Nutritional Supplements

Overview

Nutritional supplements may be provided to eligible recipients of income assistance or disability assistance who need additional calories above a regular diet to recover from surgery, severe injury, serious disease, or the side effects of medical treatment.

Regular infant formula may be provided to children during the first 12 months when there is a medically confirmed risk of disease transmittal from the mother's breast milk; and specialized infant formula may be provided to children who have a confirmed medical condition that requires the specialized formula.

These supplements are available under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Policy

Effective:  September 1, 2017

A nutritional supplement may be provided to persons receiving income assistance or disability assistance if a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner confirms in writing that the recipient has an acute, short-term need for caloric supplementation to a regular dietary intake to prevent critical weight loss while recovering from any of the following: 

  • surgery

  • a severe injury

  • a serious disease

  • side effects of medical treatment

Nutritional supplement products (for example, Ensure, Boost, etc.) can be provided for up to three months.

Ineligible Recipients

Nutritional supplement products are not provided in situations where they are being used as food replacement.

Persons in receipt of another nutrition-related supplement are not eligible for short-term nutritional supplements.  Persons must choose one of the nutrition-related supplements for which they are eligible.

Infant Formula

When confirmed by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner, specialized infant formula may be provided to a child who has a medical condition that requires specialized formula to treat the condition.

Regular infant formula will be provided during the child’s first 12 months if a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner confirms that a child is at risk from contracting a disease through breastfeeding.

Procedures

Effective:  November 25, 2008

To assess eligibility for short-term nutritional supplements or infant formula, follow these steps:

EAW

1.

Ensure that the recipient has provided a written prescription and specific diagnosis from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner, including all of the following:

  • prescribed product
  • quantity required
  • expected duration of the need

 

2.

Forward the original documentation to Health Assistance (HA) for an eligibility decision.  No price quotes are necessary.

Note:  Up to a two-week supply, costing up to $500, may be issued to meet immediate or emergency needs using the Purchase Authorization on the Health Case. The EAW may issue a further two weeks, if HA approves the extension.

HAB

3.

If approving the products, notify the contracted service provider to provide the product directly to the recipient.

 

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective:  June 16, 2006

Nutritional Supplements

Employment and Assistance Worker

  • Approving up to a two-week supply of nutritional supplements to a maximum of $500 to meet the immediate or emergency need while Health Assistance (HA) assesses ongoing eligibility.  The EAW may issue a further two weeks, if HA approves the extension.

HA

  • Approves additional 2 weeks

Effective:  May 1, 2005

Health Assistance is responsible for:

  • assessing eligibility for short-term nutritional supplements and infant formula
  • providing short-term nutritional supplements or infant formula to eligible recipients through a contracted service provider

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question   Can a nutritional supplement be issued for longer than three months?

Answer   No.  By regulation, short-term nutritional supplements can be provided to eligible recipients for up to three months.  If after the three months has passed, the recipient has another acute need for short-term nutritional supplementation, such as they have now had surgery, a second request can be made to Health Assistance Branch.