Pursuing Income

Overview

Applicants and recipients of income assistance, disability assistance and hardship assistance who may be eligible for other income or other means of support are required to pursue and accept the other income or means of support.  Those who fail to accept or refuse to pursue other income, or other means of support, may be ineligible for assistance or eligible at a reduced rate.

Policy

Effective: September 28, 2010

Applicants and recipients (including adult dependants without residency status) are required to seek, accept, and use all other income to support themselves before receiving assistance.  Applicants and recipients who may be eligible for income from other sources are required to pursue it. 

Recipients who apply for other income may continue to receive assistance if they complete an assignment or repayment agreement where appropriate.

Applicants who are awaiting another source of income may be eligible for hardship assistance under Awaiting Other Income.  [see Related Links – Awaiting Other Income] Applicants who were previously in receipt of disability assistance as a person with disabilities and who are currently awaiting other income are eligible for disability assistance if they complete the appropriate repayment agreement, consent to deduct, et cetera.

Effective: September 28, 2010

Failure to accept or pursue income (or other means of support) that would enable a person to become completely or partly independent of assistance may result in ineligibility or a rate reduction. 

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

[For information on how income affects eligibility, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions.]

Effective: July 1, 2017

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a federal government benefit, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), designed to assist low- and modest-income families with the cost of raising their children. Families must file their income tax return each year in order to receive the CCB.

[For more information, see Related Links – Child Benefits Top-up Supplement.]

Effective: September 1, 2015

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a contributory, earnings-related pension program.  CPP is included in the international social security agreements that Canada has concluded with a number of countries.  These agreements may help a person qualify for social security benefits from another country in which they have lived or worked.

CPP is considered to be “other income” and therefore applicants or recipients are required to pursue CPP benefits.  These benefits include CPP retirement pension, disability benefits, and survivor benefits.  Applicants and recipients who have not applied for CPP benefits are to be reviewed for potential CPP eligibility. 

Overpayments due to undeclared CPP benefits will be treated as any other undeclared unearned income, recovery of the overpayment will be negotiated, and all necessary changes made to the system. 

Applying for CPP Benefits

The Canada Pension Plan pays a monthly retirement pension benefits to persons who have worked and contributed to the CPP. Generally, all workers in Canada over the age of 18 pay into the CPP (or the Québec Pension Plan (QPP)) and qualify for benefits

While clients should be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine who may be eligible for CPP, the following are some general guidelines:
 

  • early retirement pension: clients who turn 60 years of age
  • retirement pension: clients who are 65 years of age or over
  • disability benefits: clients with the Persons with Disabilities designation or persons with persistent multiple barriers
  • survivor benefits: clients who are the surviving legal or common-law spouse of a CPP contributor

CPP applications can be submitted on behalf of another person but must be signed by the applicant or the applicant’s legal representative.  Individuals should be advised of this, and should not continue to be eligible for assistance if they repeatedly fail to apply for this reason.

CPP Early Retirement Benefits

A CPP early retirement pension is a contribution-related benefit payable monthly upon application, to CPP contributors who are at least age 60.  Any applicant or recipient who reaches 60 years of age and is not working must apply for CPP early retirement benefits for which they are potentially eligible.  There are limited exceptions including the following circumstances:

  • the person has imminent employment (within one month) that has been confirmed with an employer or a service provider (must be followed up within a month)
  • due to illness or incapacitation, the person cannot apply even with ministry assistance (these cases are to be reviewed monthly)
  • the person has been laid off work and is in receipt of hardship assistance pending receipt of Employment Insurance

Clients who are applying for or receiving CPP early retirement benefits, and are expected to work, are still required to have an Employment Plan and meet their employment-related obligations.  Once a person starts receiving a CPP early retirement pension, they can work without affecting the pension amount and do not contribute to CPP on any earnings from employment.  They also have the option of cancelling the retirement pension up to six months after it starts by requesting cancellation in writing and paying back the benefits they have received.

CPP Retirement Benefits

A CPP retirement pension is a contribution-related benefit, payable monthly upon application, to CPP contributors who are at least 65 years of age.

CPP Survivor Benefits

A survivor pension is a benefit that is payable to the estate, the surviving spouse or common-law partner, and the children of a deceased CPP contributor until the age of 25 if they are attending school.  The three types of survivor pensions are: 
 

  • surviving spouse’s pension is a monthly pension benefit paid to the surviving spouse or common-law partner of a deceased CPP contributor
  • children’s benefit is a monthly benefit for children of a deceased CPP contributor.   This payment is exempt as income and is also known as a surviving child's benefit for the child of a deceased contributor, or CPP Orphan’s benefit
  • death benefit is a one-time payment to, or on behalf of, the estate of the deceased CPP contributor

Applicants and recipients who fail or refuse to apply for CPP survivor benefits to which they are potentially eligible may be determined eligible for BCEA in limited circumstances, including the following:
 

  • where there is a potential for a claim by both a common-law and legal spouse
  • the person is awaiting clarification concerning the deceased spouse’s employment history outside Canada and an international agreement exists with the other country

CPP Disability Benefits

Disability pensions are benefits, payable to CPP contributors with disabilities and to their dependent children.    

Applicants and recipients who fail or refuse to apply for CPP disability benefits to which they are potentially eligible may be determined eligible for BCEA in limited circumstances, including the following:
 

  • due to illness or incapacitation, the person cannot apply even with ministry assistance (these cases are to be reviewed monthly)
  • the person is awaiting clarification of his or her employment history outside of Canada and an international agreement exists

For more information on CPP, see the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Internet site [see Contacts – Canada Pension Plan].

Effective: September 1, 2015

Although child support is considered exempt income under the Employment and Assistance Act and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act, ministry staff should provide clients information on the available resources to pursue this financial resource.

Resources available to clients to pursue child support include a referral by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction for family maintenance services, as well as child support officers and family justice counsellors. 

[See Related Links – Family Maintenance Services – Additional Resources and Income Treatment and Exemptions – Policy]

Effective: December 1, 2003

Regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits may be paid to those who lose a job through no fault of their own and have worked in insurable employment for a certain number of weeks in the qualifying period.  The number of insurable weeks of employment varies depending on the unemployment rate in the region.

Special benefits are paid if a person cannot work because he or she is sick, injured, in quarantine, or pregnant, has recently given birth, is caring for a newborn baby, or is adopting a child.  Special eligibility requirements apply to people who fish for a living and to teachers.

For more information on Employment Insurance, see the ESDC Internet site.  [see Contacts – Employment Insurance]

Effective: December 1, 2003

Small-scale farmers, for health reasons or as a result of crop failure, may apply for assistance.  They must first make use of federal and provincial agricultural financial aid programs before applying for assistance because of economic reasons.  Individuals may obtain information by contacting the district agriculturist from the Ministry of Agriculture.

When farmland, excluding the house, is rented before being sold, any revenue obtained by an applicant or recipient is considered unearned income.  When a farm is sold, the equity after the sale is considered an asset.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Under the Motor Fuel Tax Act, drivers of automobiles who are disabled or partially disabled may qualify for a refund of tax paid on fuel purchased for their motor vehicles from the Consumer Taxation Branch.

For more information on the Fuel Tax Refund Program, see the Ministry of Finance Internet site.  [see Contacts – Fuel Tax Refund Program]

Effective: December 1, 2003

The Home Owner Grant Program offers a tax reduction for homeowners.  An additional grant may be available for seniors, persons with disabilities, or others who meet the eligibility criteria under the home owner grant qualifications.

For more information on the Home Owner Grant Program, see the Ministry of Finance Internet site.  [see Contacts – Home Owner Grants]

Effective: October 29, 2012

Allowance

The spouse of an Old Age Security (OAS) pensioner may be eligible for an Allowance if the spouse is aged 60 to 64 and meets residency and income test requirements.  A common-law spouse may also qualify.

Allowance for the Survivor

The Allowance provides an income-tested benefit to low-income spouses of OAS pensioners or widows/widowers aged 60 to 64.

The Allowance for the survivor provides an income-tested monthly benefit paid to widowed persons aged 60 to 64.  The recipient must meet the income and residency requirements to apply.  The Allowance for the survivor ends if a person remarries.  The widowed person must annually reapply for this assistance.

Guaranteed Income Supplement

An OAS pensioner with no income or limited income apart from OAS may receive Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits.  These benefits are available only upon annual application by the individual.  The individual must declare on the application all income received during the previous calendar year.  (Clients may be eligible for BCEA if they are ineligible for GIS due to the previous year’s income and this income is no longer received.)

Old Age Security (OAS)

An OAS pension is payable to people who are 65 years of age or over and meet residency requirements.

Reciprocal agreements have been entered into with Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Jamaica, Norway, Portugal, St. Lucia, Spain, Sweden, the United States of America, and the Federal Republic of Germany.  Therefore, residency in these countries may count as credit toward the Canadian residency requirement.

For more information on Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) programs, see the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Internet site [see Contacts - Old Age Security].

Retroactive Old Age Security (OAS) Payments

Recipients of income, disability or hardship assistance are not required to transfer retroactive OAS payments to the ministry by signing an assignment or Consent to Deduct form.  However, to continue to be eligible for assistance, they are required to pursue, accept or use eligible OAS benefits to support themselves and become partly or completely independent of assistance.  Applicants (excluding applicants with the Persons with Disabilities designation), but not recipients, can be issued Hardship – Awaiting Other Income due to pending OAS income. [For more information, see Related Links – Awaiting Other Income and Support, Shelter and Special Care Facilities.]

Effective: May 26, 2009

Homeowners who are 55 years of age or older, widowed, or qualifying persons with disabilities may defer the property taxes on their home until they no longer own it or the property is no longer the principal residence.

For more information on the Property Tax Deferment Program, see the Ministry of Finance Internet site. [see Contacts – Property Tax Deferment Program]

Effective: December 1, 2003

Assistance similar to Canada Pension Plan benefits may be obtained by applicants in Québec who are over age 60 or disabled, and have resided in Québec and contributed to the Québec Pension Plan.  People living outside Québec should apply through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

For more information on the Quebec Pension Plan, see the Québec Pension Plan Internet site.  [see Contacts – Québec Pension Plan]

Effective:  January 13, 2010

Definition of Default

The sponsor is in default of a Sponsorship Undertaking if assistance is issued to the sponsored relative while the Undertaking is still in effect.

The amount of any assistance issued while the Undertaking is in effect is a debt that the sponsor (and not the sponsored relative) will owe to the federal government or, on assignment, to the Province.

The debt remains outstanding even if the case is closed.  Consequently, sponsors may approach Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction offices to inquire about old debts as they discover that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will not accept new sponsorship applications from them until outstanding sponsorship default debts are repaid.

Note: Sponsors may contact the ministry to inquire about their debts by contacting the Financial and Administrative Services Branch [see Contacts- Sponsorship Default Line].

What the Sponsor Can Expect

The ministry makes every reasonable effort to ensure sponsors are contacted and asked if they can provide financial support to cover the essential needs (basic support and shelter) of the sponsored relative.  The sponsor is told that if they cannot provide financial support and the sponsored relative is approved for assistance, then they are in default of their undertaking  and any assistance issued to the sponsored relative each month will become a debt that the sponsor must repay.

If the sponsored relative is eligible to receive assistance, the sponsor is notified by letter (HR2772).  Citizenship and Immigration Canada is notified that sponsorship default has occurred.

The sponsor will receive monthly statements regarding the debt and interest accumulation.

In cases where the sponsored relative is fleeing a health or safety threat (abuse) and there is documented proof from a credible third party (for example a police report, court order or medical records) that substantiate the threat, the sponsor will not be contacted or notified of the sponsorship default until the threat no longer exists.

If a sponsor is fleeing a health and/or safety threat (abuse) and approaches the ministry with questions or concerns about their debt, they may contact the Financial Administrative Services Branch [see Contacts- Sponsorship Default Line] for further information and assistance.  The ministry makes every effort to ensure that individuals with health and or safety concerns regarding their sponsorship debt are assisted in a sensitive manner.  If collection of the debt places the individual at risk and there is substantiated evidence from a third party collection can be suspended until the threat no longer exists. 

Eligibility Criteria

Where an applicant or adult dependant is the subject of a Sponsorship Undertaking that is still in effect, income assistance cannot be issued until the sponsor confirms whether he or she is a resource.  Where a sponsor confirms that he or she is unable or unwilling to provide for the essential needs (including food, lodging, and clothing) of the sponsored family members or the sponsor cannot be contacted due to a verified health and/or safety threat, the family unit may be eligible for BCEA if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

Hardship assistance may be issued while awaiting confirmation or verification of immigration status; and/or the sponsor’s ability to provide assistance; or while awaiting documentation that substantiates the threat of abuse and/or health/safety concerns. 

Once verification of status and/or documentation has been received and assessed, the EAW may determine to switch the file back to regular assistance if all other eligibility criteria are met [see Related Links – Sponsorship Undertaking Default].

Where there are concerns about possible abuse, no contact is to be made with the sponsor, including by letter.  All cases where the applicant expresses concern about their sponsor being contacted must be confirmed by a credible third party - who can verify that the allegation of abuse or violence is substantiated, and the documentation must be scanned and profiled.  Copies are forwarded to FASB to ensure collection of debt is suspended until the health/safety threat no longer exists.  The cases are reviewed annually for any changes in circumstances.

Note: If the sponsor is not contacted, the sponsored relative must be advised of the following:
 

  • The sponsor is in default of a Sponsorship Undertaking and will incur a debt if assistance is issued. 
  • Initiation of debt collection may be suspended and the sponsor will not be contacted only if there is a substantiated threat to the health and/or safety of an individual involved. 

Applicants who fear for their safety must provide substantiating verifiable third-party evidence that a potential risk to their health and/or safety exists.  Examples of documentation include:
 

  • Police incident report of event;
  • Court orders (such as a current restraining order);
  • Hospital records indicating physical injuries as result of assault;
  • Verification in writing from a transition house and/or support worker from an agency; and/or
  • A Doctor’s report describing the current and ongoing treatment of the physical/mental effect of assault/abuse.

Note: Cases where there is no substantiating evidence to support the allegation of abuse will be assessed on their own merit by a panel.  Discuss with the supervisor and add comments. If the decision cannot be determined, the supervisor will contact the Community Relations and Service Quality Manager who will arrange a panel review.  The supervisor will also contact the Sponsorship Default Recovery Program before and after the panel review to explain the situation and how the decision was determined. 

Note: Applicant may be assessed for Hardship Sponsorship Undertaking Default pending verification of health and safety threat if appropriate.  Once the health/safety is verified the case should be updated to regular assistance.       

If, at anytime, a sponsor or sponsored relative approaches the ministry to request suspension of debt collection because they fear their health and/or safety would be at risk if debt collection is initiated, direct them as follows:
 

  • A sponsor should contact FASB [see Contacts- Sponsorship Default Line].
  • A sponsored relative should have their case assessed by the EAW and if necessary by a panel for recommendation to waive contact with sponsor and recommend debt notification/collection be suspended for one year.

Any contribution received from a sponsor is unearned income and totally deducted from assistance.  Advise the client to report this money on the Monthly Report (cheque Stub) HR0081.

Where an applicant resides with a sponsor, shelter must not be paid unless the sponsor is also in receipt of BCEA.  

Effective: December 1, 2003

War Veterans and Civilian War Allowance

Veterans and certain civilians who meet income, service, age or health, and residency requirements may be eligible to receive an allowance and related assistance.

Treatment Benefits

Treatment benefits may include medical, surgical and dental care, prosthetic services, home adaptations, supplementary benefits such as travel costs for examinations or treatment, and other community health care services and benefits.  Palliative and respite care may also be provided.

Veterans Independence Program

This program provides a variety of services to help eligible veterans remain healthy and independent in their own homes or communities.

Disability and Survivor Benefits

Pensions and other allowances are awarded to current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces or their survivors for disability or death related to wartime and peacetime military service.

Disability pensioners who are severely disabled may qualify for a clothing allowance, an attendance allowance or an exceptional incapacity allowance in addition to their pension.

Other Resources for Veterans

Clothing allowances may also be available from programs such as HOMES BC, Community Housing Initiatives (CHI), Rent Supplements Program, Supported Independent Living Program (SILP), Tenant Resources, and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER).

For more information on Resources and Benefits for Veterans, see the Veterans Affairs Canada Internet site.  [see Contacts – Veterans Affairs Canada]

Effective: December 1, 2003

Workers’ Compensation Board benefits include return to work, wage loss, pension, and medical aid benefits to injured workers, those suffering from occupational diseases, and dependants of workers who are killed.

For more information on the Workers’ Compensation Board benefits, see the WorkSafeBC Internet site.  [see Contacts – WorkSafe]

Procedures

Effective: June 3, 2011

Forward all CPP Disability and Early Retirement Benefit enquiries and applications to the Provincial CPP Recovery Program-FASB (FASB).

If clients are enquiring where to send their CPP applications/ISP1613 and required documents, staff should advise that they have the option to:
 

  • Send the applications and documents to their local office who will then forward them to FASB
  • Send the applications and documents directly to FASB [see Contacts]
  • Call the toll-free number for any CPP-related enquiries [see Contacts]

When the client submits completed CPP application packages or the ISP1613:
 

  • Forward all originals to the address indicated on the self-addressed envelope via house mail
  • If the client does not have the self-addressed envelope, forward all originals to the FASB mailing address [see Contacts] via house mail.

Note: These documents must not be forwarded to Service Canada and are only to be profiled in the system by FASB.

Transferring CPP applications and documents to FASB:

Statement of Contributions or letters from Service Canada (not ISP1613 or application documents) can be faxed or scanned as per below, or may be sent via house mail to FASB.

ICM Scan to Folder

Fax

Scan document into MFD, then transfer to Office 013-CPP folder

Send to 1 866-696-5006

Do not profile or create a Service Request

Do not profile or create a Service Request

Effective: June 3, 2011

All applicants and recipients are required to sign an assignment of Canada Pension Plan Benefits, the Consent to Deduction and Payment Form (ISP1613) [see Additional Resources]  when they apply for CPP benefits

Completing a Consent to Deduction and Payment

To complete a Consent to Deduction and Payment form for clients who have applied for and are awaiting CPP benefits in excess of $50 follow these steps:
 

  1. Complete the Consent to Deduction and Payment (ISP1613) and have the applicants/recipients sign and date where required.  [see Additional Resources]

Note: Whenever possible, the ISP1613 should accompany the original CPP application.
 

  1. Provide client with a photo-copy of pages four and five and forward original ISP1613 to Provincial CPP Recovery Program – FASB (FASB) via in house mail.
     
  2. Provincial CPP Recovery Program-FASB (FASB) staff ensure completeness of the ISP1613 and distribute the original five pages of the ISP1613 as follows:
  • after FASB profiles entire ISP1613 to service request, pages one and two are mailed to the federal government’s Income Security Programs office [for the address, see Contacts]
  • page three is scanned to the service request and then batch filed
  • pages four and five are the client copies and are mailed to the client
  1. If the client is approved for CPP, the Income Security Programs will request information regarding the amount of assistance paid to the client.
     
  2. If the reimbursement is accepted, the federal government will request section C of the ISP1613 be completed and forwarded to the federal office.  The federal government will then complete section D of the form, and return a copy of the form with the reimbursement cheque for assistance issued pending CPP benefits in excess of $50.  Federal government will forward the cheque and ISP1613 to FASB.

Effective: June 29, 2012

All responsibility for the CPP Disability and Early Retirement (CPP D&E) application process is managed by the Provincial CPP Recovery Program-FASB (FASB). 

Completing a CPP Early Retirement Application

To determine eligibility and complete a CPP Early Retirement (CPPE) application, ministry staff follow these steps:
 

  1. Review the CPP Application Status monthly report that identifies clients between 59.5 and 65 years of age and the monthly CPP D and E Provincial Report.
     
  2. Send the CPP Early Retirement Initial Contact letter (HR3143), CPP Retirement Application (ISP1000), CPP Child Rearing Provision (ISP1640) if applicable, and ISP1613 to clients identified on the monthly report. This letter asks the client to return the application package, or a Statement of Contributions showing no eligibility, or to contact FASB within six weeks at the number indicated on the letter.  [see Forms and Letters and Additional Resources]
  • Update client’s CPA screen in the system.
  1. If the client does not contact the FASB worker within 3 weeks, contact the client by telephone or letter (Cheque Signal Letter – generated in the system) to advise of the day and month their cheque may be held pending the required information, to determine eligibility.
     
  2. When the client returns the CPPE Retirement application, review and mail the completed CPP Retirement application with a Consent to Deduction and Payment form to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
  • If the client has provided information indicating they are not eligible to apply for CPPE, profile any documentation to service request and update CPA screen.
  • Note: If the client has already applied for CPP without completing the ISP1613 send CPPD/E –Letter Enclosing ISP1613 (HR3489) along with the ISP1613 to the client.
  1. If CPPE is approved, ESDC will inform the client and the ministry office noted on the Consent to Deduction and Payment (ISP1613) of the decision and the effective date of eligibility. Add a note on the system to indicate the effective date of eligibility for CPPE.  Update the CPA screen.
     
  2. If ESDC has requested payment information, provide from the effective date of eligibility.  Request calculator on CPA screen.
     
  3. Report2Web runs overnight and produces a spreadsheet indicating all support and shelter issued to the client since the effective date.  The report is distributed to the staff who requested the CPA calculator.  Record the amounts for support and shelter on the ESDC letter.  Verify client payment history for any one-time allowances for support or shelter that may not show on this report.  Verify service provider amounts for per diems paid to special care facilities. 
     
  4. Once the client is in pay, update the CPA screen by entering the retroactive ministry lump sum and the monthly CPPE amount.  Enter a comment on the system that the application for CPPE was approved and include details of any lump sum amount paid to ministry, and the monthly amount paid to the client.

Effective: June 29, 2012

All responsibility for the CPP Disability and Early Retirement (CPP D&E) application process is managed by the Provincial CPP Recovery Program-FASB (FASB). 

Completing a CPP Disability (CPPD) application for a Persons with Disabilities (PWD) client

To complete a CPPD application for a PWD client, use the following steps:
 

  1. Health Assistance Branch (HAB) approves a client for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation. A service request is auto-generated for FASB.
     
  2. Send the CPPD Information Letter for Approved PWD Applicants – Initial Letter (HR3344) to each client. This letter asks the client to provide FASB with a Statement of Contributions to determine potential eligibility for CPPD benefits.  The client is provided contact information to obtain a Statement of Contribution from Service Canada and may contact FASB for assistance. 
  • Update the client’s CPA screen.
  1. If a response from the client is not received within 6 weeks, call the client and send the Cheque Signal Letter (generated in the system). 
     
  2. When the client submits the Statement of Contribution or contacts the FASB, screen the PWD client for potential financial eligibility.  When uncertain of eligibility, ministry staff may call the Service Canada (SC) Client Call Centre directly [see Contacts] with the client to verify potential financial eligibility (verbal consent by the client is required). 
     
  3. If the client is potentially financially eligible for CPPD, provide the client:
  • CPPD Package & Consent to Deduct and Payment Form – Initial Letter (HR3343)
  • Consent to Deduction and Payment (ISP1613)
  • Application for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits (ISP1151) and Questionnaire for Disability Benefits (ISP2507)
  • Consent for SC to Obtain Personal Information – SC’s copy (ISP2502b)
  • Child Rearing Provision (ISP1640), if applicable
  • Application of benefits for under age 18 children of a CPP Disabled Contributor (ISP1152), if applicable
  • Application of benefits for child over age 18 of a CPP Disabled Contributor (ISP1400), if applicable

Note: If the client has already applied for CPP without completing the ISP1613 send CPPD/E –Letter Enclosing ISP1613 (HR3489) along with the ISP1613 to the client.
 

  1. Advise the client that the PWD application may be used in lieu of the CPPD Medical Report if Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) receives the PWD application that has been signed by a physician within 12 months.  Obtain the client’s verbal consent to include PWD application and add a note on the system to document the client’s consent.  If the client does not agree to use their PWD application, the client is provided the CPPD Medical Report (ISP2519) and instructed to have the form completed by a physician.

Note: The PWD application can only be used within 12 months of the date of the physician’s signature on the form.

Note: If PWD application physician signature date is not within 12 months, a CPPD Medical Report (ISP2519) and Consent for Service Canada to Obtain Personal Information – Physician’s Copy (ISP2502a) will need to be included in the CPPD application package sent to the client.

Note: ESDC forms can be printed from the ESDC website. [see Contacts]

Note: All PWD clients who made CPP contributions (had previous employment) are required to apply for CPPD.
 

  • Update client’s CPA screen in the system.
  • If the client has provided information indicating they are not eligible to apply for CPPD, profile any documentation to service request and update CPA screen. 
  1. If a response from the client is not received by the requested date, phone client and send Cheque Letter.
     
  2. Once the completed CPPD application package is returned by the client, use the Checklist for CPPD Benefits Application to ensure all necessary steps have been completed [see Additional Resources].
     
  3. Access client case and print a copy of the PWD application (if applicable) and all relevant medical supporting documents as per the client’s verbal consent.  Send completed package to ESDC and update the CPA screen.  Add a note on the system to reflect the date the application is mailed to ESDC.
  • Update the client’s CPA screen.
  1. If CPPD is approved, ESDC will inform the client and the ministry office noted on the Consent to Deduction and Payment form (ISP1613) of the decision and the effective date of eligibility.
  • Update the client’s CPA screen.
  1. Update the CPA screen and add a comment to the system to indicate the effective date of eligibility for CPPD.
     
  2. If ESDC has requested payment information, provide from the effective date of eligibility.  Request the CPP calculator on the CPA screen.
     
  3. Report2Web runs overnight and produces a spreadsheet indicating all support and shelter issued to the client since the effective date.  The report is distributed to staff who have requested the CPA calculator.  Record the amounts for support and shelter on the ESDC letter.  Verify client payment history for any one-time allowances of support or shelter that may not show on this report.  Verify service provider amounts for per diems paid to special care facilities. 
     
  4. If the CPPD application is denied, ministry staff will discuss with the client the option of appealing this decision.  Appeals will be the individual’s responsibility, and some assistance is available directly from Service Canada. Make a note on the system to reflect the decision.
     
  5. Update the client’s CPA screen to indicate:  if the client is denied, if the client decides to appeal, and if the appeal was denied. 
     
  6. If the client is successful on appeal, once the client is in pay, update the CPA screen by entering the retroactive ministry lump sum and the monthly CPPD amount.  Enter a comment on the system that the application for CPPD was approved and include details of any lump sum amount paid to ministry, and the monthly amount paid to the client.

Effective: September 1, 2015

Ministry staff should provide clients information on the available resources to pursue child support. Staff may provide the client a copy of the Family Maintenance Services Information Sheet.

[For more information, see Policy and Related Links Family Maintenance Services – Additional Resources and Income Treatment and Exemptions – Policy]

Effective: October 2, 2008

Pursuing allowances under the Old Age Security (OAS) program and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) Pensions

To inform clients to apply for OAS and GIS, ministry staff are to follow these steps:
 

  1. Review report of clients that may be eligible for OAS and GIS.
  2. Review case to see if they are a My Self Serve (MYSS) registered user

If they are a MYSS user, verify the automated message has been sent instructing them to apply for OAS and GIS

If not a MYSS user, or the automated message is not visible on the case, send the OAS and GIS Pension letter (HR3228) to the client as a reminder to apply for these programs and note on the case. [see Forms and Letters]

  1. Use office caseload management protocol to follow up on the client’s requirement to apply for OAS and GIS.

[For more information, see Policy – Old Age Security Program.] 

Effective: May 1, 2015

Before Assistance Is Issued

Once the Employment and Assistance Application (HR0080) [see Forms and Letters] is signed by the applicant (and any adult dependant) who is the subject of a sponsorship undertaking that is still in effect, ministry staff follow these steps:
 

  1. Provide the applicant with the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771) [see Forms and Letters] by completing the following:
    1. update the case with immigration information and sponsor contact information 
    2. add the current date and applicant’s address to the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771) and provide it to the applicant during the intake appointment or later by mail or fax
    3. retain a copy of the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771)
    4. make decisive notes
    5. provide a copy of the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771) to the Sponsorship Default Recovery Program
    6. complete the Sponsorship Obligations – Sponsor letter (HR2772) and send to the sponsor
    7. complete the Verification of Sponsorship Request form (HR2786) and fax to Citizen and Immigration Canada, Case Processing Centre (CPC) Mississauga [see Contacts]
       
  2. Ensure that the applicant understands all of the following:
    1. for the period of the Sponsorship Undertaking, the sponsor is obligated to provide essential financial support (including food, lodging and clothing) to the sponsored family member as an alternative to relying upon assistance
    2. once any assistance is paid, the ministry will advise Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) of sponsorship breakdown
    3. any assistance issued will be a debt that the sponsor (and not the sponsored relative) will have to the Crown
    4. ensure the applicant understands that the sponsor will incur a debt and will not be able to sponsor anyone else until the debt is repaid.
    5. the federal government or, by assignment of the Undertaking, the provincial government, may seek recovery of the debt
    6. The sponsor will be contacted to confirm whether or not they can provide financial support.  If the sponsor is willing to provide financial support, remind the client to report all money received and provide copies of receipts on the Monthly Report (HR0081) Form
    7. The sponsor will be notified if the sponsored relative receives assistance and will be advised of the debt amount each month
    8. Every reasonable effort will be made to contact and notify the sponsor of the debt.  In cases where the whereabouts of the sponsor are unknown by the family member Financial Administrative Services Branch (FASB) will conduct a search to attempt to locate and notify the sponsor of their obligation and debt 
       
  3. If there are concerns about contacting the sponsor, make note of this on the system.   Then follow steps under the next section (skip ahead) for verifying health and/or safety threat.
     
  4. Where there are no concerns about possible abuse, contact the sponsor by telephone to confirm whether he or she is a resource or not, and ensure the sponsor understands that:
  • For the period of the Sponsorship Undertaking, the sponsor is obligated to provide essential support (including food, lodging, and clothing) to the sponsored family member
  • once any assistance is paid, the ministry will advise CIC of sponsorship breakdown
  • any assistance issued will be a debt that the sponsor will have to the Crown
  • the sponsor will incur a debt and will not be able to sponsor anyone else until the debt is repaid.
  • the federal government or, by assignment of the undertaking, the provincial government, will seek recovery of the debt
  1. Regardless of whether the sponsor is contacted by telephone and where there are no concerns about possible abuse, provide the sponsor with the Sponsorship Obligations – Sponsor letter (HR2772) [see Forms and Letters] and complete the following:   
  • add the current date, sponsor’s address and names of all sponsored relatives applying for assistance and send the Sponsorship Obligations – Sponsor letter (HR2772) to the sponsor
  • if the sponsor’s address is unknown, contact the Sponsorship Default Recovery Program in Victoria, BC [see Contacts] indicating that the Sponsorship Obligations – Sponsor letter (HR2772) was not sent to the sponsor and provide the reasons 
  • retain a copy of the Sponsorship Obligations – Sponsor letter (HR2772)
  • make decisive notes
  • provide a copy of the Sponsorship Obligations – Sponsor letter (HR2772) to the Sponsorship Default Recovery Program in Victoria, BC [see Contacts]
  • complete the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771) and send to the applicant
  • complete the Verification of Sponsorship Request form (HR2786) and fax to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Case Processing Centre (CPC), Mississauga [see Contacts]
  1. Obtain documents and information relevant to the Sponsorship Undertaking: Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292) and Permanent Resident Card or prior to June 28, 2002: Record of Landing (IMM1000).  If the IMM1000 is not available from the applicant, or if there are concerns about immigration status, staff can email the Ministry’s Immigration Liaison to verify client information. Citizenship and Immigration Canada can also provide assistance.
     
  2. Update the Immigration tab by ensuring all relevant fields are updated by adding detailed sponsor information, and a comment to record the details of the application on the system.  Ensure the safety concern indicator is correct.  Only report, “yes” safety concern, if the sponsored relative has safety concerns regarding contact with the sponsor and/or they fled abuse [Note: in some cases they may not be afraid of the ministry contacting the sponsor to advise of the debt but still fear the sponsor knowing their whereabouts].  Assure the client that their personal information will not be shared with the sponsor.  Ensure you have recorded all the procedures for example:
  • Sponsorship breakdown.  Spoke with sponsor who is unable to support at this time.  Advised of debt.  Letter sent to sponsor and letter given to applicant.  Sponsorship date verified with liaison and sponsor contact information recorded; or:
  • Sponsorship breakdown.  Applicant states fleeing abuse and has brought in recent restraining order to substantiate.  Also states fears safety if sponsor contacted.  Safety concern indicator turned on and FASB notified.  Recommend sponsor not be contacted for one year.  Applicant advised that situation will be reviewed in one year. 

Assessing Health and/or Safety threat

(When sponsor should not be contacted due to a health and/or safety concern).

If the sponsored relative indicates they have a health and/or safety concern and they do not want the sponsor contacted, ensure that any abuse concerns are recorded on the system and copies of any documentation related to abuse are scanned and profiled.  Staff should be sensitive to cultural and gender differences around this issue.  When appropriate, ensure the sponsored relative is comfortable with the interview process and provide alternative approaches (same gender interviewer or the client brings a friend or support person with them).  The following steps must be followed:
 

  1. Ask the sponsored relative to describe the health or safety concern and why they do not want the sponsor contacted.  Explain that the ministry cannot share their personal information or whereabouts with anyone.  Take notes.
     
  2. Allow them to tell the story in their own words.
     
  3. Ask them to describe what measures they have taken to make themselves feel safer.
     
  4. If they have not accessed assistance from the police, medical professionals, transition houses, and/or agencies that provide support, ask them why they have not done so.
     
  5. Do they have family or friends who can help them if need be?  Provide contact information for local support agencies and/or transition houses and confirm that they know they can call the police for assistance.  Encourage them to seek help when needed and to learn more about their rights from an appropriate agency.
     
  6. If the sponsored relative describes a situation where they feel there has been abuse and they feel their health and/or safety is at risk, request they provide substantiating documentation from a credible third party.  Examples include but are not limited to: reports from police, medical professionals, transition house workers, counsellors, religious/spiritual leaders etc., that verify when the abuse occurred and what the nature of the health/safety threat and/or abuse is.  Substantiating evidence must come from a credible third party.  Letters from friends and relatives cannot be accepted.  Examples:
  • A restraining order that provides the sponsor’s name that prevents contact with the sponsored relative; or
  • A hospital report that provides the name of the sponsored relative and indicates that they were treated for injuries resulting from an assault; or
  • A letter from a counsellor that states they have been treating the individual for emotional/psychological effects of abuse.

Note: Letters that indicate the sponsored relative visited a Doctor’s office and relayed a story that they had been abused will not be acceptable.  The Doctor must be able to substantiate that the abuse occurred by way of explaining the treatment administered as a result of the abuse/trauma.
 

  1. Update the system with the following:
  • Add all sponsor information and indicate a safety concern exists for this file if the sponsor is contacted by adding a “Y.”  If no safety concern exists add “N.”
  • Make notes.
  • Ensure all substantiating documents are recorded and scanned and profiled to the case. 
  • If necessary, assess eligibility for Hardship Sponsorship Undertaking Default  pending verification of the health and safety threat. 

Cases where no documentation is available

If the sponsored relative cannot provide substantiating documentation from a credible third party but insists that they fear for their safety if their sponsor is contacted, these cases must be assessed on their own merit. 

Assure the sponsored relative that the ministry will not tell the sponsor anything about where they are living or how to contact them.  If the sponsored relative insists that a safety threat still exists and the EAW has completed the interview (asking probing questions around why and how they fear for their safety and why they have not pursued assistance from an agency) then the EAW will refer the case to their supervisor.  Discuss with the supervisor and add comments. If both agree that there is a legitimate health and safety risk, mark the case as a Health and Safety by updating the immigration tab. 

If there is uncertainty of the health and safety allegation, the supervisor will then set up a second interview with the client and may then make a decision on the legitimacy of the health and safety concern.  In the unique circumstance where the decision cannot be made based on the two interviews, the supervisor will contact the Community Relations and Service Quality Manager (CRSQ) to arrange a panel review.  The panel will be made up of three staff members, including the EAW of the initial intake, the office supervisor and a supervisor from Prevention Loss Management Services (PLMS).  The PLMS supervisor may delegate another staff member to take their place on the panel if they are unable to attend the interview.  The supervisor will also contact the Sponsorship Default Recovery Program (SDRP) before and after the panel to explain the situation and how the decision was determined. The SDRP will perform the follow-up health and safety review to determine when it is safe to begin collection of the sponsor’s debt. [see Contacts]

The detailed case notes from the health and safety assessment interview will be used by panel members in their assessment.  Ensure you have provided the client the opportunity to tell their own story.

Ensure the sponsored relative understands that their sponsor will incur a debt but will not be notified until it is safe to do so.  Also ensure they understand that CIC will also be notified of the sponsorship default and that this means the sponsor will not be able to sponsor anyone else until the debt is repaid.  Provide the sponsored relative with the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771).  Explain their situation will be reviewed each year.

Effective: â€‹December 1, 2003 

Employment and Assistance Workers (EAWs) must:
 

  • contact the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) counsellor to request confirmation of the first payment
  • complete the Assignment – Veterans Affairs Canada (HR2098) [see Forms and Letters] unless VAC benefits will be received within one month

Reimbursement is made by VAC to Financial Administrative Services Branch once VAC benefits have commenced. 

Effective: December 1, 2003

To establish a claim, clients must submit an accident report to WorkSafeBC (Workers’ Compensation Board of BC.  As soon as the Employment and Assistance Worker (EAW) becomes aware that a client has established or may be able to establish a WorkSafeBC claim, the EAW assigns the client’s future benefits from WorkSafeBC by completing an Assignment – WorkSafeBC (HR2100) [see Forms and Letters] with the client.

When the WorkSafeBC claim has been settled, WorkSafeBC will:
 

  • contact the Employment and Assistance Office to request a statement of the total assistance issued pending settlement
  • forward payment to the ministry and notify the recipient

Depending on the outcome of the claim, the EAW does the following:
 

  • if the client’s claim is denied, assess eligibility for BCEA even if the client is appealing the WorkSafeBC denial
  • if the client’s claim is rejected, complete an eligibility review [see Related Links – Eligibility Review] to determine ongoing eligibility for assistance
  • if the client is appealing the amount of compensation, continue to take assignments and the client will continue to receive BCEA

For pension assignments, confirm the period of pension eligibility before completing the assignment, and ensure that only duplicate assistance is assigned.

If a lump sum amount represents a retroactive WorkSafeBC payment, only the portion covering the same period of time that BCEA was issued is to be assigned. 

A commuted lump sum WorkSafeBC payment is not to be assigned, except for the portion that represents a corresponding time period for which assistance was issued. 

WorkSafeBC rehabilitation and training allowances are not to be assigned.  

Effective: May 1, 2015

Children may be eligible for income assistance apart from the family only after reasonable efforts have been made to have the parent or guardian support them.  

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: June 3, 2011

Add Authorities content. If there is a table present in the word document, create the same in CMS Lite using the standard table provided below:

Provincial CPP Recovery Program – FASB
  • Manages all Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability and Early Retirement Benefit enquiries and applications for the province.