Transportation to Alcohol & Drug Facilities

Overview

The supplement for transportation to a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility is intended to meet the costs of transportation to and from an approved special care facility for residential alcohol and drug treatment in BC. The supplement is provided to recipients of income assistance and disability assistance when no other funds are available.

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

Policy

Effective:  February 1, 2007

The supplement for transportation to and from residential alcohol and drug treatment facilities is given only to recipients of income assistance or disability assistance who have been accepted into a residential treatment program. [For more information, see Related Links – Alcohol and Drug Residential Treatment.] Recipients of hardship assistance and Medical Services Only are not eligible for the transportation to residential alcohol and drug facilities supplement. [For more information, see Related Links – Medical Services Only.]

The transportation to residential alcohol and drug treatment facilities supplement provides the least expensive appropriate mode of transportation when:
 

  • the ministry has received verifiable documentation of acceptance to a special care facility that provides residential alcohol and drug treatment in BC;
  • all alternative travel options (e.g., family and voluntary agencies) and resources have been explored by the client and Employment and Assistance Worker (EAW);
  • recipients of income assistance or disability assistance have no other funds available to travel to a residential alcohol and drug facility for treatment; and
  • the recipient provides a list of the expected transportation costs.
     

Taxi fares are not to be routinely provided and should only be considered when the need for travel to a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility has been documented and no other options are available, including family and friends. Alternatives to consider, where appropriate, include issuing funds for a local transit day pass and checking to see if the client has a subsidized bus pass. [see Related Links – BC Bus Pass Program]

For more information on maximum costs per mile and meal costs, see Rate Tables – General Supplements & Programs.

Effective:  July 17, 2008

Rates for travel by private vehicle may be authorized over the allowable rate only in exceptional circumstances as follows:
 

  • Agency/escort driver
    • The client has no private vehicle and all other sources of private transportation through family and friends have been exhausted; and
    • The only transportation available to the client is a driver, provided through an agency, who requires more than the allowable rate to cover extra costs such as additional insurance.  ICBC requires a vehicle to be insured for "business" rather than "pleasure" whenever a person receives compensation for transporting others; or
    • The client is unable to get to an appointment on their own and requires an escort who is driving the client in the escort's vehicle and requires more than the allowable rate; or
    • If volunteer agencies or escorts are not available, other means of travel may be required, e.g., taxi (This should only be considered for local transportation)
       
  • Older vehicle:
    • The client has an older or less economical or reliable vehicle that is more costly to run (e.g., an older van or truck)
       
  • Significant gas price increase:
    • In the event of a significant automotive gas price increase, regions will determine what is an appropriate temporary increase in kilometre allowance
       

In all of the above circumstances, any amount above the allowable rate will only be authorized if:
 

  • All other less expensive modes of transportation have been canvassed and found unavailable or unsuitable; and
  • The specific private vehicle is the least expensive of the appropriate modes of transportation available.

Effective:  February 1, 2007

The following may be considered when determining eligibility for transportation to and from a special care facility that provides residential alcohol and drug treatment:
 

  • transportation costs
  • accommodation costs (if applicable)
  • meal costs (if applicable)
  • escort costs (if applicable)
     

Normally, meal allowances are not to be provided. Money for food is provided to income assistance or disability assistance recipients through the monthly support supplement. 

For those exceptional cases where circumstances warrant a meal allowance, it should not exceed the amount shown in Rate Tables: General Supplements – Residential Alcohol and Drug Treatment Facility Supplement.

Effective:  February 1, 2007

Under no circumstances is the alcohol and drug transportation supplement to be issued to purchase, maintain, repair, or insure a vehicle.

This supplement is only provided for transportation to a special care facility that provides residential alcohol and drug treatment in BC.

Procedures

Effective:  February 1, 2007

To issue a supplement for transportation to and from a special care facility that provides residential alcohol and drug treatment run the Assisted Eligibility tool:
 

  1. Ensure the recipient has provided a request for transportation and written confirmation of acceptance into the facility.
     
  2. If the request is for non-local transportation, ascertain that the appropriate treatment is not available locally.
     
  3. Determine all of the following:
  • have all alternative travel options (e.g., family and voluntary agencies) and resources been explored by the client and Employment and Assistance Worker (EAW)
  • does the client have a subsidized bus pass that will meet their need
  • will providing a day pass for local transit meet the need and be the least expensive
  • has the recipient provided a list of the expected transportation costs
    note: Greyhound Canada offers significant advance purchase fare discounts that may cost less than issuing for vehicle transportation
  • has a financial assessment been prepared that ensures recipients of income assistance or disability assistance have no other funds available to travel to a residential alcohol and drug facility for treatment
  • have details of the need and the financial assessment been recorded
  • if the request is for transport to a non-local residential drug and alcohol treatment facility, has the recipient provided a detailed itinerary and a detailed list of requested assistance, which is recorded
     
  1. If an escort is required for an adult, written confirmation must be provided from a medical practitioner that an escort is required for medical reasons.

Effective:  May 20, 2010

The EAW must use the following additional procedures when issuing transportation supplements over the allowable rate as set out in the General Supplements Rate Table:
 

  1. If using an agency, the reason for the higher rate must be confirmed and documented with a confirmation from the agency where possible.  It should include what travel expenses the agency's rate covers (i.e., gas, insurance, vehicle maintenance).
  2. When considering a higher kilometre rate for older or less economical vehicles, refer to the Natural Resource Canada [see Additional Resources] for information on vehicle types, gas consumption and average kilometre costs.
  3. The Supervisor must approve amounts higher than the allowable rate. The approval is to be recorded on the case.

Effective:  January 8, 2013
 

  • When all other options have been exhausted, a taxi may be authorized for transportation to a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility through a Purchase Authorization Benefit Plan.  
  • The EAW is to request a firm estimate of the total cost from the taxi company and advise the company that, under normal circumstances, no additional costs will be considered.
  • The authorization provided for a taxi must reflect the actual cost of the trip.
  • The ministry will only pay the amount approved by the EAW spending authority on the service order.
  • The EAW is to advise the taxi company that, in the event of extraordinary circumstances where the trip exceeds the estimate provided (i.e., unforeseen traffic, detours out of the driver’s control, etc.), the taxi company will need to contact the ministry and advise of the change before submitting their invoice for payment. 
  • EAW will provide a contact number to the taxi company. 
  • If appropriate, the EAW spending authority will revise the service order and provide the new service order number to the taxi company in order for them to submit the invoice. 

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective:  May 20, 2010 

Residential Alcohol and Drug Treatment Facilities Transportation
Employment and Assistance Worker Determining eligibility for the residential alcohol and drug treatment facilities transportation supplement in BC
Supervisor Approving transportation issued under exceptional circumstances [see Policy and Procedures]

Effective:  May 20, 2010

Supervisor is responsible for:

  • as required, contacting liaison Employment and Assistance Centres regarding non-local transportation as specified in the regional guidelines developed by the Director of Service Delivery.
  • approving and monitoring transportation to a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility issued under exceptional circumstances (over the allowable rate).

Director of Service Delivery is responsible for:

  • developing regional guidelines regarding local and non-local transportation to a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility.

A summarized Authority Level matrix is available in Additional Resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question  How does ministry staff distinguish between local and non-local transportation to a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility?  Is there a defined boundary for each?

Answer  Directors of Service Delivery are responsible for developing regional guidelines regarding local and non-local transportation to a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility.

 

Question  Will the ministry cover transportation to non-residential treatments?

Answer  No, the ministry does not cover transportation to non-residential treatments.  Transportation to the following treatments are excluded, but are not limited to:

  • self-help groups
  • methadone programs or treatment
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or Gambler’s Anonymous (GA) meetings
  • psychological counselling
 

Question  What are the maximum costs that the ministry will cover?

Answer  The ministry covers the least expensive appropriate mode of transportation to and from a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility.  Under normal circumstances, vehicle transportation costs and meal allowances are strictly limited as per the General Supplements & Programs Rate Table.