Replacement of Lost or Stolen Cheques

Overview

A replacement payment may be issued to replace an unendorsed income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance cheque that has been lost or stolen or a direct deposit payment that was not received.

A repayable child benefits supplement may be issued to replace a portion of an unendorsed child benefits cheque that has been lost or stolen [for more information, see Related Links – Child Benefits Top-up Supplement].

Replacement payments and the repayable child benefits top-up supplement for lost or stolen child benefits cheques are provided under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Policy

Effective:  November 26, 2015

If satisfied that an unendorsed income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance cheque has been lost or stolen, the ministry may issue a replacement as long as both of the following apply: 

  • in the case of theft, the matter has been reported to police

  • in the case of loss or theft, the recipient makes a declaration of the facts and undertakes to promptly deliver the lost or stolen cheque to the ministry if it is recovered

Replacements will not be issued for lost or stolen assistance cheques endorsed by the payee.  A stop payment may be placed on endorsed cheques that are lost or stolen, although no replacement will be issued. 

Lost or stolen assistance cheques should not be replaced until two business days after the Cheque Issue Day or two business days past a reasonable expected delivery date.  The two-day waiting period can be waived if it is determined that the recipient would suffer hardship.

Service provider cheques reported lost or stolen by the recipient must not be stopped or replaced unless the signature of the service provider can be obtained on the Request for Replacement of Supplier Lost, Stolen or Misdirected Assistance Payment (HR2049).   Where it is necessary to issue a cheque to a new service provider (to avoid undue hardship) when the original cheque made out to the previous service provider has not been returned, refer to Related Links – Crisis Supplements.

Service provider payments made by direct deposit that have been reported lost or stolen must have an electronic trace initiated. If the results of the electronic trace are that the service provider did not receive the payment, then another payment may be issued, and the HR2049 is not required.  If the service provider is unable to wait for the trace results, they may provide documentation from the bank the payment was not received.

Effective: July 1, 2017

A repayable child benefits top-up supplement may be issued to replace a portion of an unendorsed child benefits cheque that has been lost or stolen [for information, see Related Links – Child Benefits Top-up Supplement].

 

Procedures

Effective:  November 26, 2015

Ministry staff:

When a recipient reports a lost or stolen unendorsed payment, follow these steps:
 

  1.  Check the status of the lost or stolen payment.
     
  2. (a) If the monthly assistance payment was direct deposited: Review the case to ensure that the banking information is accurate.
  • Obtain verification from the recipient that the bank has been unable to locate the funds.
  • Initiate a trace on an electronic deposit by clicking on “Trace” within the payments tab.
  • Request the recipient to complete a Declaration and Undertaking for a Client Lost or Stolen Payment (HR0024).  [See Forms and Letters]
  • Within 10 business days of tracing an electronic deposit, the bank will provide results of the trace and advise of the bank’s action (for example: funds are deposited into client’s account). If funds were not received, or returned to the ministry, then the payment can be re-issued at this time.
  • In extenuating circumstances, where the trace results have not been received, but two business days have passed after the Cheque Issue Day, and the client has provided documentation from the bank that they did not receive their payment through direct deposit, the EAW may issue a replacement payment using the original products. 

  (b) If the monthly assistance payment was issued by cheque, not direct deposited, and the payment status is not cashed:

  • Request the recipient to complete a Declaration and Undertaking for a Client Lost or Stolen Payment (HR0024).  [See Forms and Letters]
  • Stop payment on the lost or stolen cheque. Record the stop payment Authorization Number on the HR0024. Issue another payment.

3. If the cheque has been cashed, follow the standard process to request the cashed cheque from PLMS.

4. If the signatures appear to match and/or if account numbers match, contact the client to discuss the deposit.  If it is determined that the client endorsed the cheque or that it was, in fact, deposited to their account do not issue a replacement cheque. 

5. If the signatures and/or account numbers do not match, assess the client’s request for a replacement cheque and issue under Lost Stolen cheque if appropriate. If the client reported the cheque as having been stolen, note the police file report number. 

 

Verifying and Re-issuing Service Provider Payments

Effective: November 26, 2015

When an unendorsed service provider cheque is reported lost or stolen, follow these steps:
 

  1. Complete the Request for Replacement of Supplier Lost, Stolen or Misdirected Assistance Payment (HR2049)  [see Forms and Letters] and have it signed by the service provider (payee).
  2. If the cheque has not been cashed, stop payment on the lost or stolen cheque. Issue a replacement cheque under Lost Stolen Cheque.  Confirmation in writing from a corporate service provider, such as BC Hydro, indicating that they have not received the cheque, will suffice to support a replacement cheque and/or a stop payment for a lost/stolen cheque.
  3. If the cheque has been cashed, follow the standard process to request the cashed cheque from PLMS.
    Note: Cashed cheque information should be sent back to the worker by fax or mail only.
  4. If the signatures appear to match, contact the service provider to discuss the deposit. If it is determined that the service provider endorsed the cheque or that it was deposited to their account do not issue a replacement cheque. 
  5. If the signatures do not match, assess the service provider’s request for a replacement cheque. If the service provider reported the cheque as having been stolen, note the police file report number on the system.

When a service provider payment that was direct deposited is reported not received, follow these steps: 
 

  1. Initiate a trace on an electronic deposit by clicking on “Trace” within the payments tab.
  2. Within 10 business days of tracing an electronic deposit, the bank will provide results of the trace and advise of the bank’s action (for example: funds are deposited into service provider’s account). If satisfied that the service provider did not receive the payment through electronic deposit, the EAW can issue a replacement payment using the original products.
  3. Where it is necessary to issue a cheque to a service provider before an electronic trace is completed, the provider may provide documentation they have not received the payment. An HR2049 is required and the recipient must be notified.
  4. If the account numbers match, contact the service provider to discuss the deposit. If it is determined that the payment was deposited to their account, do not issue a replacement payment.
  5. If the account numbers do not match, assess the service provider’s request for a replacement payment. If the service provider reported the payment as having been stolen, note the police file report number on the system.