Sponsorship Undertaking Default

Overview

Hardship assistance is provided to meet essential need of applicants who meet all eligibility criteria except they are awaiting verification of default of a Sponsorship Undertaking.  This category of hardship assistance is called Sponsorship Undertaking Default.

Hardship assistance is provided on a temporary basis, for only one month.  Eligibility for hardship must be re-established each month.

If the sponsor cannot be contacted because there are substantiated health and safety concerns that prevent contact with the sponsor, then the applicant may be eligible for regular assistance if all eligibility criteria are met. 

Sponsorship Undertaking Default is available to applicants under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Policy

Effective: August 3, 2008

Hardship assistance is provided on a temporary basis, for only one month at a time.  If further hardship assistance is required, eligibility must be re-established each month. 

Hardship assistance may be issued under Sponsorship Undertaking Default to an applicant who meets all other eligibility criteria, but ministry staff  have been unable to contact the sponsor to verify that the sponsor is unable or unwilling to support the applicant.  As long as all other eligibility criteria are met, the applicant continues to be eligible for hardship assistance under this category until the sponsor has been contacted.

Hardship assistance under this category is not repayable, except by the sponsor in cases where there is a debt due to default of a Sponsorship Undertaking. 

Once the hardship reason no longer exists, cases must be reassessed to determine if the family unit meets the eligibility criteria for income assistance or disability assistance.

Note: In these cases, debt collection will occur despite the fact that a repayment agreement was not taken, because the debt rests with the sponsor, not the client.  Debt collection will occur regardless of whether the debt relates to income assistance, disability assistance, or hardship assistance.

Effective: August 3, 2008

Where the 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 listed in the Sponsorship Undertaking, the family unit may be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance if all other eligibility requirements are met. 

Where an applicant resides with the sponsor, the shelter allowance must not be issued, unless the sponsor is also receiving assistance.

When a sponsor becomes a recipient of assistance and is residing with the sponsored person, the usual practice for shared rent will be followed.

For more information see Related Links – Pursuing Income – Procedures – Sponsorship Undertaking Default.

Effective: January 13, 2010

Where there are possibly any health and/or safety concerns, no contact is to be made with the sponsor, including by letter. 

In cases where the sponsored relative indicates a health and/or safety threat exists due to abuse or other concerns, hardship assistance may be issued under Sponsorship Undertaking Default while the applicant is gathering documentation that substantiates the health and or safety threat.  Ministry staff will refer the case to their supervisor after completing the interview with the applicant and together will make a decision based on the merits of the case.  If a 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.   [For policy and procedure on assessing health and/or safety threat and contacting the sponsor, see Related Links – Pursuing Income – Sponsorship Undertaking Default, Policy and Procedure].  If it is determined that the sponsor should not be contacted because it could pose a health and/or safety threat, and documentation is on the case that substantiates the risk, the hardship reasons no longer exists. 

If the hardship reason no longer exists, cases must be re-assessed to determine if the family unit meets the eligibility criteria for income assistance or disability assistance.

Procedures

Effective: December 1, 2003

For information on how to determine hardship assistance rates, see Related Links – Eligibility for Hardship Assistance – Policy – Amount of Hardship Assistance.

Effective: December 18, 2008

When an applicant (and any adult dependent) who is a sponsored person in a Sponsorship Undertaking that is still in effect, applies for assistance, follow these steps before issuing hardship assistance:
 

  1. Provide the applicant with the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771) [see Forms and Letters] by completing the following:
     
    1. update the system 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. scan and profile a copy of the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771)
    4.  make decisive notes on the case
    5. provide a copy of the letter Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771) to the Sponsorship Default Recovery Program in Victoria, BC [see Contacts]
    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 locate and notify the sponsor of their obligation and debt 

If there are concerns about contacting the sponsor make note of this concern on the system by entering a “y” in the safety concern field.  Then follow steps for verifying health and/or safety threat [see Related Links - Pursuing Income – Procedures – Sponsorship Undertaking Default].
 

  1. 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:
     
    1. 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
    2. once any assistance is paid, the ministry will advise CIC of sponsorship breakdown
    3. any assistance issued will be a debt that the sponsor will have to the Crown
    4. 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, will seek recovery of the debt
       
  2. 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:  
     
    1. 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
    2. 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  
    3. scan and profile a copy of the Sponsorship Obligations – Sponsor letter (HR2772)
    4. make decisive notes on the case
    5. provide a copy of the Sponsorship Obligations – Sponsor letter (HR2772) to the Sponsorship Default Recovery Program in Victoria, BC [see Contacts]
    6. complete the Sponsorship Obligations – Applicant letter (HR2771) and send to the applicant
    7. complete the Verification of Sponsorship Request form (HR2786) and fax to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Case Processing Centre (CPC), Mississauga [see Contacts]
       
  3. Obtain documents and information relevant to the Sponsorship Undertaking: Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292) or 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 contact the Ministry’s Immigration Liaison to verify client information [see Contacts].  Citizenship and Immigration Canada can also provide assistance.
     
  4. Update the system by ensuring all relevant fields are updated and by adding detailed sponsor information, and make a note on the case of the application details.  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 made a note on the case of all the procedures for example:
    1. 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:
    2. Sponsorship breakdown.  Applicant states fleeing abuse and has brought in recent restraining order to substantiate.  Also, the applicant fears for his/her 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. 

Effective: December 1, 2003
 

  1. Complete the Verification of Sponsorship Request (HR2786)
  2. Fax the HR2786, along with a copy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292) and Permanent Resident Card or Record of Landing (IMM1000) if issued prior to June 28, 2002, to Case Processing Centre (CPC) Mississauga.  [see Contacts]
  3. Update the system by entering the “Assignment Verification Requested” date in the CIC Assgn/ver rqsted dt: in ICM.
  4. Make note of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) file number.

Once this process has been completed, no further action is required to follow up with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.