and financial affairs, ministry staff will suggest the client consult with a lawyer in order to ensure the client understands how this may affect her/his rights.

In situations where the client is incapable of managing their funds and no one is willing or able to fill this role, the Public Guardian and Trustee service of the Ministry of Justice may be considered [see Additional Resources].

Third Party Administrator Contracts

The contracts between TPAs and clients often vary based on the TPA. However, ministry staff should work regularly and closely with TPAs to ensure the conditions in each third party administered client’s contract are being followed to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

Third party arrangements may be made with individuals or agencies on a voluntary basis or fee-for-service basis.  If no appropriate individual or agency is available to volunteer to administer a recipient's assistance, a fee-for-service arrangement can be considered.  The maximum fee is $25 per month per family unit.  Where an agency or community society proposes to provide administration to a number of recipients, the ministry may enter into a contract with the agency.  In this event, the fee limit may be exceeded, with ministry management authority.

Monitoring Third Party Arrangements

The behaviour of any client who has been third party administered should be monitored on a routine basis. All ministry interactions concerning the third party administered client should be documented by ministry staff. This would include behaviour that demonstrates an improvement or behaviour that indicates a need for the third party arrangement to continue.

[For more information, see Procedures – Monitoring Third Party Arrangements.]

Third Party Administration Reviews

The supervisor should review cases that are being administered by a third party at least annually. [For more information, see Procedures – Conducting a Third Party Administration Review.]
 

  • Removing Third Party Administration Arrangements

When a review is completed and the supervisor determines that a third party arrangement is no longer required, the client should be advised in person or in writing. [For more information, see Procedures – Removing Third Party Arrangements.]
 

  • Continuing Third Party Administration Arrangements

When a review is completed and the supervisor determines that a third party arrangement should remain in place, the client should be advised in person or in writing. The client should be advised when the next review (at least annually) of their file will be conducted.  [For more information, see Procedures – Continuing Third Party Arrangements.]
 

  • Modifying Third Party Administration Arrangements

When a review is completed and the supervisor determines that a third party arrangement should be modified, for example, allowing the client to contact the ministry via telephone without their third party administrator, the client should be advised in person or in writing. [For more information, see Procedures – Modifying Third Party Arrangements.]

Client Complaints About Third Party Administration 

If a client disagrees with a ministry decision to be third party administered, ministry staff will follow the ministry’s complaint resolution process [see Additional Resources – Complaint Resolution Poster.]

Client Complaints About a Third Party Administrator 

A third party administered client may raise concerns about the behaviour or actions of a TPA. These concerns should first be addressed by the client’s TPA. If the client’s concerns are not resolved through this process, either the TPA or client will forward the complaint to a Community Relations and Service Quality Manager (CRSQ) for review. [For more information, see Procedures – Responding to Client Complaints About a Third Party Administrator.]

Altering a Third Party Arrangement

In instances where there is a change to the third party arrangement between the client and the TPA (i.e., a TPA is no longer able to provide service to the client), the CRSQ can assist the client by referring them to an alternate TPA or the client may make their own arrangements. Alternatively, the client can choose an advocate to act on their behalf to contact the CRSQ. 

Former Third Party Administered Clients Reapplying for Assistance

In some cases, clients who no longer receive assistance but were previously administered by a third party may decide to reapply for assistance.  Ministry staff should assess the applicant’s circumstances upon application, based on the length of time since they last received assistance and the severity of the behaviour that led to the client being third party administered.  [For more information, see Procedures – Former Third Party Designated Clients Reapplying for Assistance.] 

Effective: April 3, 2006

In the day-to-day management of individual cases, EAWs may receive or become aware of information that requires further investigation to determine if fraud or overpayment of assistance is occurring. In minor cases, the EAW reviews the matter directly with the client. Serious cases of suspected or alleged fraud or overpayment of assistance that require in-depth investigation are referred by the EAW to Prevention and Loss Management Services.

[see Related Links – Referral for PLMS Review or Investigation]

Effective: October 22, 2007

In communities that have no ministry office, or in any community after regular office hours, there may be unique and extremely urgent situations where an individual or family has a compelling need and there are no means to meet this need.

In urgent situations where an immediate need has been identified and where eligibility cannot be determined via a formal application, ministry staff may issue “in kind” goods or services for essential food and shelter. Ministry staff will assess immediate needs based on the criteria established in the immediate needs policy. [see Related Links – Immediate Needs]

Note: Where an immediate need has been identified, the provision of “in kind” assistance is to be used only if at least one of the following also applies:
 

  • an application cannot be expedited
  • contracted resources are not available to meet the need
  • alternative resources are not available to meet the need

Issuance of “in kind” goods and services must be limited to a one-time issue (limited to a maximum of one issue per month and three issues per calendar year). “In kind” assistance must be issued using a supplier cheque or Purchase Authorization (HR149). [see Policy – Methods of Payment]

The local office is responsible for completing the Quarterly Monitoring – In Kind Expenditures [see Forms and Letters] on a quarterly basis. Expenditures are collected and monitored related to the provision of "in kind" assistance.

[For information regarding purchase authorizations, see Related Links – Immediate Needs.] 

Effective: May 25, 2015

Direct Deposit

Direct Deposit is the mandatory method of payment to eligible recipients.  Ministry staff must present Direct Deposit as the mandatory payment method when new applicants apply for assistance, or for existing recipients, at any other time of contact.  Exceptions are permitted under special circumstances. Most types of payment can be deposited in a recipient’s or service provider’s bank account (monthly or one time payments), once the bank account information has been received and all eligibility criteria has been met. For exceptions, please refer to the Exceptions Code Table in Procedures.

Cheques

When assistance is issued by cheque, the cheques must be mailed to the recipient's residential address, or in rural areas to a postal box. Ministry staff must never cash a recipient’s cheque.

Billing Forms

The daily user charge for Residential Care Facilities and Family Care Homes are billed to the ministry using the Statement of Account – Adult Residential Resources (SD150A) billing form.

Purchase Authorizations

Purchase Authorizations (HR149) are an alternative to issuing imprest cheques.  They are used to authorize payment to a supplier for the provision of goods or services to a client, in particular when the exact cost of those goods or services is not known. They are issued to the supplier who then provides the goods or services to the client and invoices the ministry.

Ministry staff must never cash a recipient’s Purchase Authorization.

Effective: July 1, 2010

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires that everyone who receives provincial income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance to report this income on their tax return.  Financial and Administrative Services Branch (FASB) issues a T5007 tax report to clients who receive more than $500 in assistance to help them prepare their tax returns.  The income shown on the T5007 is not taxable, but is used to calculate entitlement to federal tax and provincial tax credits, and the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB).

How T5007 Amounts are Calculated

All reportable assistance amounts issued in (as opposed to “for”) the calendar year are included on the T5007.  Usually, this will be for the assistance months from February to January (because assistance for a month is issued in (at the end of) the previous month).

The following categories of assistance are NOT included in T5007s:
 

  • medical and health supplements
  • child care subsidy
  • crisis supplements
  • job training supplements

Ministry T5007 Information Line for Clients

Clients with questions about T5007s can call the Provincial Contact Centre [see Contacts].

Clients can expect to receive their T5007s by the end of the third week in February.  T5007s are sent to clients’ last known address as of December 31. 

For My Self Serve (MYSS) Registered Users, the T5007 will be available on MYSS.  A client can view or print their T5007 from their MYSS account.  

Replacement T5007 Tax  Receipts

The ministry will provide duplicates of T5007 tax receipts or a system generated printout upon client’s request.  Clients do not need to attach a copy of their T5007 to their tax returns as long as they report the correct amount on lines 145 and 250 on the T1 General form. Clients and former clients who would like a copy of their T5007 information can either :
 

  • contact their local office for a printout
  • contact Provincial Contact Centre to request a duplicate T5007 [see Contacts]

Procedures

Effective: April 10, 2015

The ministry is committed to providing accommodation to clients for needs related to the grounds protected under the Human Rights Code. These procedures assist staff when working with clients who may be in need of or have requested an accommodation. Although in many cases the ministry may do so, the ministry’s duty to accommodate does not mean that it must necessarily adopt the specific accommodation requested by the client. The manner in which the client’s request can be accommodated will be determined through discussions between the ministry and the client. The parties must work together to reach a reasonable solution or accommodation. Staff should consult their supervisor if they require guidance. If a supervisor requires policy related guidance, they should consult their Policy and Program Implementation Manager. If it is service quality related, they should consult their Manager of Community Relations and Service Quality.

Duty to accommodate can take many forms. Staff must review each case individually to determine the appropriate accommodation, which may vary depending on the individual circumstances. The duty to accommodate may include but is not limited to the following: 

Providing information or requests in writing

When required or requested by a client whose need arises from a protected ground under the Code, staff will accommodate the client’s request to provide information or requests in writing. For example, a client who has difficulty remembering or is confused by verbal information because of a mental disability may require or request that information or requests sent by the ministry be provided in writing. Staff will accommodate this need.

[For information and other examples, see Policy – Staff Assisting Clients.]

[For Information/Documentation Checklist (HR3034) – see Forms and Letters.]

Obtaining documents

Staff may assist the client in obtaining documents where the client requires assistance.

While it is a client’s responsibility to provide all information and documents necessary to demonstrate eligibility for assistance, the duty to accommodate may require staff to assist a client with disabilities or those with language barriers  to obtain and provide required information, or provide clients with additional time to provide information, or both.

[For information and examples, see Policy – Staff Assisting Clients.]

[For information on obtaining and providing required information, see Related Links – Information and Verification – Policy – Client Responsibility.]

Interpretation services

For clients who do not comprehend or communicate through written or spoken English, the ministry provides access to interpretation services by telephone and on a case by case basis, in person. 

[For information on how to access interpretation services, see Policy and Procedures – Interpretation Services.] 

Designated worker

When requested by the client, ministry staff may assign a designated worker to the client. Staff assess whether a designated worker is appropriate to meet the unique needs of the client. Staff may also identify a client with challenges or unique needs and proactively assign a designated worker on behalf of a client. 

Clients who receive a designated worker may need to contact the designated worker by telephone. To ensure clients have accessibility to the designated worker by telephone, staff may:
 

  • give their phone number to the client if they have a direct line;
  • advise the client to leave a message asking for their designated worker to call them back when they dial the 1-866 number; or
  • announce the client’s name to the designated worker before transferring the call when client asks for their designated worker.

[see Additional Resources – Designated Worker Guidelines] 

Effective: November 23, 2015

Good interviewing, listening and observation skills are essential for ministry staff in identifying clients who may have comprehension difficulties due to circumstances such as language barriers or mental health issues. To assess for understanding and comprehension, staff should follow these guidelines: 

Clients with Language Barriers:
 

  • Ask questions to determine if English is a second language for the client.
  • Assess the level of the client’s understanding during initial conversations and/or while completing forms.
  • Ask the client to repeat or summarize what has been discussed or requested of them to ensure understanding.
  • Assess whether the client is able to accurately complete ministry forms. Clients should not be asked to sign forms they might not understand.  Remember that if the client has trouble reading, they may also have trouble understanding what is said to them.
  • Remember that some clients may seem fluent in English, but still have trouble understanding what you say.
  • If a client’s level of comprehension is in question, ask if they would like the assistance of an interpreter.

If an applicant or recipient is deaf or hard of hearing, ask if they would like to have a sign language interpreter, or converse in writing.

Case example:

A single mother is applying for income assistance at a ministry office. During the interview the client is very quiet, responding to the worker’s questions with one word answers only and appearing to be uncomfortable with the process. Through conversation, the worker identifies that English is not the client’s first language. The worker probes the client for her understanding of the information being asked by reviewing the income assistance application form with the client. The ministry worker asks the client if she understands the form and the client nods her head in agreement. The client manages to write her name and her children’s names on the form but seems hesitant to finish the form. The worker then asks the client if she prefers to have an interpreter to help with the interview so she can hear the questions and give her answers in her own language. The client agrees and the worker immediately contacts interpreter services to be connected by telephone to an interpreter in the client’s first language.    

Clients with Documented or Suspected Mental Health Issues:
 

  • Listen to the client and get all available information from them – ask the client questions to make sure they have the same understanding as you do
  • Observe non-verbal behaviours such as facial expressions, fidgeting, trouble focusing, slumped or uneasy posture, etc. If the client’s words aren’t consistent with their non-verbal cues, try to understand what the non-verbal cues are trying to tell you
  • Validate and check for understanding, for example, if you aren’t sure about a response or question, ask the client for clarification
  • Don’t make assumptions and be patient – repeat information respectfully
  • Be aware that clients may give incomplete information, and staff may need to ask probing questions 

Effective: November 23, 2015

Use of interpretation services should be considered at every point of contact as general applicant or recipient questions can lead to possible eligibility discussions.

In communities where contracts exist, applicants and recipients may contact ministry-contracted  interpretation services directly when they are engaged in ministry-related business [see Contacts – Translation and Interpretation Services]. 

Staff must use contracted interpretation services where available [see Contacts – Translation and Interpretation Services]. When an immediate need for interpretation services is identified that cannot be met by contracted interpretation services, you may access other interpretation services  to acquire an interpreter for applicants or recipients over the telephone or, on a case-by-case basis, in person [see Additional Resources].

Delivery methods of interpretation services include:
 

  • three-way call (applicant or recipient, interpreter and worker all in different locations)
  • telephone (applicant or recipient or interpreter in the office or at another location)
  • in-person (on a case-by-case basis)

Add an Information Alert (8-Information) to the Contact Summary if interpretation services are required.

[see Procedures, Best Practices for the Use of Interpreter Services – Use of Information Alerts]

[For contact information for interpreters, see Contacts.]

Effective: November 23, 2015

If an applicant or recipient approaches an office for service and they require a sign language interpreter, book an appointment with the applicant or recipient and a sign language interpreter.

If an applicant or recipient calls through the teletypewriter (TTY), ministry staff will provide service at that time. If the applicant or recipient requests an appointment, then the worker should call the appropriate office for an appointment and arrange for a sign language interpreter to be at the appointment.

Record the date and time of interpretation service on the case.

[For contact information for sign language interpreters, see Contacts and Additional Resources.]

Effective: April 10, 2015

Working with Professional Interpreters

The ministry’s standard is to use professional interpreters to conduct ministry business.  The following protocols assist staff when working with interpreters:
 

  • Brief the interpreter on your role and the context of the appointment prior to starting the appointment.
  • Ask the interpreter to introduce him/herself and clarify his/her role prior to the start of the appointment.
  • Ensure the applicant or recipient and interpreter are aware that the role of the interpreter is to impartially translate the interview proceedings alternating between the applicant or recipient and the worker.
  • Speak to the applicant or recipient directly, as you would speak to an English speaker. The interpreter will translate what you say as exactly as possible, including tone, style, and pronoun use. The same procedure applies when the applicant or recipient is speaking.
  • Speak in your usual manner using clear, concise sentences.
  • Avoid the use of jargon or acronyms and try not to interrupt.
  • Allow time every few sentences for the interpreter to interpret.

Note: Upon an applicant’s or recipient’s request or when it is identified that the applicant or recipient does not comprehend what is being communicated; either due to a language barrier or when requiring a sign language interpreter, the ministry must offer the applicant or recipient interpretation services. In most cases, professional interpreters will be used to assist applicants or recipients to communicate with ministry staff. However, if preferred by the applicant or recipient, they are permitted to use an interpreter of their own choosing.  Staff must explain to the private interpreter how important it is that he/she interprets everything said or written and that the applicant or recipient understands the same.

Communicating with applicants or recipients requiring interpretation services

The following guidelines assist staff when applicants or recipients require interpretation services:
 

  • Interpreted sessions will take longer than usual, sometimes up to three times as long. Staff will need to set adequate time for appointments.
  • Use interpreter services when contacting an applicant or recipient by telephone when an Information Alert for language has been placed on the Contact Summary, unless the applicant or recipient has a teletypewriter (TTY) number
  • If the applicant or recipient cannot be contacted by telephone, communicate by My Self Serve messaging (for registered users) or in writing with the client regarding ministry business.
  • Offer to provide information, requests or decisions in writing to enable translation.
  • Be an active listener. Do not assume the other party has understood you. Ask the applicant or recipient to summarize and verify information to ensure comprehension.
  • Remember that the applicant or recipient might not be literate in their first language.
  • Interpretation services contact information may be included in written communications with applicants or recipients.
  • If applicant or recipient has completed forms, ask the client to summarize what they have agreed to.
  • Avoid the use of slang expressions. Applicants or recipients who have language barriers may know of the word but miss the meaning when slang is used. 
  • Slow down, speak clearly and ensure clear pronunciation, and avoid long, complex sentences.
  • Ask one question at a time to increase comprehension. Communication is enhanced through taking turns to talk, making a point and then listening to the response.
  • Support applicants or recipients to seek the assistance of an advocate or community support worker.
  • Ensure assistance is not delayed and that basic needs do not go unmet as a result of requiring interpretation services.

Use of Information Alerts

Add an Information Alert (8-Information) to the Contact Summary for an applicant or recipient who does not comprehend or communicate in English and requires interpretation services. 

Identify in the Contact Summary/Info Alert Text the appropriate language (including sign)/dialect for the applicant or recipient.

Example: Alert: Applicant (or recipient) does not understand or communicate in English.  Provide <insert language> interpreter.

Example: Alert: Applicant (or recipient) requires sign language interpreter, and has a TTY number (if applicable).

[For contact information for interpreters, see Contacts.]

Effective: March 27, 2013

The following guidelines can assist staff to be aware of signs and symptoms of mental health issues when working with clients:
 

  • Use active listening skills, particularly when serving clients by phone.
    • Is the client expressing confusion about basic facts?
    • Is the client having difficulty repeating or summarizing what you have discussed?
  • Ask open-ended questions using simple language and observe if there is an easy flow of information back and forth.
  • Be aware that if you find yourself repeatedly wondering “why is the client not responding to my request” this may be a sign you need to probe more to determine if the client may need a more comprehensive level of service
  • Ask the client if there is additional information that could be relevant to their situation.

The following guidelines can assist staff in communicating with clients with mental health issues:
 

  • Set an Information Alert and add notes so all staff that might interact with the client will be aware of and understand the client’s observable or documented mental health issues.
  • Review the file ahead of time for existing information that may be relevant to the client’s circumstances.
  • Ask one question at a time and then provide an opportunity for the client to respond. Paraphrase or ask the client or repeat or summarize what has been discussed or is requested of them, to ensure they understand.
  • Keep it simple – slow down, speak clearly, ensure clear pronunciation, and avoid long complex sentences and acronyms.
  • Use empathy and show compassion when interacting with clients.
  • Approach each situation with an open mind, ensuring each client is treated as an individual with specific needs.
  • Be flexible and creative. Identify all the options, including the best option that will meet the client’s need, while respecting the client’s privacy and integrity. Involve the client in this discussion – they may have useful suggestions.
  • Encourage the client to seek the assistance of family or friends.
  • Provide information on community resources, for example, advocates or support organizations when a client has expressed a need for help.
  • Take time to explain to the client what they can expect and any processes they should be aware of. For example, explain what decision is being considered, what the process is, approximately how long it will take and how they will be notified of the outcome.
  • If clients are quiet and not asking questions advise them they may to write down any questions that they think of later and bring them to the next appointment.

[For more information, see Procedures – Staff Assisting Clients and Duty to Accommodate] 

Effective: September 29, 2009

Staff must make reasonable attempts to contact the client to request information or documentation that is required for determining eligibility before the cheque is signalled. Staff should also attempt to resolve signals before cheque issue, and where appropriate, required information can be provided by telephone, fax, mail, through My Self Serve (MYSS) (for registered users) or in person.

Staff must use discretion when following these steps. Consideration should be given to the timing of the request for required information and how vital it is to receive it before cheque cut-off. If the request for the required information is made unreasonably close to cheque issue week and will not affect eligibility, then do not signal the immediate coming cheque. Follow the steps to contact the client and provide the client a reasonable opportunity to respond.  If the client has not responded within the requested timeframe, the next following cheque may be signalled. 

When the issue leading to the signal is resolved, the client can choose to either pick-up their cheque or have their cheque mailed to them.

Staff must take appropriate steps to avoid a signal but if it is necessary to signal, staff should follow these steps before signalling cheques:
 

  1. Identify the information or documentation required from client and confirm that the information is necessary for purposes relating to eligibility. 
  2. Initiate contact by telephone or MYSS messaging. Attempt at least one telephone call when contacting a client. Provide reasonable opportunity and timeframe for the client to respond. 

    Eligibility assessment and/or reviews can be conducted by telephone. Clients may fax required documents but must submit the original copy within a reasonable time after the faxed version was sent. Alternatively, they may upload and submit documents through MYSS.

  3. Disclose the specific issue to the client so the client can respond appropriately and provide information or documentation to address the issue.

  4. If the client has not responded to the initial contact, make a subsequent attempt to contact the client either by telephone, MYSS messaging or by mail. If you are attempting in writing, send a notification to the client advising that their cheque will be redirected to the office if the information or documentation requested has not been received by specified due date.  Use the Cheque Hold Letter (HR3032).

  5. Make notes on the system for each action when attempting to contact the client.

  6. Follow your office protocol to monitor response from the client.

  7. Signal cheque if the requested information is required for determining eligibility and the client has not responded by due date.

  8. Immediately signal the cheque, if:

  • the client has NFA for contact information and cannot be contacted by phone;
  • the client frequently moves and current address is unknown; or
  • the letters mailed to the clients have returned undeliverable.
  1. Immediately contact the client by telephone, MYSS messaging or by mail and then signal the cheque if:
  • the Monthly Report (HR0081) submitted is incomplete and the information required determines eligibility (i.e. indicates earnings but pay stub not attached); AND,
  • the Monthly Report was submitted unreasonably close to cheque cut-off date.

If contacting in writing, send a notification to the client using the Cheque Hold Letter (HR3032).

If the client has submitted the Monthly Report within adequate time (i.e. 5th day of month), follow steps 2 to 6.
 

  1. If the information required is related to eligibility assessment during employment and income monitoring, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions – Procedures – Assessing Eligibility – Employment and Income Monitoring.
     
  2. Supervisors print the signal report prior to cheque cut‑off to resolve issues and reduce signals. Check that all appropriate steps have been taken and that clients remaining on the list have outstanding eligibility issues.  If the signal report includes a signal unrelated to eligibility, remove the signal and direct staff to take alternative action to resolve outstanding issue.

Effective: February 28, 2006

Preparing for the Home Visit

  1. Confirm the date and time with the applicant or recipient. If conducting more than one home visit it is acceptable to notify them of the time frame you will make the home visit (for example, Thursday afternoon between 1:00 and 4:00).
  2. Follow all safety protocols and office practices.
  3. Check the system for alerts and review history. Discuss health and safety alerts with supervisor.
  4. Request Supervisor approval prior to conducting a home visit.
  5. Ensure you have all required forms, brochures and other documents.
  6. Ensure confidential material is secured.
  7. Consider driving or walking by the location to assess potential safety risks.
  8. Contact the client and make other arrangements if you have any concerns about your safety.
  9. Ensure application procedures are followed.

Conducting the Home Visit

  1. Identify yourself as a ministry representative, the purpose of your visit and show valid ministry identification to the applicant or recipient.
     
  2. Ask to see the applicant or recipient’s photo-identification (where available). Make note of what identification has been seen. Ensure the correct person is being interviewed.
     
  3. If there are other persons in the home who will be present during the interview determine whether or not to continue in their presence, being mindful of confidentiality and privacy rules.
     
  4. Inquire only about facts relating to the purpose of your visit. Do not explore other areas of the home even if invited to do so.
     
  5. Leave immediately if you are asked to do so.
     
  6. Reschedule the home visit if, upon your arrival, the person is:
    • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
    • Inappropriately dressed
    • Extremely ill (and unable to be interviewed)
    • Unable to meet due to competing priorities; or
    •  A large number of people are present
       
  7. Record completed home visits on the system. 

Effective: February 28, 2006

Preparing for the Residency Verification
 

  1. Follow all safety protocols and office practices.
  2. Check the system for alerts and review history. Discuss health and safety alerts with supervisor.
  3. Request Supervisor approval prior to conducting a Residency Verification.
  4. Ensure you have all required forms, brochures and other documents.
  5. Ensure confidential material is secured.
  6. Consider driving or walking by the location to assess potential safety risks.

Conducting the Residency Verification
 

  1. Approach the residence; identify yourself as a representative of the ministry and show valid ministry identification. State the purpose of your visit is to verify the residency.
  2. Staff must not enter the home even if invited to do so. Staff must not explore other areas of the home even if invited to do so.
  3. If the applicant or recipient is home, verify their identity by asking to see their photo identification (ensure you are interviewing the correct person).
  4. Verify the residency information only (address and client). Staff must not interview children with regard to the client’s circumstances.
  5. Record completed residency verifications on the system.

Effective: October 2, 2008

When applicable, ministry staff can schedule an appointment by phone, My Self Serve (MYSS) messaging (for registered users) or in person.  When scheduling an appointment by mail, ministry staff are to follow these steps:

  1. Send the First Appointment – Other Appointment letter (HR3233) if no other appointment letters are applicable. [see Forms and Letters] Ministry staff are able to manually enter information in this template letter as required. 
  2. Make a note on the system to indicate the type of appointment letter sent and the reasons for scheduling the appointment. Use your office caseload management protocol to follow up on the case.
  3. Send the Second Appointment – Other Appointment letter (HR3236) if the client was unavailable to attend the first scheduled appointment. [see Forms and Letters]
  4. Make note on the system to indicate that a second appointment letter was sent and the reasons. Use your office caseload management protocol to follow up on the case.
  5. Follow your regional protocol for situations where a client does not attend their second appointment.

Effective: February 27, 2017

Automatic Case Closure

As a system default where the EAW has not manually closed a case, the system will automatically close the assistance case during month-end processing if no support or shelter assistance has been issued for two consecutive assistance months. Certain case types are exempt from the two month auto close rule, including Medical Services Only cases, Long Term Care cases and cases where a PWD application is pending adjudication. The auto closure rule has been extended to six months for clients with the Homeless Indicator tick box checked [see Related Link – Homelessness].

As a case management practice, ministry staff should allow the system to automatically close the case when:
 

  • an applicant does not return to complete the Application for Assistance, Stage 1 and 2, and
  • if a case has been opened and the applicant does not return to complete the application process (e.g., case was opened and applicant was asked to submit further documentation to determine eligibility but never returned).

Example – Automatic Case Closure

A family unit received support or shelter for the April assistance month, but did not receive any support or shelter for May or June. The EAW did not manually close the case. The system will automatically close the case during the June month end processing (that is, at the time July assistance is processed).

Manual Case Closure

To manually close a case, ministry staff  are to follow these steps:
 

  1. When applicable, ensure there is documentation on the case to confirm that the client no longer requires and/or is no longer eligible for assistance.
  2. The Case Closure letter (HR3133) may be sent to the client if he or she has not taken any steps to confirm their ongoing eligibility for assistance. The Reconsideration and Appeals brochure should be included when mailing out the Case Closure letter. 
  3. Place notes on the system when the Case Closure letter and the Reconsideration and Appeals brochure have been mailed.
  4. Use your office caseload management protocol to set a notification to close the case if there is no contact from the client after 20 business days.
  5. After 20 business days, use the appropriate resolution reason on the system and note the reasons for closing the case.

Note: Ministry staff can manually close a case at any time upon the request of the client.

Examples – Manual Case Closure

Example 1: On March 5 the EAW receives a Monthly Report (HR0081) indicating the family unit no longer requires assistance and that the applicant is attending school or training. The EAW should manually close the case at the time the HR0081 is processed, using the close reason “Ineligible as in school” on the case screen. 

Example 2: The EAW determines that a client who is single is non-compliant with their Employment Plan and declares the client ineligible for assistance. The EAW should use their office caseload management protocol to set a notification to review the case after 20 business days (timeframe to request a Reconsideration of the eligibility decision). If the client has not requested a Reconsideration, the EAW should manually close the case, using the close reason “Non-compliant with ep” on the case screen. [For information on Reconsiderations, see Related Links – Reconsideration.]

Example 3: On March 10 ministry staff determine that a client received $2,000 net income which is in excess of their family unit’s assistance rate prior to April’s assistance being processed. For income monitoring purposes staff will contact the client, and signal the cheque prior to May’s assistance being processed to review the client’s employment situation and to ensure employment is sustainable (ongoing and likely to be long term). On cheque issue day the staff determines the client is ineligible for May’s assistance. The Staff cancels the assistance cheque and turns cheque production off in order to monitor income if necessary.  [For information on Employment and Income Monitoring, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions.]

Effective: September 1, 2016

In situations where the recipient’s assistance is administered [i.e., issued to a third party, such as a landlord and or utilities company, on behalf of the recipient], the Transportation Support Allowance (TSA) can be included, if the recipient is receiving TSA as cash.

The recipient can request their TSA ($52) to be fully or partly included in the supplier payment.

Effective: April 14, 2014

Documenting Reasons for Third Party Administration

The ministry is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and clients.

Staff must document on the client’s case any incidents or behaviour that may warrant administering a client through a third party. These notes should include:
 

  • the type of behaviour exhibited by the client
  • brief description of parties involved and events that took place, including dates
  • brief explanation of staff response/actions regarding any incidents or client’s behaviour
  • any verbal warnings given to client regarding possible referral to a TPA

Providing Advance Notice of Third Party Administration

In cases where staff are considering requiring a client to interact with the ministry through a third party, staff should follow these steps:
 

  1. Provide an initial verbal warning
  2. Advise client of potential third party referral in writing, using Third Party Administration – Advance Notice – Behavioural (HR3533) [see Forms and Letters.] Where TPA is for financial reasons, see Third Party Administration – Advance Notice – Financial Management letter (HR3534) for template messaging and send a letter where appropriate.
  3. Make notes on the client’s case indicating the date the letter was sent

However, in cases where there is a serious health and safety incident, the ministry will immediately refer a client to a TPA without notice.

Notifying Client of Third Party Administration

When a decision has been made by a supervisor to third party administer a client, ministry staff should complete and send to the client Third Party Administration – Client Notification – Behavioural (HR3535) [see Forms and Letters.] This letter should include:
 

  • a summary of the specific reasons for the third party arrangement
  • the type of third party arrangement (i.e., cannot attend office, telephone interaction only, etc.)
  • TPA referral details (i.e., how to contact them, location, etc.) OR how to secure a TPA of their choice
  • the date when the client’s third party arrangement will be reviewed
  • the process the client can follow if they disagree with the third party administration decision

Where TPA is for financial reasons, see Third Party Administration – Advance Notice – Financial Management letter (HR3534) for template messaging and arrange third party administration with client.

Referring Clients to Third Party Administrators

Ministry staff can refer a client to a TPA or ask the client to make their own arrangements. The process of referring a client to and securing a TPA may vary depending on the number and availability of TPAs in each geographic area.

Creating and Monitoring Third Party Provider Contracts

The contracts between third party providers and clients often vary based on the TPA. However, ministry staff should work closely with TPAs to ensure that the conditions in each third party administered client’s contract are being followed to the satisfaction of all parties involved. TPA-client contracts should be revisited during reviews of the client’s third party administration arrangement to identify any conditions that may need to be revised.

Monitoring Third Party Arrangements

The behaviour of any client that has been third party administered should be monitored on a routine basis. Ministry staff should make detailed comments in the Notes section on a client’s case indicating:
 

  • inappropriate behaviour / incidents (i.e., verbal/physical threats, bullying, intimidation.)
  • behaviour that is indicative of a need for the TPA to continue to assist in managing a client’s funds
  • behaviour that may indicate a client’s third party arrangement is no longer required 

The documentation of all ministry interactions with the client and TPA will be used to help inform reviews of the client’s third party administration arrangement. 

Conducting a Third Party Administration Review

The supervisor will review all third party administration arrangements, at minimum, annually. Generally, all documentation related to the client’s behaviour, both on the client’s case and in consultation with the TPA are reviewed. Following the review a determination will be made if the third party administration arrangement should be removed or remain in place.

The outcome of the review should be documented in the client’s case by ministry staff and communicated to the TPA. If necessary, conditions of the TPA contract should be revised. Ministry staff will inform the client of the outcome of the review. 

Removing Third Party Administration Arrangements

When a review is completed and a third party administration arrangement is no longer required, the client should be advised in writing using Third Party Administration – Removing Third Party Administration Arrangement letter (HR3539)[see Forms and Letters].  Ministry staff may also contact the client to explain how ministry services will be provided and to answer any questions the client may have. The letter should include:
 

  • Reason(s) for altering the third party administration arrangement
  • Confirmation that the client is now able to contact the ministry directly, without their third party administrator 

Continuing Third Party Administration Arrangements

When a review is completed and a third party administration arrangement should remain in place, the client should be advised in writing using Third Party Administration – Continuing Third Party Administration Arrangement – Behavioural (HR3538) [see Forms and Letters.] The letter should include the following and notes added to the client’s case accordingly:
 

  • Reason(s) for continuing the third party administration arrangement
  • Advising the client of the ministry’s complaint resolution process if the client disagrees with the continuation of the third party administration arrangement
  • The date the next review will be conducted

In rare circumstances based on serious health and safety concerns, the Manager of Field Services may waive notice of continuation of the third party arrangement. 

Modifying Third Party Administration Arrangements

When a review is completed and the supervisor determines that a third party arrangement should be modified, the client should be advised in writing using Third Party Administration – Modifying Third Party Arrangement – Conditional letter (HR3537)[see Forms and Letters.] The letter should include: 
 

  • Reason(s) for modifying the third party administration arrangement
  • The type of direct interaction the client is now able to have with the ministry (i.e., by telephone only)
  • Advising the client of the ministry’s complaint resolution process if the client disagrees with the modification of the third party administration arrangement
  • The date the next review will be conducted 

Responding to Client Complaints About Third Party Administration

After receiving a client complaint through the ministry’s complaint resolution process, ministry staff will review the complaint and respond to the client’s concern(s).

Responding to Client Complaints About a Third Party Administrator

If a third party administered client raises concerns about the behaviour or actions of a TPA, ministry staff should refer to the CRSQ to:
 

  1. Initially, ensure that any review process established by the TPA is being followed, to provide an opportunity for the TPA and client to resolve the concerns
  2. If the client’s issue(s) cannot be resolved, the client continues to be unsatisfied with the quality of service received from the TPA, or the TPA refuses to continue working with the client, CRSQ will discuss the client’s service quality concerns; alternatively, the client can choose an advocate to act on their behalf to contact a CRSQ to discuss the service quality concerns
  3. If required, the CRSQ will assist the client in finding another TPA or will make other arrangements as needed to ensure the client is still able to access ministry services/benefits

Altering a Third Party Administration Arrangement

In instances where there is a change to the third party administration arrangement between the client and the TPA (i.e., a TPA is no longer able to provide service to the client), steps to be followed include:
 

  1. The CRSQ can refer the client to another TPA or the client can make their own arrangements
  2. The client may choose an advocate to contact the CRSQ on the client’s behalf
  3. If required, the CRSQ will assist the client to make other arrangements as needed

Former Third Party Administered Clients Reapplying for Assistance

When former clients who were previously administered by a third party reapply for assistance, ministry staff should reassess the client’s situation, which includes:
 

  1. Reviewing the applicant’s previous case(s) and assessing the severity of the behaviour / incidents that led to their previous third party arrangement
  2. If behaviour / incidents were severe in nature and there are still concerns about the client interacting with ministry staff, the applicant will be immediately referred to a TPA or advocate to interact with the ministry on the client’s behalf. 
  3. If the behaviour / incidents were less severe, ministry staff may determine that a TPA is not required to process the application but will advise the applicant that their behaviour will be closely monitored throughout the application process and subsequent interactions with the ministry. 

Effective: February 27, 2017

Direct Deposit at Application

During the Application process ministry staff must:
 

  • advise applicants that the ministry makes payments through Direct Deposit
  • advise applicants of Direct Deposit benefits [see Additional Resources  – Direct Deposit: Benefits for Clients]
  • provide applicants with the Direct Deposit Request (HR2648)  and advise applicants to complete the form prior to the Stage 2 application interview [see Forms and Letters]
  • provide applicants with information on General Bank Account Information (e.g. ID requirements) and Low Fee Accounts Information [see Additional Resources – Direct Deposit: Access to Bank Accounts Information and Direct Deposit: Low Fee Accounts Information] 

Direct Deposit Caseload Management

Direct Deposit is the mandatory payment method for eligible ministry clients. Direct Deposit caseload management reports are available through the system. The reports identify all non-participating cases, including those which have banking information already on their case. These cases should be reviewed for Direct Deposit reactivation. Cases with no Direct Deposit history should be contacted by telephone and or mailed a Direct Deposit Template Letter (HR3254). Direct Deposit must also be reviewed when conducting Financial Reviews and Employment Plan reviews.

Exception Codes Table

The following table describes the Direct Deposit exceptions and applicable codes, and how they are to be applied by ministry staff:

No EFT Reason

Description

Information

A

Garnishee

  • Recipients must provide a court order or judgment in support of this exemption (If a court order cannot be obtained by the client, the EAW may use discretion as to appropriate verification)

B

No Bank Account – Credit History

  • Recipients must provide a letter from the financial institution in support of this exemption

C

No Bank Acct – Insufficient  ID

  • Ministry staff must provide the client with a “Confirmation of ID for Financial Institution” letter (SD3251) assist in the process of opening a bank account for clients who have insufficient identification to do so. [see Forms and Letters]
  • All attempts must be made by the recipient to obtain sufficient ID

D

No Banking Facilities (or prohibitive costs)

  • Ministry staff must verify the availability of banking facilities (This code should also be used in communities served solely by a Credit Union and where the cost of obtaining a membership share is prohibitive)

E

3rd Party Administration

  • For clients who have their total assistance cheque administered by supplier cheque
  • Ministry staff to verify third-party administration status

F

Management Issues

  • Ministry staff to determine if client is unable to manage a bank account (e.g. due to mental illness, substance abuse, other medical condition etc.)

G

Short Term Pending

  • For all recipients eligible for Direct Deposit that have not provided banking information or have not set up an account, and do not meet the other exception criteria
  • This code must be reviewed within three months of receiving cheques.  Reports are available in the system.

H

Client Refuses

  • Ministry staff must record refusal reason

I

Child in home of a relative (CIHR)

  • Direct deposit is available for CIHR suppliers [see Direct Deposit for Service Providers in this section].

K

Hardship Assistance

  • Hardship categories for Sponsorship Undertaking Default, Identity Not Established, SIN Required, and Immediate Needs – Works Search Required are eligible for direct deposit. This exception code K cannot be used for these hardship categories.

L

Long term care

  • Direct Deposit is available to all LTC recipients but Direct Deposit should only be considered if appropriate based on a client’s individual circumstances

Direct Deposit for Service Providers

The Direct Deposit Application (FIN312) must be completed as part of the process if the service provider or supplier has arranged with the ministry to have the payment on behalf of the client electronically deposited into their bank account and do not already have direct deposit with any other BC Government Ministry. [see Forms and Letters]. Service providers may request direct deposit by filling out a FIN312 and submitting to the ministry. Staff will:
 

  • Advise the service provider that they can only have one bank account number across all BC Government ministries. Service providers can use any financial institution located in Canada. 
  • Provide the Instructions for Service Providers (HR3599) and FIN312 [see Forms and Letters].  Only an original application signed by the service provider or supplier signing authority will be accepted for processing.
  • Advise the service provider that they can submit the original FIN312 to any ministry office and that payments will be received by cheque until the direct deposit is set up.
  • Forward the FIN312 via Service Request to the Service Provider Management Group to set up the direct deposit.

If the service provider already receives electronic payments from the BC Government, there is no need for them to complete the FIN312. The FIN312 is to be completed for new activations or for any changes to banking information including cancellation. If a service provider has already completed the FIN312 and are receiving electronic payments from another BC Government ministry or organization and would like to be set up on direct deposit for our ministry, staff are to verify the identity and the banking information of the service provider before setting up direct deposit.

Effective: December 20, 2005

Cheque stub messages have been standardized and implemented for all local offices to ensure consistent communication to clients across the province. These cheque messages have been approved by Internal Communications and cannot be altered.

When a client’s cheque is re-directed to the local office at cheque issue, notices called "Cheque Messages" can be mailed directly to the client, advising them:
 

  • that the cheque is being held;
  • the reason it is being held; and,
  • instructions for contacting the ministry.

The following reason codes will produce a standard cheque message notification to the client:
 

  • Code 4: Pick Up
  • Code 7: Signal
  • Code 8: Signal/No Stub
  • Code 9: No stub

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: May 5, 2014

Individual Case Management
Director of Performance and Risk Management
  • Third party administration fee for service contracts
Director of Service Delivery
  • Regional home visit plan
Employment and Assistance Worker
  • Verifying the identity and the banking information of the service provider before setting up direct deposit
 

Responsibilities

Effective: April 2, 2012

Policy and Program Implementation Manager is responsible for
 

  • providing guidance to supervisor with duty to accommodate policy, if it is policy related

Manager of Community Relations and Service Quality is responsible for
 

  • providing guidance to supervisor with duty to accommodate policy, if it is service quality related

Supervisor is responsible for:
 

  • ensuring activities are completed to meet ministry service standards
  • ensuring the required documentation supporting eligibility for assistance is maintained on the client’s case
  • ensuring that payments to clients have been made under the correct authority
  • providing guidance with duty to accommodate policy.
  • monitoring and managing accountability measures and targets

Employment and Assistance Worker (EAW) is responsible for:
 

  • completing activities to achieve ministry service standards
  • issuing assistance in accordance with legislation, regulations, and ministry policies
  • conducting employment plan reviews as required by the timelines of the program or activity
  • monitoring work search activities of  clients participating in Supervised Independent Work Search (SIWS)
  • conducting eligibility reviews (eligibility audits) at least once per year
  • referring cases of alleged or suspected fraud or abuse that require in-depth investigation to Prevention and Loss Management Services by submitting a fraud allegation.
  • managing the day-to-day case administrative decisions
  • monitoring employment income and assessing eligibility for assistance
  • seeking Supervisor authority and case consultation as required
  • closing cases in a timely way where there is no eligibility for assistance
  • discussing Direct Deposit with clients as the mandatory method of payment of assistance
  • advising clients Direct Deposit is available for service providers or suppliers receiving payment on behalf of a client

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question   What happens if a client refuses Direct Deposit?

Answer   Staff must explain all the benefits of Direct Deposit.  If a client still refuses, Exception Code H (Client Refuses) must be entered on the system with a brief note as to the reason.  There can be no impact on eligibility for assistance if a client refuses Direct Deposit.