Moving, Transportation, & Living Costs

Overview

A supplement to cover necessary moving, transportation, and living expenses may be provided to recipients of income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance who have no other resources.  The supplement may be provided to cover costs such as:

  • moving costs of recipients who are moving to a confirmed job or who must move because of threats to their physical safety
  • transportation and living costs of recipients required to attend a child protection hearing
  •  transportation, living, and child care costs of recipients to attend a court hearing or a DNA paternity testing collection site when the recipient is receiving help from the ministry with obtaining a maintenance order or written agreement

The recipient is required to obtain prior approval before incurring costs and demonstrate legitimate reasons for moving or travel.

This supplement is available under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Policy

Effective:  September 1, 2015

A Moving, Transportation and Living Costs Supplement is provided to assist with one or more of the following: 
 

  • moving costs required to move anywhere in Canada, if a recipient in the family unit is not working but has arranged confirmed employment that would significantly promote the financial independence of the family unit and the recipient is required to move to begin that employment

Note: Eligible recipients may use the Confirmed Job Supplement to pay for transportation to a confirmed job (e.g., to purchase a bus pass) [see Related Links – Confirmed Job Supplement]
 

  • moving costs required to move to another province or country, if the family unit is required to move to improve its living circumstances
     
  • moving costs required to move within a municipality or unincorporated area or to an adjacent municipality or unincorporated area because the family unit’s rented residential accommodation is being sold or demolished and notice to vacate has been given, or has been condemned
     
  • moving costs required to move within a municipality or unincorporated area or to an adjacent municipality or unincorporated area if the family unit’s shelter costs would be significantly reduced as a result of the move
     
  • moving costs required to move to another area in British Columbia to avoid an imminent threat to the physical safety of any person in the family unit

Imminent threat to the physical safety refers to an immediate need for assistance with moving costs where, without moving, the person is at risk for harm. For persons fleeing abuse, the imminent nature of the threat may continue even after leaving their home. Risk of abuse may continue while living in temporary housing (for example, a transition house or emergency shelter) so assistance with moving costs may be considered to move from temporary housing to more permanent housing.
 

  • transportation costs and living costs required to attend a hearing relating to a child protection proceeding under the Child, Family and Community Service Act, if a recipient is given notice of the hearing and is a party to the proceeding.
     
  • transportation costs, living costs, and child care costs when a recipient is receiving help from the ministry with obtaining a maintenance order or written agreement and they are required to attend any of the following:
    • court hearings, when a recipient is given notice of the hearing and is a party to the proceeding.
    • DNA paternity testing collection sites
       

A family unit may be eligible for this supplement only if both of the following apply:
 

  • there are no resources available to the family unit to cover the costs for which the supplement may be provided
  • a recipient in the family unit receives approval from the ministry before incurring those costs

Transients are not eligible for a moving, transportation and living costs supplement.

A moving, transportation and living costs supplement may be provided to assist with the cost of the least expensive mode of moving or transportation, or the least expensive appropriate living costs.

Storage fees can be considered a moving cost and paid by the ministry when a family’s possessions must be stored for a limited period of time. Clients are only eligible to have their storage locker fees paid if they are eligible for the supplement.

Effective:  December 14, 2011

Recipients who must move from rental accommodation because the home is being sold, demolished, or condemned may be eligible for assistance with moving and transportation costs.

Recipients who are evicted due to their own actions are not eligible for assistance with moving costs.  However, a crisis supplement may be considered.

When recipients are required to move because of damage to the home they own and have insured, they must submit an insurance claim for moving expenses.

Recipients who are not working, have confirmed employment, and are required to move to begin that employment may be eligible for this supplement.

Recipients must obtain a minimum of two estimates from licensed cartage firms to move their belongings or the cost of a rental truck if the recipients are willing and able to move their belongings themselves.

Effective:  May 20, 2010

Recipients wishing to obtain funds for a move outside of BC are required to demonstrate that the move will significantly improve their living circumstances (i.e., move to a permanent, supportive, positive environment that is not available in this province). Prior approval, an action plan for at least temporary accommodation in the receiving jurisdiction, and verifying documentation are required.

Recipients who move on their own initiative will not be reimbursed.

The ministry may pay for the transportation of individuals and regular baggage allotment expenses. Shipping costs for personal assets, such as heavy furniture or household goods, will not be paid for recipients moving out of province. Exceptions may be approved by the Supervisor where demonstrated need for the item(s) can be attributed to a family unit member’s disability.

Recipients who are in the latter stages of pregnancy, in a medically precarious situation or in a care facility must provide written assurance from the attending physician that they are well enough to travel.

If an escort is required, the ministry may pay the transportation, meal and minimum essential accommodation costs of the escort if the costs cannot be met by other means.  Ministry staff are not to act as escorts.

The ministry does not pay for a person to move to BC.

Moving Out of Canada

Where recipients have been unable to make a successful transition to Canadian society from their country of origin, assistance may be approved by the Manager to enable the family unit to move to another country.

Only the costs of moving to the nearest port of entry in the receiving country may be paid.

[For authority to approve assistance to enable a family unit to move to another country, see Authorities and Responsibilities.]

Effective:  July 2, 2004

Transportation costs and living costs may be provided to recipients who are required to attend a hearing related to child protection.

Recipients who are obligated to attend a hearing related to child protection issues may be eligible for funds to travel to the hearing only in cases where they have been given notice of a child protection action pursuant to the Child, Family & Community Services Act.

Assistance with transportation costs/living costs is limited to hearings within BC.

If a person is brought to court for a hearing and is unable to return home due to lack of funds, assistance may be provided to assist with transportation costs.

[see Procedures – Payment of Expenses Related to Child Protection Hearings]

 

Expenses Related to  Family Maintenance Services

Effective:  September 1, 2015

Family Maintenance Related Court Hearing

Transportation costs, living costs, and child care costs may be provided to recipients who are obliged to attend a court hearing when  receiving family maintenance services through the ministry.

Assistance with transportation costs, living costs and child care costs is limited to hearings within BC.

If a person is brought to court for a hearing and is unable to return home due to lack of funds, assistance may be provided to assist with transportation costs.

DNA Paternity Testing

Transportation costs, living costs, and child care costs may be provided in cases where medical tests for DNA paternity testing required by  family maintenance services cannot be collected locally.

[For procedures on providing payments for expenses related to attending a family maintenance court hearing or for DNA paternity testing, see Procedures – Payments for Expenses Related to Family Maintenance Services.]

Procedures

Effective:  December 14, 2011

Recipients applying for a supplement to move outside BC must provide the following information for all family members moving:

  • name, age, and date of birth

  • reason for the moving request, indicating that move is permanent and that the supportive environment in receiving province is not available in BC

  • financial statement detailing all financial resources that could be used to defray moving cost, including:

    • income
    • assets
    • exempt income
    • non-assets (per regulation)
    • assistance from other resources
       
  • costs of any approved escort (these costs must be clearly recorded separately from those of family members relocating)

Effective:  December 14, 2011

Recipients applying for a supplement to move outside Canada must provide the following information for all family members moving:
 

  • name, age, and date of birth
  • date of arrival in Canada
  • history of immigration status
  • employment history:
  • in Canada
  • outside Canada
  • structural employment barriers encountered in Canada
  • country of destination
  • explanation if not country of origin
  • financial statement detailing all financial resources that could be used to defray moving cost, including:
  • income
  • assets
  • exempt income
  • non-assets (per regulation)
  • assistance from other resources
  • proof of receipt of income assistance, disability assistance, or hardship assistance
  • written confirmation from legal representative of receiving country stating both of the following:
  • recipient and dependants will be admitted
  • receiving country is unable to assist with moving costs
  • written confirmation from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that CIC will not assist with moving costs
  • written confirmation from local police that no outstanding Canadian Criminal Code warrants exist for any family member leaving Canada
  • reason for the moving request, indicating all of the following:
  • supportive environment in receiving country that is not available in Canada
  • significant social factors (e.g., medical disability, criminal activities impeding adjustment, etc.)
  • move is permanent
  • costs of any approved escort (these costs must be clearly recorded separately from those of family members relocating)

Effective:  July 2, 2004

Before issuing transportation and living costs for a recipient to attend a child protection hearing, ministry staff must contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development social worker to confirm the court dates.  In determining appropriate transportation costs and living costs for a recipient to attend a child protection hearing, apply all of the following guidelines:
 

  • Use the most economical means available to meet any required transportation cost.
  • If an overnight stay will be necessary and client cannot stay with friends or relatives, contact the local district office for suggestions as to where reasonable accommodation can be obtained.  If hotel accommodation is required the maximum amount provided is the maximum hotel rate in effect for public employees.
  • In providing for the cost of meals away from home, use up to the maximum Group 1 per diem in effect for public employees.

For information on hotel and accommodation rates for Government of BC employees, see Employee Travel Policy.  [see Additional Resources]

Effective:  September 1, 2015

When a client has been found eligible for a supplement to assist with transportation costs, living costs or child care costs, ministry staff will determine the appropriate cost and issue the payment. An EAW can issue the payment after verifying the approved amount with the client (e.g., documentation of court date, location for child or spousal support).

Transportation and Living Costs

In determining appropriate transportation costs and living costs for a recipient attending a family maintenance hearing, when  receiving family maintenance services, or participatng in DNA paternity testingapply all of the following guidelines:
 

  • Use the most economical means available to meet any required transportation cost.
  • If an overnight stay will be necessary and client cannot stay with friends or relatives, contact the local district office for suggestions as to where reasonable accommodation can be obtained.  If hotel accommodation is required the maximum amount provided is the maximum hotel rate in effect for public employees.
  • In providing for the cost of meals away from home, use up to the maximum Group 1 per diem in effect for public employees.

For information on hotel and accommodation rates for Government of BC employees, see Employee Travel Policy.  [see Additional Resources]

Child Care Expenses

In determining appropriate child care costs for a recipient to attend a family maintenance hearing, when  receiving family maintenance services, or participating in DNA paternity testing,  the child care subsidy rates [see Additional Resources] may be considered as guidelines.  However, the individual circumstances of the family unit must be taken into account, such as the length of time child care is required and special needs children.

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective:  April 2, 2012

Moving, Transportation and Living Costs Supplements

Supervisor

Approving:

  • funding for emergency moves exceeding $500
  • funding for moves of furniture exceeding $500
  • funding for moves out of BC to confirmed employment exceeding $700
  • funding for emergency moves due to threat to the physical safety of the client
  • funding for moves where mode or cost is unusual

Manager

Approving:

  • funding an escort is required for a move out of BCfunding for moves out of Canada
  • funding for moves out of BC to improve living circumstances 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question   Are recipients who have been evicted from their rental premises eligible for a moving supplement?

Answer  Recipients who have been evicted are only eligible for a moving supplement if their eviction is due to their home being sold, demolished, or condemned. Recipients evicted due to their own actions will be ineligible for a moving supplement. However, a crisis supplement may be issued to avoid apprehension of a child or where persons' lives are endangered.

 

Question   What should recipients do who wish to move their belongings on their own?

Answer  Recipients must verify the need for the moving request.  Prior approval for the move is required.  Recipients who are willing and able to move their belongings on their own must also provide an estimate of the cost of the rental truck.

 

Question   Will the ministry pay for the shipment of furniture and other personal assets of a recipient who is moving away from BC for legitimate reasons and has no resources to cover the cost?

Answer  No, the ministry will not pay for the shipment of assets or furniture.  The moving supplement is intended for the transportation of individuals and the regular baggage allotment.  However, the Supervisor may approve an exception where the demonstrated need for the item(s) is attributable to a client’s disability.