School Start-up Supplement

Overview

A school start-up supplement is provided to recipients of income assistance, disability assistance and hardship assistance to assist with extra costs associated with a child’s schooling.

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

Policy

Effective: September 1, 2017

An annual school start-up supplement [see Rate Tables] may be provided to:
 

  • a family unit eligible for income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance if the family unit includes a child who is attending school full-time;
  • a child in home of a relative (CIHR) who is attending school full-time.
    [For more information on the CIHR program, see Related Links – Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR).]

Among those recipients eligible for this supplement are:
 

  • children who are enrolled full time in kindergarten, even though attendance may be for less than a full day
  • children who, because of individual circumstances, may be taking less than a full course load
  • children who are participating in a home schooling program recognized by the Ministry of Education
  • children who are attending an alternative school program recognized by the Ministry of Education

Effective: July 3, 2012

In most cases the supplement will be included in a family’s July payment for the August benefit month to help cover expenses for a child who is entering or returning to school in September. 

However, in cases where a child is entering or returning to school later in the school year, the supplement may be issued at that time.  If the child received a school start-up supplement in September, he or she would not be eligible for another supplement.

Procedures

Effective: September 1, 2017

Each July, offices are provided with a computer-generated report.  The report consists of a list of cases requiring review to ensure the system has the correct status needed to pay the school start-up supplement. A child must be attending school to be considered eligible for the supplement.  

To confirm eligibility for the supplement, staff must confirm with the parent or guardian by phone, the name and age of the child and the name of school that they are attending. If the parent or guardian cannot be contacted by phone, send the School Start-up template letter (HR3216) to the parent or guardian.  The parent or guardian must complete and return the HR3216 to the office as soon as possible to ensure timely receipt of the supplement, if eligible.  [For School Start-up (HR3216), see Forms and Letters.]

If the child is the key player on the file, the child should confirm the name of the school they are attending. Confirmation may be provided by phone or by completing the HR3216.

Each January and June, an automated message will be sent to MYSS registered users who have a dependent child that is turning 5 in the current year, with a School Start-up My Self Serve (MYSS) (HR3637) attached.  A child must be attending school to be considered eligible for the supplement.  To confirm eligibility for the supplement, the recipient can return the HR3637 through MYSS by replying to the message. 

In January of each year, if the child has been registered for kindergarten starting in January, update the child’s person status field by selecting ‘S’ – In School in the person status field of the SD More Info View tab for the child (highlighted in the case contacts list applet).   Add the school start up manually to the benefit plan and issue by direct deposit or imprest cheque on a one time basis.

If the child meets the eligibility criteria for the supplement in June or July. update the child’s person status field by selecting “S” – in school in the person status field of the SD More Info View tab for the child (highlighted in the case contacts list applet).  This will ensure the school start-up supplement is automatically included in the family’s July payment for the August benefit month.  

If the parent does not respond by July month-end or indicates the child is not returning to school, change the child’s status to “N-NOT IN SCHOOL”. 

If issuing by direct deposit or an imprest cheque to an eligible recipient after July cheque cut-off, ensure the amount of the school start-up supplement is added to the payment. Do not update the monthly ongoing benefit plan.  To verify if the school start-up supplement has been provided, look in the MIS Cheque History tab.  The supplement will not be listed in the monthly ongoing benefit plan.

Note:  Only add the school start-up supplement manually after cheque cut-off.  The system will automatically add the supplement for each child whose person status indicates “S” – in school.

[For more information on methods of payment, see Related Links – Individual Case Management.]

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question   If the child is a high school student who is taking only two or three courses, is he or she eligible for a school start-up supplement?

Answer   There are a number of reasons why a high school student may be taking less than a full course load.  For example, the student may have only two courses to complete for graduation, or may have special needs that make it difficult for him or her to handle a full course load.  A child who is taking less than a full course load because of individual circumstances is eligible for a school start-up supplement.

 

Question   Can a parent in receipt of the shared parenting allowance also be eligible for the school start-up supplement?

Answer   In the case of parents who have a shared custody court order or a shared parenting agreement filed in the court, the parent who has the child listed as a dependent on his or her file will receive the school start-up supplement.  The parents are then expected to make their own arrangements for sharing the school start-up supplement.