Income Treatment & Exemptions

Overview

The Employment and Assistance and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities programs require clients to pursue, accept, and use all other income to support themselves before receiving assistance.  Exemptions for specific incomes are provided in the applicable acts, regulations, and policy.

Policy

Effective: January 19, 2015

Clients are required to pursue, accept, and use all possible income and other means of support before income assistance or disability assistance may be issued.  [For more information on the requirement to pursue income, see Related Links – Pursuing Income.]

To be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance, a family unit’s net income must not equal or exceed the amount of income assistance or disability assistance that would be payable to a family unit of that size and composition.  [see Rate Tables – Income Assistance and Disability Assistance.]

Eligibility may be determined at any time during the calendar month.  If during employment and income monitoring, the ministry becomes aware a client has received income that may be in excess of the amount of income assistance or disability assistance that would be payable to a family unit, the family unit’s eligibility will be assessed prior to the next payment of assistance being processed.  [For further information on assessing eligibility during employment and income monitoring, see Policy – Employment and Income Monitoring.]

By regulation, income can be earned, unearned, or exempt from income (not considered income). 

Eligibility is determined based on all available income and applicable exemptions.  Exemptions on income apply only in the calendar month in which the income is actually received regardless of the date the income is earned or payable or the date the income is reported. 

Compensation payments considered exempt under regulation may continue to be exempt when converted to a non‑exempt asset.  [For more information, see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions – Policy – Types of Assets – Compensation Payments.]

Recipients of income assistance or hardship assistance are required to submit a Monthly Report (HR0081) each month, where they must report all income to the ministry as outlined in the brochure,  How to Complete Your “Monthly Report” Form.  [For Brochure, see Additional Resources.]

Recipients of disability assistance are required to submit an HR0081 when one or more of the following occur:

  • they receive earned income;
  • they receive unearned income that is Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) Temporary Wage Loss Replacement Payments issued under Sections 29 or 30 of the Workers Compensation Act;
  • they receive any other income and/or money if the amount has changed or if it is the first time they have received the money;
  • there is any other change in their circumstances that arose in the previous calendar month.

For detailed information on how specific types of income are treated, see the applicable objects in Policy below.

For more information on earnings exemptions, see Policy, Earnings Exemptions.

For Monthly Report (HR0081), see Forms and Letters.  [For more information on monthly reporting requirements, see Related Links – Monthly Reporting Requirement.]

Effective: April 2, 2012

Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) service providers are required to provide the ministry with an ICM Service Request when a client has been successfully placed in a job, launches a self-employment business, or is eligible for EPBC financial supports as an EI client.

Clients must notify ministry staff when they find employment. 

When a client

  • obtains employment,
  • launches a self-employment business, or
  • is eligible for EPBC job start supports,

the EPBC service provider will provide the ministry with the name of the employer, occupation, city, start date, hours per week and starting wage. 

If a BCEA client is determined to be eligible for program financial supports as an Employment Insurance (EI) client, the EPBC service provider will provide the ministry with the type of service that the client will be participating in, the amounts and types of financial supports the client will receive, and the start and end dates of those supports.   

Eligibility is assessed at any time during the calendar month.  The ministry will review service provider reports each week.  Reports will be reviewed to identify clients with employment, to contact clients, and to signal cheques. 

Where the ministry receives information that a client may receive net income that is in excess of the amount of assistance that would be payable to the family unit, an eligibility assessment will be conducted prior to the next payment of assistance being processed.  The eligibility assessment will take into account earnings exemptions and/or other eligibility criteria pertaining to the family unit.  For income monitoring purposes, only net income that is in excess of the assistance rate payable to the family unit that would allow the family unit to be independent of assistance will result in a change to the amount of assistance paid to that family unit on cheque-issue day. 

Employment and income monitoring ensures that clients with other resources and sustainable employment (who do not require assistance a month in advance) become independent and those clients who continue to be in need of assistance and / or income top-up will continue to receive assistance in advance and report their income as required by the reporting obligation.

Note: The ministry will assess current eligibility only.  For the purposes of Employment and Income monitoring an overpayment will never be calculated.  [For information on calculating overpayments, see Related Links – Recoveries.]

For further information on assessing eligibility during employment and income monitoring, see Procedures – Assessing Eligibility – Employment and Income Monitoring.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Any amount garnished, attached, seized, deducted, or set off from income is considered income, unless it qualifies for an exemption.  The only deductions permitted from earned income are the following when deducted at source for:
 

  • income tax
  • Employment Insurance
  • medical insurance
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • superannuation
  • company pension plan
  • union dues

Effective: December 1, 2003

Any amount garnished, attached, seized, deducted, or set off from income is considered income, unless it qualifies for an exemption.  The only deductions permitted from unearned income are the following:

  • any income tax deducted at source from Employment Insurance benefits
  • essential operating costs of renting self-contained suites

Effective: September 1, 2015

Earnings exemptions provide clients who work with the ability to keep additional income over and above their monthly assistance payment, offering them an opportunity to build job skills and experience to increase employability, take advantage of part-time or temporary work, and better provide for their families while receiving assistance.

To be eligible for an earnings exemption, clients must have been in receipt of either income assistance or disability assistance for the previous month. If no assistance was issued in the previous month, a one month wait must be served before the family unit is eligible for the earnings exemption.

Note: Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designated clients who have previously received disability assistance in the past and are now reapplying for assistance (returning PWD clients) do not have a one month wait period.

Each family unit is eligible for an earnings exemption. The highest exemption that applies to a family unit composition will be provided each month, they cannot be combined. For example, if a PPMB client is a single parent, they are eligible for the $500/month PPMB earnings exemption, as it is higher than the $400/month family unit with a dependent child exemption.

Earnings Exemptions are not available to recipients of hardship assistance.

Monthly Earnings Exemption – Income Assistance

Income assistance clients are eligible for a monthly earnings exemption.  The level of exemption is based on family unit size and composition – see table below.

The monthly earnings exemption can only be applied to earned income.  Earned income is any of the following:

  • any money or value received in exchange for work or the provision of a service
  • pension plan contributions that are refunded because of insufficient contributions to create a pension
  • money or value received from providing room and board at a person’s place of residence
  • money or value received from renting rooms that are common to and part of a person’s place of residence

Income Assistance

Eligible Clients

Earnings Exemption Amount (per month)

All family units, including individuals eligible for income assistance who are not listed below

$200

All family units with a dependent child or caring for a supported child

$400

A family unit where at least one individual is a Person with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB)

$500

All family units with a dependent child with a severe disability or who care for a supported child with a severe disability where the disability of the child precludes a parent from working outside the home for more than 30 hours per week

$500

For more information on income eligible for earning exemptions, see Policy, Employment Income – Income Assistance Recipients, Rental Income and Self Employment Program Income

Annual Earnings Exemption – Disability Assistance

Disability assistance clients are eligible for an annual earnings exemption (AEE).  The AEE allows individuals on disability assistance to use their earnings exemption on an annual, instead of monthly, basis and without a monthly maximum.  The intent of AEE is to better assist individuals whose ability to earn fluctuates during the year, for example, due to medical conditions.

A family unit’s annual exemption limit is based on family unit size, composition and number of qualifying months in the calendar year – see table below under AEE limits.

The annual earnings exemption can only be applied to qualifying income.  Qualifying income is either of the following:

  • Earned income, meaning:
    • any money or value received in exchange for work or the provision of a service,
    • pension plan contributions that are refunded because of insufficient contributions to create a pension,
    • money or value received from providing room and board at a person’s place of residence,
    • money or value received from renting rooms that are common to and part of a person’s place of residence; and
  • Unearned income that is compensation paid under section 29 or 30 of the Workers Compensation Act (WCB temporary wage loss replacement benefits)

Each calendar year, AEE covers qualifying income received from January 1 to December 31, for March to February assistance months.

First time disability assistance recipients are required to serve a one month waiting period before being eligible for the exemption unless they received income assistance in the previous month. Family units who were in receipt of either income assistance or disability assistance for the previous month or returning PWD designated clients who have previously received disability assistance, have no wait period.

AEE limits

A family unit’s AEE limit is established in the initial qualifying month for the family unit and calculated using the base amount for the family unit multiplied by the number of qualifying months remaining in the calendar year. 

Disability Assistance

Eligible Clients

Base amount
(multiplied by the # of qualifying months in the calendar year)

Maximum Annual Earnings Exemption
(full calendar year)

A family unit with one adult recipient who has the PWD designation

$800

$9,600

A family unit with two adult recipients where only one recipient has the PWD designation

$1,000

$12,000

A family unit where both individuals have the PWD designation

$1,600

$19,200

Under the AEE, there is only an annual exemption limit – there is no monthly maximum.  Once the family unit is eligible for earnings exemptions, the amount of a family unit’s disability assistance is not impacted by earnings received up to the family unit’s AEE limit. Once a family unit’s AEE limit is reached, any additional earnings received will be deducted dollar for dollar from their disability assistance.

Each calendar year is a new exemption year. Any remaining exemption from the previous year does not carry over into the new exemption year.

In a family unit containing two recipients, both recipients do not have to be employed to be eligible for the maximum exemption.  As long as there are two recipients in the family unit, they are eligible for the full exemption, regardless of who earns the income.

Combined Income:

Some family units may receive a combination of income where there are two types of qualifying income.   

For example: A PWD recipient receives $700 in WCB temporary wage loss replacement benefits and their spouse earns $500 in employment income.  The total combined qualifying income is $1,200. As long as the family unit has enough limit remaining in their annual earning exemption, they would be eligible for a total exemption of $1,200.  Any non-qualifying income would be deducted from their disability assistance.

For more information on earnings exemptions, see Policy, Employment Income – Disability Assistance Recipients, Rental Income, Self Employment Program Income and Workers’ Compensation Board

Change in Family Circumstances

If there is a change in family circumstances during the calendar year, then the amount remaining in the family unit’s AEE limit will be adjusted (increased or decreased) based on the circumstances of that change (e.g.: the addition of spouse to a family unit or separation from a spouse or a period of ineligibility within the year).

Note: Separation from or addition of a spouse results in the formation of a new family unit. The AEE limit for this new family unit will be established starting with a new initial qualifying month.

Family Separation: When couples on disability assistance separate in the middle of the exemption year, the individuals move onto their own cases and no longer share an AEE limit. Each PWD client will have their AEE limit pro-rated for the remainder of the year, starting the month after the couple separates. Qualifying income declared in the exemption year prior to the separation is not deducted from the pro-rated amount. Individuals who do not have the PWD designation and remain on income assistance will change over to the applicable monthly earnings exemption.

Leaving Assistance and Returning within the Exemption Year: When an individual or family on disability assistance (DA) is no longer receiving DA and begins receiving assistance in the same year, their AEE limit upon return is prorated because they were only receiving DA for a portion of the exemption year.  Qualifying income while they were previously eligible is deducted from the prorated amount. Income received while off of assistance is not counted.

When a PWD client is no longer receiving DA and later begins receiving assistance as part of a new family unit (change in family composition) all within the same exemption year, the new family unit’s AEE will be a combined total of the residual AEE room of both individuals taking into account any period of ineligibility for assistance. 

[For details on the calculations used to establish the AEE limit in the initial qualifying month and subsequent months, see Additional Resources – Policy Summary of AEE Regulation]

It is important for clients using the AEE to keep track of their earnings and the remaining amount of their AEE limit.  Clients may want to use the AEE Income Tracking Sheet [see  Additional Resources]. In addition, the ministry will send PWD clients an income threshold letter (HR3508) if they reach or exceed 75 percent of their AEE limit [see Forms and Letters].

If a PWD client has used up their AEE limit for the exemption year, any additional earned income is deducted dollar for dollar from their DA.  If earnings exceed the amount of disability assistance, the client will be eligible for Medical Services Only coverage. [see Related Links – Medical Services Only]

Types of Income (Not Exhaustive)  

Effective: July 18, 2016

The BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit (BCECTB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children, up to and including age 5. Benefits from this program are combined with the federal Canada Child Benefit program into a single monthly payment.

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Recipients of income assistance, disability assistance, hardship assistance and CIHR

Not considered income

Exempt

32 – Canada Child Benefit

 

BC Institutional Legacy Trust Fund

Effective: July 21, 2006

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Individual payments dispersed from the BC Institutional Legacy Trust Fund

Not considered income

Exempt

BC Inst Leg Fund July 21 2006

Effective: July 18, 2016

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly child benefit paid by the federal government to families who file their taxes.  Effective July 1, 2016, CCB replaced the former Canada Child Tax Benefit, National Child Benefit Supplement, and Universal Child Care Benefit.

Family Bonus refers to the portion of the Canada Child Benefit that is attributed to the National Child Benefit Supplement paid by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

For more information on retroactive Family Bonus payments and supplements available to families who receive less than the maximum Family Bonus, see Related Links – Family Bonus Supplement.

For information on replacement of a lost or stolen Family Bonus cheque, see Related Links – Replacement of Lost or Stolen Cheques.

The BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit is paid alongside the CCB.  For more information, see Policy - BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit.

 

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Regular monthly payments

Recipients of income assistance, disability assistance, hardship assistance and CIHR

Not considered income

Exempt

32 – Canada Child Benefit

Retroactive payments (other than family bonus portion)

Recipients of income assistance, disability assistance, hardship assistance and CIHR

Unearned

Exempt

32 – Canada Child Benefit

Retroactive payments (family bonus portion)

 

Recipients of income assistance, disability assistance, hardship assistance and CIHR

Unearned

Exempt if Temporary Family Bonus (FB) Top-Up Supplement not received.

If Temporary FB Top-Up Supplement was received for the same time period, then the amount of the income exemption will be reduced by the amount paid via the Temporary FB Top-Up Supplement.

The maximum reduction will be the lesser of:

  • The amount of the FB retroactive payment, and
  • The amount provided via the temporary FB top-up supplement

The maximum reduction will not exceed one month’s assistance for the family unit.

35 – Family Bonus

Any portion of family bonus received by one parent from the other parent (exception:  parents who have the child as “dependent child”)

Recipients of income assistance, disability assistance, hardship assistance and CIHR

Unearned

Exempt

39 – Fam Bonus from other parent

Effective: September 1, 2015

CPP income is not exempt except for the CPP Orphan’s Benefit.  The CPP Orphan’s Benefit is also known as a surviving child's benefit for the child of a deceased contributor – a monthly payment for a natural or adopted child or a child who was in the care and custody of the contributor at the time of death.

Clients are required to report the total CPP benefits for which they are eligible.  CPP income received by the client in the current month must be reported by the 5th day of the following month to impact their income assistance for the month following that.

Note: All CPP benefit types are considered unearned income.  Amounts withheld at source by Service Canada are also included as income.  The only exception is amounts deducted by Service Canada for prior CPP overpayments.

Note: Both CPP orphans and Child of a Disabled Contributor benefits paid to a child in the home of a relative are not considered parental contributions and therefore do not affect Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR) payments.

[For information on the requirement to pursue Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, see Related Links – Pursuing Income – Policy – Canada Pension Plan – Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.]

Canada Pension Plan Data Match

The ministry sends client SINs (except CIHR) to Service Canada each month.  Service Canada returns an electronic file of all CPP payments made to those clients in the specified month. 

The CPP payment information is automatically loaded to the system 10 days after cheque issue each month.  CPP payments for each person that is active on a file are added together and recorded.

Ministry workers, Investigative Officers and Supervisors are able to override the uploaded CPP amount if a client reports that they are receiving more CPP income than is reported by Service Canada or if the client demonstrates that they did not receive the amount reported by Service Canada.

CPP should not be overridden to compensate clients for Public Guardian and Trustee Administration fees.

Staff should not override the reported CPP to record amounts that the client is repaying to Service Canada for prior CPP overpayments.  The CPP overpayment amount would have been reported to the ministry in the month the client received the overpayment and would have been deducted from their assistance at that time.

NOTE:  CPP income is uploaded to the system monthly.  A rate recalculation occurs automatically after the CPP benefits are uploaded [For more information, see Procedures.]

Retroactive Payments

A client only receives a lump sum retroactive CPP payment when CPP is approved and no Consent to Deduct (ISP1613) has been completed or the CPP amount exceeds the amount assigned on the ISP1613.  If an ISP1613 was completed, the retroactive CPP payment is sent to the ministry.

Retroactive CPP income will be treated as unearned income and is considered to have been received by the recipient in that month.

Lump sum payments received under the CPP Class Action Settlement Agreement as approved by the Supreme Court, Kelowna Registry in Action No. S50808, are treated as “other financial awards” and are exempt from unearned income up to the allowable asset level for the family unit.  Eligible exempt assets may be purchased and recipients will not be deemed to have inappropriately disposed of property or assets.

Undeclared retroactive CPP payments are to be treated as any other undeclared unearned income.

Disabled Contributor’s Children’s Benefit

The Canada Pension Plan has benefits for the child of, or a child in the care and control of, a CPP disability recipient.  To be eligible, the child must be under 18 or between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a recognized educational institution.

CPP Tax Exemption

Effective January 2003, there is a monthly tax exemption on gross CPP income for eligible clients.  The amount of this CPP tax exemption will be automatically calculated by the system.  The CPP tax exemption is based on a formula that estimates the monthly tax liability for each client, and replaces the CPP adjustment supplement.  The maximum CPP tax exemption is $100 per month.  This maximum does not apply to clients who are compensated via imprest cheque for their tax liability on retroactive payments assigned through the ISP1613 process.  Clients will be responsible for all tax liabilities arising from CPP income received in 2003 and subsequent years.  Clients must declare all gross CPP income on their Monthly Report (HR0081). 

CPP Tax Exemption on Retroactive CPP Assigned to Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

The monthly amount of CPP Tax Exemption owing to eligible clients must be applied to retroactive CPP benefits that were assigned to the ministry using the ISP 1613 Consent to Deduct form.  Only clients who receive the CPP Tax Exemption on their monthly CPP amount are eligible.  The $100 maximum CPP Tax Exemption amount does not apply to clients who are compensated via imprest cheque for their tax liability on retroactive payments assigned through the ISP1613 process. 

Clients who did not assign CPP benefits to the ministry are not eligible for the CPP Tax Exemption on the retroactive amount.

Clients who are not eligible for the monthly CPP Tax Exemption (i.e., these clients do not incur a tax liability) are not to be compensated for retroactive CPP assigned to the ministry.

Example:

A client applies for CPP disability and signs the ISP1613 Consent to Deduct form.  Nine months later the client is found eligible for CPP disability.

The gross ongoing monthly amount is uploaded to the system and the monthly CPP Tax Exemption amount is calculated at $14.

The ministry receives nine months of retroactive CPP disability (Note: in some cases, clients may be eligible for CPP prior to the date that the ISP1613 is signed; the tax exemption applies to all retroactive CPP assigned to the ministry).  In this particular case, the client must be reimbursed $126 for tax liabilities on CPP assigned to the ministry via the CPP Tax Exemption formula ($14 monthly CPP Tax Exemption * 9 months of retroactive CPP = $126). 

For more information regarding these CPP Benefit Types, see Contacts – Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan.

For more information on the Canada Pension Plan data match, Canada Pension Plan Retroactive Payments, or CPP Tax Exemption on Retroactive payments assigned to the ministry, see Procedures.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description Income Status Treatment Income Type

Regular child care, part-time or full-time

Costs may be pro-rated over 12 months

Earned see Employment Income after essential operating costs are deducted [see Note] 01 – Employment Income
Occasional babysitting Earned see Employment Income 02 – One Time Net Earnings

Note:  Essential operating costs include:

  • cost of food provided
  • a portion of household expenses
  • cost of child care equipment

Effective: September 1, 2015

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Recipients of income assistance, disability assistance, hardship assistance, and CIHR

Not considered income

Exempt

32 – Basic Child Tax Benefit

Effective: May 5, 2008

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Quarterly Climate Action Tax Credit

Not considered income

Exempt

31 – Climate Action Dividend

One-time Climate Action Dividend

Not considered income

Exempt

31 – Climate Action Dividend

[For more information, see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions.]

Effective: May 5, 2008

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Payment for criminal injury compensation

 

[For more information, see Policy – Financial Awards]

 

[For more information, see Policy – WCB]

Unearned

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Use code 29 – Other Unearned for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

Retroactive criminal injury compensation [see Note]

 

 

Not considered income

Exempt

N/A

Note: The retroactive criminal injury compensation refers to payments made under the Criminal Injury Compensation Act, for claimants who were minor victims of assault and who registered their claim from 1980 to 1992 in which these compensation decisions were deferred.  [For more information, see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions.]

Effective: July 25, 2007

An Education Gift from Nisga’a Lisims Government is provided annually to assist Nisga’a citizens with their children’s schooling costs.  Nisga’a citizens who are also ministry clients can receive the Nisga’a Education Gift and the School Start-up Supplement for the same school year.

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Education Gift from Nisga’a Lisims Government

Unearned

Exempt

4D – Education Grant

[For related information regarding recipients of hardship assistance, see Related Links – Eligibility for Hardship Assistance – Policy – Income and Asset Exemptions for Hardship Assistance]

[For related information, see Related Links – School Start-up Supplement]

Effective: September 1, 2015

Also see Policy – Deductions from Earned Income.

Transients are not eligible for the following exemptions to earned income.

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

All family units eligible for income assistance who are not listed below

Earned

$200 per month exemption

(must have been in receipt of income assistance or disability assistance for the previous month.)

01 – Employment Income

02 – One Time Net Earnings

All family units with a dependent child or who are caring for a supported child

Earned

$400 per month exemption

(must have been in receipt of income assistance or disability assistance for the previous month.)

01 – Employment Income

02 – One Time Net Earnings

A recipient in the family unit is a person with persistent multiple barriers 

Earned

$500 per month exemption

(must have been in receipt of income assistance or disability assistance for the previous month. )

01 – Employment Income

02 – One Time Net Earnings

Family units with a dependent child with a severe disability or who care for a supported child with a severe disability where the disability of the child precludes a parent from working outside the home for more than 30 hours per week - for example, provide room and board, babysit other children in the home, or operate a small business part time

Earned

$500 per month exemption

(must have been in receipt of income or disability assistance for the previous month.)

01 – Employment Income

02 – One Time Net Earnings

Dependent child who is a full-time student

Not considered income

Exempt

01 – Employment Income (end date the same day)

Dependent child who is not a full-time student

Earned

Earned income of dependent child would be added to the total earned income for the family unit and the appropriate earnings exemption would apply based on the family unit configuration as described above.

(Family unit must have been in receipt of income assistance or disability assistance for the previous month.)

01 – Employment Income

02 – One Time Net Earnings

CIHR

Earned

Exempt

01 – Employment Income

02 – One Time Net Earnings

Effective: January 19, 2015

Also see Policy – Deductions from Earned Income.

Note:  for Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) income received by recipients of disability assistance, also see Policy – Workers’ Compensation Board.

Note: Clients must report all qualifying income (earned income or WCB temporary wage loss replacement payments) they receive every month by completing a Monthly Report Form (HR0081) or “stub”. [For more information on reporting requirements, see Related Links – Monthly Reporting Requirement.]

To be eligible for the annual exemption, new PWD clients must have been in receipt of income assistance or disability assistance for the previous month. Returning PWD clients have no wait period. [For more information on treatment of qualifying income and earnings exemptions, see Policy – Earnings Exemption.]

 Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

A family unit with one adult recipient who has the Persons with Disabilities designation

Earned

$9,600 maximum annual exemption for qualifying income

Calculated as:

$800 x # of qualifying months in calendar year

02 – One Time Net Earnings

A family unit with two adult recipients where only one recipient has the Persons with Disabilities designation

Earned

$12,000 maximum annual exemption for qualifying income

Calculated as:

$1000 x # of qualifying months in calendar year

02 – One Time Net Earnings

A family unit with two adult recipients where both recipients have the Persons with Disabilities designation

Earned

$19,200 maximum annual exemption for qualifying income

Calculated as:

$1600 x # of qualifying months in calendar year

02 – One Time Net Earnings

Dependent child who is a full-time student

Not considered income

Exempt

01 – Employment Income (end date the same day)

Dependent child who is not a full-time student

Earned

Earned income of a dependent child would be added to the total earned income for the family unit and the appropriate earnings exemption would apply based on the family unit configuration as noted above. 

02 – One Time Net Earnings

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Employment Insurance (EI) issued by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Note:  dependent children awaiting EI benefits do not affect the eligibility of the family unit

Unearned

No exemption after permitted deductions

See Policy – Deductions from Unearned Income.

15 – Employment Insurance

Effective: December 1, 2003

Energy rebates refer to payments provided by the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, or an agency of either government (for example, Relief for Heating Expenses, BC energy rebate, and BC Hydro credits).

Fuel rebates refer to payments provided by the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, or an agency of either government (for example, motor vehicle fuel tax rebate).

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Energy and fuel tax rebates

Not considered income

Exempt

31 – Energy/Fuel Rebate

Effective: November 20, 2008

The Residential Tenancy Act states that clients who are evicted due to the landlord’s “use of property” (selling the building, renovating, or occupying it themselves) are entitled to two month’s notice and one month’s rent as compensation.  However, to expedite the transition to a new residence some landlords may offer a tenant additional compensation such as a certain number of months of rent, compensation for moving costs, or a reduction or elimination of utilities costs. 

These payments are considered exempt up to the asset level of the family unit.  “In kind” free rent for eviction compensation is also exempt. 

Compensation for moving costs is also exempt.  Clients must use this compensation toward the cost of moving.  The ministry will only provide additional funds for moving costs in exceptional circumstances where additional costs are necessary to secure a new residence and the client has met all other criteria for a moving supplement.  [For related information, see Related Links – Moving, Transportation, and Living Costs.] 

Where there is a reduction or elimination of costs for utilities, clients must declare this compensation.  Ministry staff should take this into account when calculating shelter costs. 

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Eviction Compensation

Unearned

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Evict Comp Nov 20 2008

Use 29 – unearned income – for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

Effective: October 1, 2005

Fair Pharmacare refunds refer to retroactive payments (refund cheques) issued to reimburse individuals for money paid out of pocket for prescription costs over a one-year period.

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Fair Pharmacare refunds

Not considered income

Exempt

Fair Pharmacare Program (Ministry of Health)

Effective: July 18, 2016

See Policy – Canada Child Benefit for information on the Family Bonus.

Effective: September 1, 2015

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

 Spousal Support

Unearned

No Exemption

1A – Ongoing spousal support

1B – One time spousal support

Child Support

Unearned

Exempt

05 – Ongoing child support

06 – One time child support

In order to be considered Child Support and exempt as income, a Child Support payment must meet a family maintenance obligation to a child [See Definitions for Child Support and Spousal Support]. 

Note:  If a client receives both child and spousal support, payments should be applied to the current month first based on the amounts set out in the client’s support order or agreement, with priority given to child support when the reported total support payment is lower than the scheduled payment amount.  After the current month is credited, payments are credited to arrears.  Child support arrears and spousal support arrears are credited based on the percentage split in the order or agreement.

Example 1:  A client has an order for $200 child support and $50 spousal support. If the client receives $300 in support in a given month, $200 will be credited as child support and $50 will be credited as spousal support to satisfy the current month’s support obligations. The remaining “arrears” of $50 is split between child support and spousal support based on the percentage split in the order. In this case the order is for 80% child support and 20% spousal, so the $50 would be determined to be $40 child support and $10 spousal support.

Example 2:  A client has an order for $200 child support and $50 spousal support.  If the client receives $150 in support in a given month, $150 will be credited as child support and $0 will be credited to spousal support.

[See also Related Links – Information and Verification – Policy – Role of Ministry Staff.]

Effective: July 18, 2016

Non-recurring awards that are not specifically defined in regulation as exempt can be considered “other awards” under Schedule B, Section 7 and exempt up to the family’s asset level [see Policy – Gifts for examples of what the ministry considers to be recurring and non-recurring income].

Some examples include land claim settlements, eviction compensation, criminal injury and other lump sum payouts (see table below).

Recurring financial awards are considered unearned income and must be considered when calculating eligibility for assistance.

If the payments are from a structured settlement, they are treated the same way as payments from a trust.  [For more information, see Related Links – Trusts – Policy – Structured Settlements.]

Insurance benefits paid as compensation for a destroyed asset are not considered to be income.

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Class Action Settlement Agreement

[see also Policy – Canada Pension Plan]

Unearned

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Use 29 – Other Unearned income – for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

Director of Employment Standards Determinations

Unearned

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Use 29 – Other Unearned income – for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

Eviction Compensation

[see also Policy – Eviction Compensation]

Unearned

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Evict Comp Nov 20 2008

Use 29 – Other Unearned income – for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

Land Claim Settlements

Unearned

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Use 29 – Other Unearned income for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

WCB payments awarded for a criminal injury which occurred on the job

[see also Policy – Criminal Injury Compensation]

[see also Policy – Workers’ Compensation Board]

Unearned

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Use 29 – Other Unearned income for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

Insurance benefits provided for medical equipment or medical treatment Uearned Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit Use 29 – Other Unearned income for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

For information on Assessing Eligibility when Income is Exempt up to Asset Level, see Procedures.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Tax refund received by Forest Worker Transition Program (FWTP) participants from Canada Revenue Agency for tax liabilities on FWTP income [for more information, see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions]

Not considered income

Exempt

Forest Wrker PGM Tax Liability

 

Effective: December 1, 2015

For the purposes of the BCEA program, gifts received by a client, include cash or stocks, bonds, shares, and interest-bearing accounts or properties that can easily be converted to cash.

A gift does not have to be directly provided to a client. It could be in the form of payment by another person to pay a debt or obligation. Examples include a parent paying a client’s car insurance or BC Hydro bill.

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

A family unit eligible for income assistance or hardship assistance where no one in the family unit has PWD designation

Unearned Income

Non-recurring gifts are exempt

 

Recurring gifts are not exempt

29 – Other Unearned

 Sub-Type- Gifts (if exempt, end date the same day)

A family unit eligible for disability assistance or hardship assistance where at least one person in the family unit has PWD designation

Unearned Income

All gifts are exempt

29 – Other Unearned

 Sub-Type – Gifts

Non-Recurring Gifts

To determine if a gift is non-recurring, the following should be considered:

  • The frequency of the gift. Infrequent, occasional gifts that do not have a regular pattern are considered non-recurring. A gift that occurs regularly once per year, such as a birthday gift, is considered non-recurring.
  • The source of the gift. Generally, multiple gifts provided by different sources are considered non-recurring. For example, a person provides a gift to a client and then in the next month another gift is provided to the client by a different person.

Examples:

A non-recurring gift:

  • A client receives gifts of $20, $50, and $30 as birthday presents from different people.
  • A client receives a gift of $50 from a non-profit organization.

A recurring gift:

  • A client receives a $100 gift on a monthly basis from an uncle.
  • A client receives a $500 gift on a quarterly basis from a parent.

Note: Payments from trusts or inheritances are treated separately. See related policy for more information.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Payment from Canada Revenue Agency

Not considered income

Exempt

31 – Goods and Svc Tax Credit

Effective: January 20, 2014

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Net per diem

[see Policy – Deductions for Earned Income]

Earned

(see Policy – Employment Income)

Gov Brds/Comm/Council-Per Diem

Use 02 – One Time Net Earnings, if an AEE client

Expense allowance to cover travel

Not considered income

Exempt

Gov Brds/Comm/Council – Travel

Effective: October 3, 2014

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Payment from Canada Revenue Agency

Note: HST credit was a non-taxable payment made quarterly for the period starting July 2010 and ending January 2013 if tax returns were filed. Payments of the HST Credit resulting from filing of back taxes for the tax filing years 2010 to 2012 are issued directly from Canada Revenue Agency.

Not considered income

Exempt

31 – Goods and SVC Tax Credit

Effective: August 8, 2007

1986-1990 Settlement Agreement refers to compensation received under the settlement agreement which provides compensation for persons infected with the Hepatitis C Virus through blood or blood products between 1986 and July 1, 1990.

Pre-1986-Post 1990 Settlement Agreement refers to compensation received under the settlement agreement which provides compensation for persons infected with the Hepatitis C Virus through blood or blood products prior to 1986 and after July 1, 1990.

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

1986-1990 Settlement Agreement

  • Compensation for loss of income (may be one-time payment or administered monthly)
  • Compensation to approved dependants for loss of support or loss of service (may be one-time payment or administered monthly)

Pre-1986-Post 1990 Settlement Agreement

  • Damages for past loss of income
  • Compensation to dependants

Unearned

Exempt up to asset level for the family unit

Use 29 – Other Unearned for amounts over the asset level

1986-1990 Settlement Agreement

  • Fixed payments for damages (amounts may be paid more than once depending on the severity of the condition)
  • Loss of services in the home
  • Costs of care, cost of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Drug Therapy
  • Compensation for uninsured treatment and medication
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Compensation to approved family members
  • Payment to the approved HCV estate
  • Compensation for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)  secondarily infected persons

Pre-1986-Post 1990 Settlement Agreement

  • Compensation to approved HCV infected class members
  • Past loss of services in the home
  • Compensation to approved family members
  • Compensation for HCV Infected class members who have died
  • Compensation for HIV co- infected persons

Not considered income

Exempt

37 – Hepatitis C Virus Payment

For information on Assessing Eligibility when Income is Exempt up to Asset Level, see Procedures.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Individual payments granted by the government of BC to a person infected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or surviving spouse or dependent child of that person

Not considered income

Exempt

N/A

Individual payments granted by the government of Canada under the Extraordinary Assistance Plan to a person infected by HIV

Not considered income

Exempt

34 – Extr Asst – HIV/AIDS

Effective: October 3, 2014

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Income tax refund for income assistance or disability assistance applicant or recipient

Unearned

Exempt

24 – Income Tax Refund

Income tax refund for hardship assistance

Unearned

No exemption

Income Tax Ref Oct 18 2010

BC Sales Tax Credit

Note: BC Sales Tax Credit resulting from filing taxes for the years 2002 to 2009, and for 2013 and later years are paid in conjunction with any income tax refund. The amount of the BC Sales Tax Credit is listed on a separate line on the Notice of Assessment.

Not considered income

Exempt

31 Goods and SVC Tax Credit 

Refundable medical expense supplement

[For further information, see Contact]

Not considered income

Exempt

N/A

Effective: January 31, 2008

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Money received from the Common Experience Payment or through the Independent Assessment Process under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

Not considered income

Exempt

Indian Res Sch Jan 31 2008

Money paid or payable to a person in settlement of a claim of abuse at an Indian residential school (except money paid or payable as income replacement)

Not considered income

Exempt

Indian Res Sch Jan 31 2008

Money paid or payable as income replacement in the settlement of a claim of abuse at an Indian residential school

Unearned

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Use 29 – Other Unearned for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

Effective: December 1, 2015

An inheritance is considered money or other value received, by will or as the result of intestacy, from the estate of a deceased person.

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

A family unit eligible for income assistance or hardship assistance where no one in the family unit has PWD designation

Unearned Income

Not Exempt

 

29 – Other Unearned

 Sub-Type – Inheritances

A family unit eligible for disability assistance or hardship assistance where at least one person in the family unit has PWD designation

Unearned Income

Exempt

29 – Other Unearned

 Sub-Type – Inheritances

[For treatment of testamentary trusts see Related Links – Trusts]

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Individual redress payments granted by the government of Canada to a person of Japanese ancestry

Not considered income

Exempt

Redress Pymt – Japanese Ancestry

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Lump-sum settlements by the government of BC to person awarded compensation in respect of claims of abuse at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf

Not considered income

Exempt

Jericho Hill Sch Settlement

Effective: December 14, 2004

Funds received from a loan, credit card, line of credit or reverse mortgage are not considered income.  For more information, see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Income from lottery or games of chance

Unearned

No exemption

Lottery or Games of Chance

Effective: January 20, 2014

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Foster Care (where a breakdown of payment components is not provided, recipients are to be referred to the Ministry of Children and Family Development for clarification)

Foster family care rate and one-time-only payments made by the Ministry of Children and Family Development  to foster parents that are intended to cover all the costs incurred in caring for a child, including basic costs such as the child’s food, household needs, transportation, recreation, health and personal care, gifts, activities, allowance, babysitting, education, clothing, and so on

Unearned

Exempt (exemption applies for each child within the foster home setting; rates paid vary according to the age of the child)

Except for recipients of hardship assistance

38 – Foster Care-Exempt

Foster care service payments intended to recognize or compensate the foster parents’ work, expertise, or experience

Earned

See Employment Income

Except for recipients of hardship assistance

08 – Foster Care-Non Exempt

Use 02 – One Time Net Earnings, if an AEE client

Kin and Others Agreements

Payments provided to care providers under the Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA), section 8, Agreements with child’s kin and others

Not considered income

Exempt

See exception below

N/A

At Home Program

Payments to parents of children with severe disabilities to assist with the cost of respite services or as reimbursement for medical travel expenses or for medical supplies purchased

Not considered income

Exempt

CFD – At Home Program Payment

Out of Care Payments

Payments provided under section 93 (1) (g) (ii) of the CFCSA to a person other than a parent who has custody of a child for the support of that child

This section of the CFCSA authorizes the Ministry of Children and Family Development to make payments for the support of a child placed by the court under an interim, temporary, or permanent custody order

The various types of “out of care” custody orders covered by this section are referenced in part 3 and section 54.1 of the CFCSA

Not considered income

Exempt

See exception below

N/A

Autism Funding:  Age 6 – 18 Program

Payments to parents of autistic children aged 6 to 18 to assist with the cost of specialized intervention services for their child

Not considered income

Exempt

CFD Autism Funding Income

Autism Funding:  Under Age 6 Program

Payments provided to parents of children aged 5 and under with Autistic Spectrum Disorder to assist with the cost of specialized treatment or intervention services for their child

Not considered income

Exempt

CFD Autism Funding Income

Three Generation Families

Ministry of Children and Family Development payments under section 8 (2) or 93 (1) (g) (ii) of the Child, Family and Community Service Act for a parenting dependent child (PDC) are treated as follows:

  • When the PDC’s child is added to their parent’s case, no assistance would be provided for the PDC as financial support for the PDC is provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
  • When a PDC applies as a single parent while living with their parent, the PDC’s eligibility is reduced by the amount of the Ministry of Children and Family Development payments provided for the PDC (Note these payments will be made to the PDC’s parent).

[For policy and procedures on providing assistance to three-generation families, see Related Links – Family Composition – Policy and Procedures – Three-Generation Families.]

Effective: May 1, 2005

MOH refers to the Ministry of Health.

A designated agency refers to an agency that has been approved by a health authority to provide services on its behalf, in accordance with regulations and policies the health authority is subject to.

A client with a mental disorder refers to a person with a mental health and/or substance abuse disorder using the services of a health authority or a designated agency of a health authority. 

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Therapeutic Volunteer Supplement (TVS)

Payments by a health authority, or a designated agency, to a client with a mental disorder participating in the Therapeutic Volunteer Program

Not considered income

Exempt

4B – Therapeutic Volunteer Supp

Other Payments by a health authority or a designated agency

Payments to a person with a mental disorder and/or to a volunteer who has a mental disorder, for the cost of fees for participating in recreation or leisure activities.

Not considered income

Exempt

4C – Other MOH Volunteer Pmnts

Payments to a person with a mental disorder to cover the cost of participation as a presenter or participant in training and education seminars and conferences, public lectures on mental health/addictions treatment and management, and other related topics. 

Not considered income

Exempt

4C – Other MOH Volunteer Pmnts

Payments to a person with a mental disorder who provides formal or informal peer support, in accordance with the Ministry of Health Peer Support Manual.  

Not considered income

Exempt

4C – Other MOH Volunteer Pmnts

Payments to a person with a mental disorder to cover the costs of travel, meals and honoraria for clients who are invited to participate in discussions with health authorities, or who present information regarding the planning, delivery or evaluation of mental health and addictions services. 

 Not considered income

 Exempt

 4C – Other MOH Volunteer Pmnts

Effective: June 23, 2006

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Assistance paid by the ministry, including Child in Home of Relative (CIHR) assistance

Not considered income

Exempt

N/A

Adjustment refunds from a supplier (for example, hydro), which are to be sent to the client even if the ministry is administering the recipient’s funds

Not considered income

Exempt

N/A

Travel Supplement (authorized by Community Living BC (CLBC), payment provided by the ministry)

Not considered income

Exempt

N/A

Effective: March 17, 2014

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Money paid or payable from a fund established by the government of British Columbia, the government of Canada and the City of Vancouver in relation to a recommendation in the final report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry

Not considered income

Exempt

29 – Other Unearned Income (end date the same day)

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Principal portion of the mortgage

Unearned

No exemption

29 – Mortgage – Principal

Interest portion

Unearned

Exempt if applied to the actual rent or mortgage cost for a recipient’s current place of residence

29 – Mortgage – Interest, if not applied to the actual rent or mortgage cost for a recipient’s current place of residence

Effective: October 29, 2012

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Retroactive Old Age Security Payments (if family unit continues to be eligible for assistance)

Unearned

No exemption

17-Old Age Security/GIS

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Post-adoption payment provided under section 28 (1) or 30.1 of the Adoption Regulation

Not considered income

Exempt

Post Adoption Assistance

Effective: February 6, 2006 

Clients are required to report the gross amount of all QPP payments that they receive.  QPP income received by the client in the current month must be reported by the 5th day of the following month to impact their income assistance for the month following that.  QPP is considered unearned income.  The only exemption from QPP income is the system calculated tax exemption. 

Effective: July 20, 2011

[For more information, see Related Links – Trusts.]

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Disbursements from RDSP

Unearned

Exempt

4E – RDSP(Reg Disability Sv Pln)

Reporting Contributions

Clients do not need to report RDSP balances or contributions from outside their family unit, but are required to report personal contributions, contributions from their family unit, and disbursements.

Effective: December 1, 2003

[For more information, see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions.]

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Disbursements from RRSP/RSP income earned by the capital portion

Unearned

No exemption

22 – RRSP

Effective: December 1, 2003

The combined income and assets of members of a religious order is taken into consideration when assessing eligibility of a member who is applying for assistance.  A financial statement of a religious order’s income is required.  The value set for goods and services (such as board and lodging, clothing, personal care, intermediate care, homemaker service, comforts allowance) received by a member of a religious order must be calculated in assessing eligibility.

Effective: January 20, 2014

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Rent Subsidy

Rent subsidy from the provincial government or a government agency, council, board, or society that administers subsidies from the provincial government (may be issued to a tenant or landlord)

Not considered income

Exempt

N/A

Boarders

Income from boarders after deducting essential operating costs, which are restricted to:

  • the cost of food, excluding preparation for the boarder
  • costs associated with maintaining the room
  • pro-rated costs based on the square footage of the home
  • a portion of the property taxes pro-rated as a percentage of the square footage of the room to the square footage of the home

Earned

[see Policy – Employment Income]

04 – Boarder

Use 02 – One Time Net Earnings, if an AEE client

Self-Contained Suites

Income from self-contained suites after deducting essential operating costs, which are restricted to:

  • costs associated with maintaining the suite, not the home
  • utilities cost associated with maintaining the suite and covered by the landlord
  • a portion of the property taxes, as a percentage of the square footage of the suite to the square footage of the home

Unearned

No exemption

Rental Income

Room Rental

Income from renting rooms that are common to and part of the client’s residence

Earned

See Policy – Employment Income (after 25 per cent deduction has been applied)

03 – Roomer

Use 02 – One Time Net Earnings, if an AEE client

Effective:  July 18, 2016

Any retroactive child benefit payment, including the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), BC Family Bonus, and BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit (BCECTB) is exempt as income, except any portion of the CCB, NCBS or BC Family Bonus that was paid for a period of time for which a client also received a temporary family bonus top-up supplement.

 

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Retroactive CCTB, UCCB, BCECTB, BC Earned Income Benefit

Unearned

Exempt

32 – Canada Child Benefit

Retroactive CCB (other than Family Bonus portion)

Unearned

Exempt

32 – Canada Child Benefit

Retroactive NCBS, Basic BC Family Bonus, CCB (Family Bonus portion)

Unearned

Exempt if Temporary Family Bonus (FB) Top-Up Supplement not received.

If Temporary FB Top-Up Supplement was received for the same time period, then the amount of the income exemption will be reduced by the amount paid via the Temporary FB Top-Up Supplement.

The maximum reduction will be the lesser of:

  • The amount of the FB retroactive payment, and
  • The amount provided via the temporary FB top-up supplement

The maximum reduction will not exceed one month’s assistance for the family unit.

35 – Family Bonus

 

Effective: January 19, 2015

[For more information, see Related Links – Self-Employment Program (SEP) for PPMB and PWD.]

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Permitted operating expenses, approved renovations, or income deposited in a cash asset account

Earned

Exempt

N/A

All other income

Earned

see Policy – Employment Income – Income Assistance Recipients or Employment Income – Disability Assistance Recipients

01 – Employment Income

Use 02 – One Time Net Earnings, if client in receipt of disability assistance

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Support contribution from sponsor

Unearned

No exemption

26 – Sponsorship Income (One-Time)

December 1, 2015

Clients who declare student funding must first be assessed for eligibility for assistance [see Related Links – Education and Training]. Clients who are not eligible for income assistance or disability assistance while participating in a program of study are not eligible for these exemptions.

Student funding is considered unearned income and includes all types of funding for a program of studies:
 

  • Student Financial Assistance
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) withdrawals
  • Education and training allowances
  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Bursaries

Income Assistance

When the ministry has determined a recipient is eligible to remain on income assistance while in a program of studies, their student funding is exempt up to the sum of the student’s education costs and daycare costs. Any portion provided for living costs, including income received for support or shelter, from this funding source is deducted from their assistance.

For income assistance recipients participating in the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI), their student funding is exempt up to the sum of the student’s education and daycare costs, except the portion that is from Student Financial Assistance.

Disability Assistance

Student funding for clients receiving disability assistance is exempt, except for any portion from Student Financial Assistance. This exemption applies to student funding provided for both education and living costs.

Student funding from Student Financial Assistance is only exempt up to the sum of the student’s education and daycare costs for clients receiving disability assistance. Any portion provided for living costs, including income received for support or shelter, from this funding source is deducted.

Education and Daycare Costs

Education costs are intended to include any cost that is reasonably required for a student’s participation in a program of study including, but not limited to, the cost of:
 

  • tuition,
  • student fees,
  • books,
  • equipment, including the purchase of technology such as a laptop/tablet and monthly internet costs, and items needed to accommodate a disability,
  • supplies,
  • transportation for commuting to and from a course, as well as transportation costs to relocate for the course,
  • $100/month other incidental training related costs for clients enrolled in government employment programs (e.g. Employment Program of BC (EPBC) or Opportunities Fund).

Daycare costs are exempt up to the total difference between a student’s actual amount paid for daycare, and the maximum amount of child care subsidy or the EPBC daycare funding provided to the student’s family unit for a period of study.

Education costs do not include living costs, including income received for support and/or shelter. 

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

A family unit (including dependent children) eligible for disability assistance or hardship assistance where at least one person in the family unit has a Persons With Disabilities (PWD) designation

Student funding from:

  • RESP withdrawals
  • Education and training allowances*
  • Grants*
  • Scholarships*
  • Bursaries*

 (*except those from Student Financial Assistance)

Unearned

Exempt

29 – Other Unearned

 

 

A family unit (including dependent children) eligible for disability assistance where at least one person in the family unit has a Persons With Disabilities (PWD) designation

Student funding from:

  • Student Financial Assistance

Unearned

Exempt up to total education costs and daycare costs

13 – Training Allowance,

using exemption calculator

 

Description Income Status Treatment Income Type

For eligible income assistance clients:

  • Applicants or recipients in an unfunded program of studies
  • Dependent children
  • Applicants or recipients with no employment obligations (NEO) as a part-time student in a funded program of studies
  • Income assistance clients participating in the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI)

Student funding from:

  • Student Financial Assistance
  • RESP withdrawals
  • Education and training allowances
  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Bursaries
Unearned

Exempt up to total education costs and daycare costs

Student Financial Assistance is not exempt for income assistance clients participating in SPEI

13 – Training Allowance

using exemption calculator

29 – Other Unearned

Student loans are disbursed at the beginning of each semester. Grants and bursaries may be distributed at the beginning of each semester or in one lump sum intended to cover the entire year (August 1 – July 31).  Staff should consider the client’s educational costs for the period the funding is intended to cover when determining how much of the funding to exempt. However, only educational costs for semesters that the client is registered in can be included.

[For more information on education costs, see Additional Resources – StudentAid BC Policy].

Post-secondary institutions are responsible for providing StudentAid BC with an assessment of a student’s expected costs for tuition, books, supplies, fees, and miscellaneous education-related expenses.  This assessment should show on the grant/loan documentation from StudentAid BC.  It is recommended that staff use the assessed amount on the grant/loan documentation instead of requesting individual receipts from clients.

Note: Students who exhaust their loans, grants, and bursaries during the course of a semester where a student loan has been provided remain ineligible for assistance, and may be directed to contact their school’s student financial aid office or student loan program.  [For more information, see Related Links – Education and Training.]

[For more information on education costs, see Additional Resources – StudentAid BC Policy.]

Effective: September 30, 2014

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Individual payments granted by the government of BC under the Temporary Education Support for Parents program

 

Unearned income

Exempt

29 – Other Unearned Income (end date the same day)

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Individual payments granted by the government of Canada under the Extraordinary Assistance Plan to thalidomide victims

 

Not considered income

Exempt

Extr Asst – Thalidomide

 

Effective: July 20, 2011

[See Related Links – Assets and Exemptions, Trusts]

Effective: December 1, 2003

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Payment from Veterans Affairs Canada

Unearned

$50 per month exemption (available to each member of a family unit who is in receipt of this payment)

12 – War Veterans Allowance

Effective: July 30, 2010

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Lump-sum settlements by the Government of BC to persons awarded compensation in respect of claims of abuse at Woodlands School

Not considered income

Exempt

Woodlands School Settlement

Effective: March 18, 2016

Note:  Not all Workers’ Compensation Board income is treated the same.

Clients must report all qualifying income (earned income or WCB temporary wage loss replacement payments) they receive every month by completing a Monthly Report Form (HR0081) or “stub”. [For more information on reporting requirements, see Related Links – Monthly Reporting Requirement.]

To be eligible for the annual exemption, new PWD clients must have been in receipt of income assistance or disability assistance for the previous month. Returning PWD clients have no wait period. [For more information on treatment of qualifying income and earnings exemptions, see Policy – Earnings Exemption.]

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

WCB Temporary Wage Loss Replacement Payments (issued under Sections 29 and 30 of the Workers Compensation Act):

 

 

 

  • A family unit with one adult recipient who has the Persons with Disabilities designation

Unearned

$9,600 maximum annual exemption for qualifying income

Calculated as:

$800 x # of qualifying months in calendar year

(Also see Policy – Employment Income – Disability Assistance)

Use 02 – One Time Net Earnings

  • A family unit with two adult recipients where only one recipient has the Persons with Disabilities designation

Unearned

$12,000 maximum annual exemption for qualifying income

(Also see Policy – Employment Income – Disability Assistance)

Use 02 – One Time Net Earnings

  • A family unit with two adult recipients where both recipients have the Persons with Disabilities designation

Unearned

$19,200 maximum annual exemption for qualifying income

(Also see Policy – Employment Income – Disability Assistance)

Use 02 – One Time Net Earnings

  • Non-PWD family units

Unearned

No Exemption

14 – Workers Compensation

Compensation paid to children of a deceased worker under section 17 or 18 of the Workers Compensation Act 

Unearned

Exempt

05 - Ongoing child support, Source - WCB Orphan

06 - One time child support, Source - WCB Orphan

WCB lump sum or monthly payments awarded as compensation for a criminal injury which occurred on the job

Unearned 

Exempt up to the asset level for the family unit

Use 29 – Other Unearned for amounts over the asset level for the family unit

Other Payments from Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Unearned No exemption 14 – Workers Compensation

Effective: July 1, 2010

The Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) is a federal refundable tax benefit provided to low income persons with earned income.  The WITB consists of a basic benefit available to all eligible individuals and an additional disability supplement available to eligible individuals who are also eligible for the federal disability tax credit.

The Working Income Tax Benefit can be received in two ways:

  • in its entirety as part of an individual’s income tax return; or,
  • half through pre-payments (made quarterly in April, July, October and January) and half as part of an individual’s income tax return 

Description

Income Status

Treatment

Income Type

Working Income Tax Benefit (including Disability Supplements) received through pre-payments

Not Considered Income

Exempt

33 – Working Income Tax Benefit

Working Income Tax Benefit (including Disability Supplements) received through income tax returns

Not Considered Income

Exempt

33 – Working Income Tax Benefit

Procedures 

Effective: October 9, 2008

In order for staff to assess a client’s eligibility prior to issuing assistance, the client must receive earnings (net income) that are in excess of the amount of assistance payable.  The net income should be verified by a payslip, or other formal confirmation from the employer.  The copy is then scanned to the case unless the client provides verbal confirmation of the amount of income received and states they do not require further assistance. 

An overpayment should not be calculated in these cases.

Staff will assess eligibility based on the current situation.  If the client has not actually received income or staff have not been able to assess eligibility prior to Cheque Issue, the client will then be obligated to report the income on the Monthly Report (HR0081) as outlined in the brochure, How to Complete Your “Monthly Report” Form. [For Brochure – see Additional Resources]. 

Staff will identify clients with employment, contact clients, signal cheques, and assess eligibility.  (Staff are not limited to relying on service provider information to assess clients with income.  Staff may verify or confirm any information received that pertains to a change in a client’s circumstance that may affect their eligibility for ongoing assistance.)

Due to a short turn around between job placement and Cheque Issue, staff should initiate contact by telephone and immediately send out the Information Request – General Letter (HR3238) to verify or confirm hourly wage, hours per week (estimated), start date and initial pay dates. [see Forms and Letters]

It is important that each client be sent a letter as early as possible so they can prepare and budget accordingly. 

If the client has not responded by cheque cut-off, the signal notification letter will automatically be sent to the client.  Staff will then assess for eligibility at cheque issue.  If the client does not contact the office by the 5th, the cheque is cancelled and regional case closure procedure is followed. 

Procedural Guidelines:

  1. Identify those clients who have been placed in employment.  Staff may utilise reporting mechanisms at their disposal to monitor employment and income (such as a client self-reporting).
  2. Contact client by telephone and send Information Request – General Letter (HR3238) [see Forms and Letters] to acknowledge their new job and request information on hourly wage, hours per week (estimated), start date and initial pay dates.  Advise client if earnings received are in excess of their assistance rate they will not receive assistance at the end of the month. Advise client to budget accordingly. Remember:  client may be assessed for supplements if appropriate.
  3. Set a signal for the next Cheque Issue to assess eligibility (when it is likely the client will receive a paycheque). 
  4. Add notes to the case indicating the details of the signal, the contact information, and any employment details confirmed thus far. 
  5. Record income monitoring activity on the system by updating the case.
  6. When client responds to the letter estimate if employment will result in the client’s independence of assistance.  Consider the sustainability of the employment placement.
  • Sporadic or unsustainable employment: If the employment placement will not lead to independence, the client will continue to report their income on the Monthly Report (HR0081) as outlined in the brochure, How to Complete Your “Monthly Report” Form. [For Brochure– see Additional Resources]
  • Employment details unknown: If staff cannot determine yet if employment is sustainable, staff may decide to review the employment income in the following month. Create an activity with a due date, review procedural guidelines and ensure the client is aware their employment and income will continue to be monitored.
  • Sustainable Employment Income is verified: If it is determined that income is in excess, review case information to ensure earnings exemptions have been applied and that the income has not been previously reported.  Assess whether to turn cheque production off or close the case. Follow regional practice for case closure procedure.
  1. If the client did not respond prior to Cheque Issue and is seen at Cheque Issue, verify the amount of income prior to releasing the cheque.  The client is required to submit the requested information according to Section 10 of the EA Act and the EAPWD Act.
  2. If the client is ineligible, cancel the cheque and assess whether to turn cheque production off pending sustained employment or close the case. Follow regional practice for case closure procedure including advising them of their right to a reconsideration. Some clients may need to fill prescriptions prior to case closure.
  3. Record the outcome of the income monitoring procedure. 

Example: On March 7 staff review the WEM-Report.  A single ETW client has been placed in a job that earns $15 per hour at 40 hours per week.  The start date is March 13 and pay days are bi-weekly (every second Friday).  Cheque cut-off is March 24.  The client will receive net earnings prior to cheque issue.  Based on the hourly wage and hours worked, the client could receive an estimated $960 net income.  The staff contacts the client (via telephone and letter) to verify the job placement and advises the client may not be eligible for further assistance if net income is in excess of assistance rates.  The April assistance is signalled to assess eligibility.  The client telephones on March 27 to advise that they deposited a paycheque over $900 in their bank account.  The staff asks the client if the job will be sustainable.  The client states they are satisfied with the stability of the job.  The staff advises the client is not eligible for April assistance and that the client needs to use the employment income to meet support and shelter needs.  The staff then cancels the cheque.  Cheque production is turned off and an activity is created with a due date to review the file prior to next cheque cut-off.  The staff follows regional practices before closing the case. 

Case example:

What if the client receives only one week’s pay and the net income is not over the assistance rate?

For income monitoring purposes, staff should not deduct the income from the cheque on Issue Day or just prior to cut-off.  The client must be advised of their obligation to report the earnings on the Monthly Report (HR0081) as outlined in the brochure, How to Complete Your Monthly “Report” Form [see Additional Resources], and to submit it prior to the 5th.  If the net income is less than the assistance rate for that family unit, the income will be deducted from the following month’s assistance.  For income monitoring purposes, only income that is in excess of assistance rates and results in a client being independent of assistance will result in the client being ineligible.

Effective: October 9, 2008

Ministry staff are to follow these steps when identifying a client who may be income in excess:

  1. Ensure all income is reported on the Case, Contact, Income tab in the system using the appropriate income types and include notes on the system.
  2. Ensure there is supporting documentation for the income on the client’s case.
  3. Contact the client to advise that the earned and/or unearned income is more than the amount of assistance payable to the family unit.  Ministry staff can send the applicable template letters as follows: Income in Excess Letter – Single Parent with Disabled Child (HR3225), Income in Excess Letter – PWD Earned and Unearned Income (HR3227) and for all other client categories, use Income in Excess – Earned and Unearned Income (HR3224). [see Forms and Letters]
  4. Use office caseload management protocols to follow up with the client’s ongoing eligibility.

Effective: September 1, 2015

The $500 earnings exemption is extended to family units with a dependent or supported child when one recipient is unable to work more than 30 hours a week because they are caring for a child with a serious physical or mental condition. 

The child's condition alone will not determine if a client is eligible for an earnings exemption.  The impact on the parent's employability is the key factor.

The recipient will continue to have employment obligations.

Medical Form – Child (HR3103) is to be completed by the child's doctor.

Where a recipient/caregiver is not the legal guardian (e.g., CIHR), the Medical Report – Child (HR3103) and the Advisement that Guardian Must Sign for Release of  Child’s Medical Information (HR3110) are to be given to the recipient.

The recipient is responsible for ensuring the legal guardian signs the Medical Report – Child (HR3103).  If the required medical information is on file, the Medical Report - Child (HR3103) is not required.

Staff to update the ‘Child with Disability’ indicator and send the Medical Form and the Assessment for Earnings Exemption – Questionnaire (HR3107) to an Adjudicator for adjudication. [see Forms and Letters]

The Adjudicator will assess eligibility for the increased earnings exemption, and update the earnings exemption field accordingly.

For parents who are denied or no longer meet the requirements for the monthly $500 exemption for employment earnings, ministry staff are to provide the Family with a Child with Disabilities Exemption – Denial Letter (HR3104). [see Forms and Letters]. The family unit may be eligible for the monthly $400  earnings exemption [see Policy – Employment Income – Income Assistance Recipients].

Maximum review date is 12 months.

Effective: December 1, 2003

When a recipient claims a financial award, a review of the family unit’s assets is required. 

An eligibility review must be conducted to determine the family unit’s current asset level, including the financial award.

Effective: October 9, 2008

A client’s PWD start date is found on the SD More Info screen on their EA case.  Staff must first ensure the PWD status reads Eligible, and then refer to the PWD Adjudication Date. Eligibility for disability assistance is effective the first day of the month following the PWD Approval Date. The exception is a person approved prior to their 18th birthday, whose eligibility for disability assistance is effective from their 18th birthday. [See Related Links – BCEA Application – Stage 2 – Eligibility Interview  and Reconsideration].

Effective: May 26, 2006

Service Canada sends the ministry an electronic file of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payment records paid to ministry clients each month.  The current month’s CPP payment information, including any retroactive payments received by the client, is uploaded onto the system after cheque issue.

A small number of the CPP payment records received from Service Canada cannot upload to the system automatically.  These CPP payment records are recorded manually by PLMS staff in the month they are first received and are managed systematically in subsequent months.

CPP income cannot be entered directly on the system. Record CPP income reported upon intake on the application. All adjustments to CPP income information must be made on the CPP tab.

The monthly Case Review List, available to staff by Report to Web, indicates cases where the uploaded CPP income results in:
 

  1. a decrease to the client’s income assistance payment by more than $30 (thirty dollars), or
  2. an increase in their income assistance payment by more than $2 (two dollars), or
  3. an impact to service providers and therefore the case requires review, or,
  4. cheque production is turned off because the CPP income is greater than all allowances.

Note: Staff should review cases listed on the Case Review List and take appropriate action prior to assistance cheque cut off.

Uploaded CPP payments for active involvements on cases will be listed on the CPP tab.   

Service Canada may withhold a portion of the client’s CPP benefit for federal income tax or for third party garnishing orders.  The withheld amount is not exempt income.  Any amounts withheld for third parties are reported in the Withhold Amount field on the system for information only.  The Reported by Data Match amount is the CPP benefit that the client is entitled to before any withhold.

Service Canada recovers CPP overpayments by deducting a monthly amount from the client’s ongoing CPP benefits.  The amount the client is repaying Service Canada for the prior CPP overpayment is not reported by the data match (it is not a withhold).  The ministry would have deducted the total CPP, including the overpayment, in the month the client received the overpayment.  CPP should not be overridden to reflect amounts that the client is repaying to Service Canada for prior CPP overpayments.

The amounts listed on the system are added together as Income Type CPP on the system and are automatically deducted from the client’s assistance.

Additional detail regarding a specified client’s CPP payment record may be viewed on the system.  An asterisk beside a CPP payment record on the system indicates that the record was recorded manually by PLMS staff.

If the CPP payment plus other income exceeds all assistance and supplements, cheque production is turned off by the upload process and populates the Lump Sum CPP Amount field on the system.

The Lump Sum CPP Amount field on the system is initially populated by the upload of CPP in excess of assistance and supplements.  Staff can modify this field as a tool to help monitor a client’s asset level.

Note: All PWD cases must be reviewed for Medical Services Only (MSO) eligibility.

The CPP payment information is attached to the contact based on their SIN.  If the contact is stopped on a case their CPP payment information is automatically removed from the case.  If the contact moves from one case to another, their CPP payment information automatically moves with them.

Use the override function on the system if a client reports that they are receiving more CPP income than is reported by the data match or they demonstrate that they did not receive the amount reported by the data match.  Request CPP income verification from the client to support the override amount. 

No override is necessary to record an amount the client is repaying to Service Canada for a prior CPP overpayment.

Effective: February 6, 2006

The following table provides a description of when to use Override Codes on the system and results:

Override Code

Means

Can be set by

Can be removed by

When to use

Result

1

One Time Override

EAW, Supervisor IO

EAW, Supervisor IO, MIS

EAWs enter the CPP/QPP override code on the Case – Contact – Income view with the frequency of one time when the client reports a payment for which there is no record from Service Canada (the client may receive a CPP benefit from a contributor SIN that is unknown to MIS).  If no CPP payment record is received from Service Canada in the subsequent months, MIS will continue to   roll the amount forward month after month until it is removed or replaced by an uploaded payment record. Once the uploaded payment record is received, it will show as Code 11 income and the override line with have an end date.

EAWs also use the CPP/QPP override on the income view to override an uploaded CPP payment record when the client demonstrates that they did not receive the report amount.  Note:  amounts withheld at source by Service Canada are considered income and are not subject to any exemption or override.  Any subsequent payment record from Service Canada will replace an override code, one time or monthly

The amount entered into the “Override Amount” field applies to the selected person for 1 month. 

R

Rolled Forward by System

MIS

EAW, Supervisor, IO, MIS

The amount entered into the “Override Amount” field applies to the selected person on a roll forward basis and will be rolled forward to the next month.  MIS will convert Override Code “1” to “R” when there is no Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) data available at upload. 

M

Continuous Monthly Override

Supervisor, IO, EAW

Supervisor,IO

EAWs (after consultation with an IO or Supervisor) use the CPP/QPP Override code on the Case – Contact – Income view and frequency of Monthly to override uploaded CPP payment information on an ongoing basis.  Caution must be exercised in using this code because the CPP amount associated with a monthly override will not be replaced by a subsequent upload from Service Canada including retroactive (lump sum) payments.

The amount entered into the “Override Amount” field applies to the selected person continuously until the override is removed.  It is important to note that when code “M” is in place, the override amount will not be replaced by a data upload from HRSDC, including Lump Sum payments.

P

Person Combine

MIS

Supervisor IO

 

The CPP reported for both people merged on a Person Combine operation is added together.  “P” only occurs when both people merged have CPP amounts reported. 

Files with an Override in place are reported monthly on a CPP Override Report, available to staff by Report to Web. 

Note: Staff should review the files listed on the CPP Override Report to ensure the overrides are still appropriate prior to cut off each month.

Effective: May 26, 2006

The February upload of January CPP payment records will correctly capture the annual CPP cost of living allowance (COLA) each year. Overridden amounts are automatically increased by the COLA percentage as part of the February upload.  Staff must not adjust CPP amounts to reflect the COLA increase or the CPP amounts will be incremented twice.

Effective: February 6, 2006

Payment Declared

When a retroactive Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payment is declared to the local office, the retroactive CPP payment is to be treated in the same manner as other unearned income in the month received.  No referral to an Investigative Officer (IO) is required.

Staff are to enter the full amount of the CPP payment (including the retroactive portion) on the Case – Contact – Income view with a frequency of One Time if the payment record is not displayed there already.  This will affect the next month’s eligibility for assistance.  This will show as Code 11 income on the income view and as an asset on the asset view. 

Staff are to consider the impact of the CPP income on the asset level for the family unit when reviewing eligibility.  Following months will be income- and asset-tested with the case possibly being changed to Medical Services Only (MSO) for these months.

Payment Undeclared

When the CPP data match indicates that a retroactive CPP payment has not been declared, staff are to treat the undeclared retroactive CPP payment in the same manner as any other undeclared unearned income.

Recovery of the over payment is negotiated and all necessary changes to the system and Compliance Review (CRV) screens are completed.

Staff review the impact of the retroactive CPP payment on the asset level applicable to the family unit.

In cases where the recipient has the Person with Disabilities designation, this may necessitate changing the file to MSO for the period of ineligibility.  The case should not be closed.  [see Related Links – Medical Services Only]

Previous Adjustments

Any overpayments calculated on the basis of the previous policy attributing retroactive CPP payments to prior months are to be reversed.

New calculations based on unearned income in the month received must be completed and notification of these reversals sent to Financial and Administrative Services Branch as soon as possible.

CPP Tax Exemption on Retroactive CPP assigned to Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

These procedures must be followed whenever retroactive CPP benefits are received by the ministry on behalf of a client (i.e., the client assigned their retroactive CPP benefits using the ISP1613 Consent to Deduct form).

  1. Determine if the client is eligible for the CPP Tax Exemption by entering the gross monthly CPP amount on the Case, Contact, CPP Income tab in the system (the CPP Tax Exemption is automatically calculated).
  2. Determine the number of retroactive months (this can be calculated using the ISP 1613 Consent to Deduct form or alternatively by contacting Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)).
  3. Multiply the CPP Tax Exemption amount by the number of retroactive months.
  4. Issue an Imprest cheque to the client using the one-time allowance – CPP Adjustment Benefit and advise the client that these funds are for tax liability on CPP assigned to the ministry.

CPP Class Action Settlement

Any amounts over the asset level are to be treated as unearned income and deducted from the income assistance for the month. 

Clients who have deductions in their income assistance due to an excess cash asset had the opportunity to apply through Doak Shirreff, lawyers for the Class, for a reimbursement of up to $300.  All reimbursements were made before October 29, 2005.

Eligibility for the following months will be assessed based on current income and asset criteria.

NOTE:  The case is to remain open and persons maintain their eligibility for Medical Services Only (MSO).  When assets are deemed no longer in excess, persons are to resume receipt of assistance payments.

Effective: September 1, 2015

If there is a change in family circumstances during the calendar year, then the amount remaining in the family unit’s annual earnings exemption (AEE) limit will be adjusted (increased or decreased) based on the circumstances of that change (e.g.: the addition of spouse to a family unit or separation from a spouse or a period of ineligibility within the year).  In most situations, the system will make the adjustment to the family unit’s AEE limit automatically.

Depending on the situation and timing of the change in family circumstances, there may be cases where the provision of a one time payment is required. When a one time payment is provided, the AEE limit will need to be manually adjusted. [For more information on methods of payment, see Related Links – Individual Case Management.]

Below are several examples showing the manual calculation to the AEE limit that may need to be completed due to a change in circumstances and when an imprest cheque is required.
 

  1. When a family unit is no longer receiving disability assistance (DA) and is a Medical Services Only (MSO) case due to exhausting their AEE in the prior year and returns to assistance in the next year, their AEE limit is prorated if they reapply and are found eligible for assistance after January.

When an individual or family on an MSO case reapplies part way through the next calendar year, their AEE limit upon return is prorated because they will only be receiving DA for a portion of the exemption year. 

Sample case: Sasha, a single PWD, reached her annual exemption limit in August and her case was updated to MSO in November. She completed a re-application for  assistance on February 15 of the following year. Her earnings were $1,200 in January and $1,100 in February. Sasha’s AEE limit for the March assistance month is $9,600. Her exemption limit for April is reduced by $1,900: $800 for January (before she re-applied) and $1,100 for her February earnings (the month of her re-application).
 

  1. When a family unit is no longer receiving disability assistance and later begins to receive disability assistance within the calendar year and family composition has not changed: 

When an individual or family is no longer receiving disability assistance (DA) and begins receiving DA later in the calendar year, their AEE limit upon return is prorated because they were only receiving DA for a portion of the exemption year.  Earned income while they were previously eligible is deducted from the prorated amount.

Sample case: John, a single PWD, started with an AEE of $9,600 (base amount of $800 times 12 months).  He was receiving DA for 3 months and earned $1,000 each month. John did not receive  DA for 3 months for a job outside of BC.  He then returned to DA with 6 months remaining in the  year.  John’s prorated AEE limit upon return to DA is $4,200.

 Calculation: [$800 x 9 months (3 months + 6 months) = $7,200];   $7,200 - $3,000 (income) = $4,200
 

  1. When a client is no longer receiving disability assistance and later begins receiving disability assistance as part of a new family unit: 

When a PWD client is no longer receiving DA and later begins receiving  DA as part of a new family unit, all within the same exemption year, the balance of the new family unit’s AEE limit will be a combined total of the residual AEE balance of both individuals.  The portion attributed to the returning PWD client is prorated because they were only receiving DA for a portion of the exemption year.  Earned income while they were previously eligible for DA is deducted from the prorated amount.  This prorated amount is then added to the AEE limit of the other client. 

Sample case: Jill, a single PWD, started with an AEE of $9,600 (base amount of $800 times 12 months).  She was receiving DA for 3 months and earned $1,000 each month. Jill left DA for 3 months for a job outside of BC.  She then returned to DA with a new spouse, Rob, who is not a PWD client.  There is 6 months remaining in the exemption year. The new family unit’s combined AEE limit upon return is $4,200 + $1,200 = $5,400.

Calculations: Jill [$800 x 9 months (3 months + 6 months) = $7,200; $7,200 - $3,000 (income)  = $4,200]  +  Rob [$200 x 6 months = $1,200]=$5,400
 

  1. When a family unit is no longer receiving disability assistance, separates and the PWD client later begins receiving disability assistance as a single person: 

When family unit is no longer receiving DA, separates after leaving DA and the PWD client later begins receiving DA as a single person, all within the same exemption year, their AEE limit is prorated for the remainder of the year starting from the month of reapplication. Earned income declared in the exemption year prior to the separation is not deducted from the prorated amount. Individuals who do not have the PWD designation who return to assistance will change over to the applicable monthly earnings exemption.

Sample case:  A family unit with 2 PWD clients, Rick and Jane, start with an AEE limit of $19,200 (base amount of $1600 times 12 months).  They declared earnings of $2,000 per month. In May, they leave DA.  While Rick and Jane are not receiving DA, they separate.  Jane returns to disability assistance in June as a single person.  As Jane separated from her spouse, her AEE limit is prorated for the 9 months left in the exemption year.  Income earned while she was part of her previous family unit is not deducted from her new AEE limit. Her revised AEE limit is $7,200.

Calculation: $800 x 9 months = $7,200
 

  1. Adding a spouse:

Single clients who form a couple in the middle of the exemption year will combine each of their residual AEE room (carry over amount) for the remainder of the year. 

Sample Case: 2 single PWD clients, Dave and Sam, become a couple during the exemption year. Dave has been working and has declared $6,400 earnings year to date.  Sam has not been working. The new family unit’s combined AEE limit is $3,200 + $9,600 = $12, 800.

Calculation: Dave [$9,600 - $6,400 (income) = $3,200] + Sam [$9,600] = $12,800

Sample Case: 2 PWD clients, Lara and Jacob, become a couple in September.  Previously, Lara was in another PWD family unit and she split from that spouse in May.  As a result her AEE limit was recalculated in June to be $800 x 9 months = $7,200.  Since her separation, Lara has declared earnings of $4,000 giving her an AEE limit of $3,200.  Jacob’s AEE limit started at $9,600 (base amount of $800 times 12 months). He has declared $4,000 earnings year to date giving him an AEE limit of $5,600.  The combined AEE limit for this new family unit is $3,200 + $5,600 = $8,800

Calculation: Lara [$800 x 9 months = $7,200; $7,200 - $4,000 (income) = $3,200]    +    Jacob [$9,600 - $4,000 (income) = $5,600] = $8,800.

Sample case:  In August, Oscar, a PWD client, becomes a couple with Susan, a non-PWD client who has a monthly earning exemption. Oscar has been working and has declared $6,400 earnings year to date.  Marie has also been working and using her monthly exemption.   Marie’s previously exempted income calculated under the monthly exemption does not carry over into the new family unit’s AEE limit calculation. The new family unit’s combined AEE limit is $3,200 + $1,400 = $4,600

Calculation: Oscar: [$9,600 - $6,400 (income) = $3,200]  + Susan [$200 x 7 months  = $1,400] = $4,600.
 

  1. Removing a spouse:

When couples separate in the middle of the exemption year, the individuals move onto their own cases and no longer share an AEE limit. Each PWD client will have their AEE limit pro-rated for the remainder of the year, starting the month after the couple separates. Earned income declared in the exemption year prior to the separation is not deducted from the pro-rated amount. Individuals who do not have the PWD designation and remain on income assistance will change over to the applicable monthly earnings exemption.

Sample case:  A 2 PWD family unit separates in September.  Effective October, each PWD client will have an AEE limit of $4,000 for the remainder of the exemption year. 

Calculation: $800 x 5 months = $4,000     No previous earned income is deducted. 
 

  1. A non-PWD spouse in a 1 PWD family unit receives the PWD designation during the exemption year:

If a non-PWD spouse applies for and receives the PWD designation during the exemption year, the family unit’s AEE room will increase by $600 x the # of months remaining in the exemption year.

Sample case:  This family unit started the exemption year with a $12,000 ($1000 base amount times 12 months) AEE limit. They have declared a total of $3,000 in earned income year to date.  On June 10, the non-PWD spouse receives approval for the PWD designation. As a result, effective July 1 the family unit’s remaining AEE limit will increase by $4,800 ($600 x 8 months).  

Calculation: ]$12,000 - $3,000 (income) = $9,000];   $9,000 + $4,800 = $13,800

 [For details on the calculations used to establish the AEE limit in the initial qualifying month and subsequent months, see Additional Resources – Policy Summary of AEE Regulation]

Effective: October 3, 2014
 

  1. When a client reports an income tax refund, it is treated as unearned, one-time income in the month it is received. 
  2. Worker is to enter the unearned income.

Effective: October 1, 2012

For more information on three generation families who receive Ministry of Children and Family Development payments, see Related Links – Family Composition – Policy and Procedures – Three-Generation Families.

Effective: February 6, 2006

QPP payment information is not included in the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) data match.  Enter QPP income as an income record in the income tab.

Effective: February 28, 2014

When a client receives a rental subsidy, follow these steps:

  1. Request that the client provide verification from the agency providing the subsidy.
  2. Advise the client that the rental subsidy and any changes to the subsidy must be reported to the ministry.
  3. Adjust shelter costs to reflect what the client pays after the rental subsidy is applied (the subsidy is not deducted as income).

Note: Clients receiving rental subsidies from BC Housing’s Rental Assistance Program (RAP) or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) are not eligible for those subsidies under BC Housing policy if they are receiving income, disability or hardship assistance.  

Ensure the client is aware that BC Housing will be notified to stop the subsidies from RAP or SAFER so that the client can make an informed decision whether they would like to continue applying for, or receiving, assistance.

Effective: December 1, 2015

Follow these steps when determining the amount to exempt:

  • Confirm that the client meets the exemption criteria in policy [see Policy – Student Funding].
  • Request client to provide a copy of the Notification of Assessment from StudentAid BC.
    Note:  Other types of documentation, such as letters from the school’s Financial Aid Office that provide the assessment information, would also be acceptable.
  • Direct client to StudentAid BC or the Financial Aid Office if client does not have any documentation showing the assessment of expected cost.
    Note:  It is recommended that staff use the assessment rather than requesting individual receipts from the client.
  • Review the expense items in the assessment notification.  If daycare costs and/or transportation costs are not included in the assessment and are an additional cost that should be included, they may be added to the assessed cost.
  • The following expenses are considered when determining educational costs:
    • Tuition
    • Student fees
    • Books
    • Equipment, including the purchase of technology such as a laptop/tablet and monthly internet costs, and items needed to accommodate a disability
    • Supplies
    • Transportation for commuting to and from a course, as well as transportation costs to relocate for the course
    • $100/month other incidental training related costs.

[For more information on education costs, see Additional Resources – StudentAid BC Policy].

  • Total amount to be exempted should be the total assessed costs.  Any remaining balance of funding received should be considered unearned income.
    Note: If the client is enrolled in the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI), Student Financial Assistance is not exempted.

Example:

A PWD client is starting school in September and receives $2,800 in grants with no student loans.  She is currently registered for two semesters covering September to April.  Each semester has educational costs of $1,300.  Because she is currently registered for two semesters, her educational costs are $2,600.  The amount that will be exempted is $2,600 and $200 will be considered unearned income (grant $2,800 less educational costs $2,600 = $200).  Her next month’s disability assistance will be reduced by $200.

Effective: May 1, 2005
 

  • Clients designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD) must report any Therapeutic Volunteer Supplement (TVS) or other mental health volunteer payments received on the Monthly Report (HR0081) under “Other,” in the initial month they receive it and any time there are changes (i.e. an increase or decrease) in the amount received.  Clients are to report the name or purpose of the stipend and the amount received (e.g., TVS $50). 
  • Other clients must report any TVS or other mental health volunteer payments each month they receive it on their Monthly Report (HR0081), under “Other.”  Clients are to report the name or purpose of the stipend and the amount received (e.g., TVS $50).
  • Ministry workers may verify with a health authority that a BCEA recipient is receiving the TVS or other mental health payments.  They may verify that payments are received in the amount reported, and for the purposes indicated, by the client, and also in accordance with limits set by health authorities.  Ministry staff may further ask clients to confirm the payments they have received by providing:
    • cheque stubs for volunteer payments received from health authorities or designated agencies, or
    • a letter of confirmation from a health authority or designated agency indicating the amount, purpose and duration of any payments made.
  • If a client is unable to provide either a cheque stub or a letter of confirmation, ministry staff workers may contact the health authority’s case manager for a client to verify what payments (amount and purpose) have been made to that person.  Ministry staff shall enter the payment amounts made to the client by the health authority or designated agency using the appropriate income type.
  • Clients should be advised to consult with health authorities to ensure that any lump sum payments they receive are spread over a period of time such that they do not exceed their allowable asset limits.    

Effective: July 20, 2011
 

  1. When a client reports a RDSP disbursement, supporting documentation must be provided.
  2. Once supporting documentation is verified, record the amount on the income tab. 
  3. Make notes on the case.

[For related information, see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions]

Related Information

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