Family Composition

Overview

For the purpose of determining eligibility for income assistance, disability assistance, or hardship assistance, an applicant's or recipient's family composition/living arrangements must be determined.

The ministry must establish whether other persons residing with the applicant or recipient fit within the definition of family unit. This includes determining whether to provide additional shelter assistance when parents have a shared custody court order or shared parenting agreement filed in court showing that they have a child who is not listed as a dependent child on their file, but who resides with them for no less than 40 per cent of each month.

When establishing whether other persons residing with the applicant or recipient fit within the definition of family unit, an assessment for a marriage-like dependency relationship may be necessary in order to determine the applicant's or recipient’s family composition/living arrangements.

The ministry intends to ensure that room mates are not treated as couples. For the purpose of assessing for a marriage-like relationship the ministry will request information and only make a determination when evidence supports the decision.

As part of determining a family unit's composition, the ministry takes into account situations where a parent, teenage parent and teenage parent's child live together as a three generation family.

Policy

Effective: February 6, 2014

For the purpose of determining eligibility for income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance, a family unit is defined as either of the following:
 

  • married persons
  • persons living in a marriage-like relationship with or without dependent children
  • sole persons with or without dependent children

For these family units, the earnings of the spouse who is temporarily away will be considered when determining the eligibility of the family unit’s assistance.

When two persons (over 19 and excluding dependent children) live together and there is no acknowledgement that a dependency, spousal, or marriage-like relationship exists, staff must assess the nature of the relationship to determine if a marriage-like relationship exists.

The nature of the relationship will be assessed for a marriage-like relationship using each of the following three factors:
 

  • Factor 1: Length of time the parties have resided together is greater than 3 consecutive months (or 9 out 12)
  • Factor 2: Financial inter-dependence is consistent with that of a marital or  “marriage-like” relationship
  • Factor 3: Social / familial aspects are consistent with that of a marital or “marriage-like” relationship

For the purpose of the definition of “spouse,” when assessing for a marriage-like relationship, the sexual nature of the relationship will not be considered.

For the purposes of assessing the length of time the parties have resided together (factor one), if the other person has lived at and uses the address of the shared residence as their primary residence for at least three consecutive months (or nine out of the last 12 months) and is absent from the home primarily for employment the ministry may determine the parties reside together.

All income and assets, including those of an applicant or recipient who does not meet residency requirements, are to be included in the application as jointly available assets and income held in common by the parties in a dependency or marriage-like relationship.

The income and assets of a member of the family unit whose employment requires periodic absences from the family home are included.

If a high school student is a member of a family unit receiving assistance and turns 19 years of age during the school year, the student may be maintained as a dependant on the family unit for the duration of the school year.

Note:  Ministry staff can verify information that pre-dates July 1, 2006 based on the current definition of “spouse” only to determine eligibility, not to calculate an overpayment that may have occurred prior to July 1, 2006.

If two unmarried individuals (over 19 and not a dependent child on the case) are residing together at the time of application or any time eligibility is being assessed, ministry staff can verify information that pre-dates July 1, 2006, in order to determine if they resided together for the previous 3 consecutive months or 9 of the previous 12 months.  This is to determine if they are in a marriage-like relationship (i.e., if they meet the first factor of “marriage-like relationship” described above) and eligible for assistance based on the current definition of “spouse.”

Any resulting determination of ineligibility or overpayment based on the amended definition of “spouse” must be applied or calculated from July 1, 2006 onward only.

See Procedures for details on the assessment for determining whether a marriage-like relationship exists.

Effective: May 3, 2011

Support and shelter allowance amounts are based on the number of recipients in the family unit.

When one or more recipients leave a family unit, the support and shelter allowances provided must normally be decreased. The change in support takes effect as soon as the person leaves the home.

The shelter allowance may be temporarily maintained at the rate for the full family unit in any of the following instances:
 

  • when there is a death of a member of the recipient’s family unit (Deceased Adjustment Supplement)
  • when a member of the recipient’s family unit is temporarily hospitalized (shelter)
  • when a member of the recipient’s family unit is in a residential alcohol or drug treatment facility (shelter)
  • when a member of the recipient’s family unit is out of the province with the prior approval of the ministry (shelter) see Related Links - Residency – Policy]
  • when a member of the family unit is a warrant holder and leaves the province to resolve an outstanding warrant (shelter).

The determination to maintain the shelter rate is made on a month-to-month basis for up to three months of shelter allowance.  If extenuating circumstances occur, a supervisor may provide up to an additional three months of shelter allowance, for a total of six months of shelter top-up allowance.

Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to:
 

  • A recipient who is hospitalized for three months and is scheduled to be discharged during the fourth month.
  • The duration of the residential alcohol or drug program of 120 days (four months).
  • A recipient who received prior approval from the ministry to leave the province for a prescribed medical therapy for three months.  Health complications resulted in the person requiring care outside of British Columbia for an additional month.

Effective: February 15, 2012

Support and shelter allowance amounts are based on the number of recipients in the family unit.

When one or more dependent children leave a family unit, the support and shelter allowances provided must normally be decreased.  The change in support takes effect as soon as the dependent child leaves the home.

When a dependent child is temporarily cared for under the Child, Family, and Community Service Act (CFCSA), the shelter allowance may be maintained.  A Ministry of Children and Family Development social worker must confirm that the child is being cared for under the CFCSA and that the parent is actively working on the return of the child.

Confirmation is required every six months from a social worker that the parent is actively working on the return of the child.

The temporary shelter allowance may continue until one of the following occurs:
 

  • The child will not return to the parent’s home
    • For example, a continuing custody order may be granted meaning the Director of Child Welfare becomes the sole guardian of the child.  A social worker must provide confirmation.
  •  The Ministry of Children and Family Development social worker determines that the parent is no longer actively working on the return of the child
  • The child returns to the parent’s home
    • The parent has addressed the reasons why the child was being cared for under the CFCSA and the social worker supports the child residing with the parent. 

Effective: December 1, 2003

Shared parenting assistance (SPA) is available to recipients of income assistance and disability assistance. Recipients of hardship assistance are not eligible for SPA.

To be eligible for SPA, the parents must provide a court order or shared parenting agreement filed in court showing that they have a child or children who are not listed as dependants under their case but who reside with them for no less than 40 per cent of each month (11 nights in the month of February, or 12 nights in the other calendar months).

In situations where parents have a fifty-fifty custody arrangement under a shared custody court order or a shared parenting agreement, and they cannot agree on designating which parent will claim the child as a dependant for assistance purposes, neither parent may claim the child or children as a dependent child or children, but both parents are eligible for SPA.

Note: By regulation, a dependent child resides in the parent’s place of residence for more than fifty percent of each month. Dependent children can be added to the family unit and full support and shelter can be issued.

The amount of SPA equals the amount of increase in shelter allowance attributed to the family when the shared child or children are added to the family unit, based on actual shelter costs. [see Rate Tables: Income Assistance and Disability Assistance]

There is no support allowance component in SPA. Parents are expected to make their own arrangements for sharing any portion of the Family Bonus. [For information on the treatment of Family Bonus in such circumstances, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions.]

Effective: October 1, 2012

Three-generation family policy applies to families who reside together and include at least:
 

  • A parent who is eligible for income, hardship or disability assistance,
  • A parenting dependent child (PDC), and
  • A child of a PDC

Note: This policy does not apply if the parent has custody or guardianship of the PDC’s child.  In this circumstance, the PDC’s child would be considered a dependent child of the parent.

Three-generation families are considered a family unit and are subject to the same eligibility rules and are eligible for the same rates and supplements as other family units.

Provision of Assistance

If a PDC is under age 16 and residing with their parent who is on assistance, both the PDC and their child would be added to the parent’s case as dependent children.

If a PDC is between the ages of 16 and 18 (inclusive) and is residing with their parent who is on assistance, there are two options:
 

  • Both the PDC and their child would be added to the parent’s case as dependent children, OR
  • The PDC could apply for assistance on their own case with their child while continuing to live with the parent.

Factors to Consider for 16-18 year olds

To make the assessment for 16-18 year olds, consider the following: 
 

  • rates
  • client category
  • eligibility for supplements
  • employment obligations
  • income exemptions, including earnings exemptions 

These factors are not exhaustive, ultimately, staff and family should work together, with Ministry of Children Family Development where required, to determine the most appropriate option for the family unit.  Authority for eligibility decisions, including which option to provide, rests with the ministry. 

A Ministry of Children and Family Development referral is required when:
 

  • there are child protection concerns regarding an applicant for assistance who is under 19 years of age OR
  • the applicant for assistance is under 17 years of age (underage assistance)

[see Related Links – Protection of Children]

[For three-generation families who receive Ministry of Children and Family Development payments under the CFCSA, see Scenario 3 and Related Links - Income Treatment and Exemptions.]

Scenarios

In the following scenarios, we are assuming:
 

  • Families include 3 key members that live together: the parent, the PDC, and the PDC’s child. 
  • The parent is on assistance. 
  • The PDC has custody/guardianship of their child.

Scenario 1:
 

  • A 15 year old PDC and her child are living with her biological mother.
  • The PDC’s mother is on disability assistance. 
  • There is no Ministry of Children and Family Development involvement and no child protection concerns.
  • The PDC and her child would be dependent children on the mother’s case.
  • Disability assistance and supplements would be provided to all members of the family unit, including the PDC and her baby as a unit 3.

Scenario 2:
 

  • A 17-year old PDC and her baby are living with her biological mother.
  • The PDC’s mother is on income assistance and has employment obligations.
  • The PDC is attending high school and has a part-time job earning $300/mo.
  • There is no Ministry of Children and Family Development involvement or child protection concerns.
  • The family states they want the mother to care for the PDC’s baby while the PDC is in school and at work.  They do not want the PDC to be on assistance.
  • The ministry can provide assistance and supplements for the PDC and baby in one of two ways:
    • The PDC and baby would be dependants on the mother’s case
      • Family would be eligible for unit 3 support and shelter.
      • The mother would have no employment obligations (child under 3).
      • PDC’s income would be fully exempt as she is attending school.
    • PDC applies as single parent with one child
      • The mother would be eligible for unit 1 support and shelter and would be required to seek employment.
      • PDC and her child would be eligible for unit 2 support and shelter. 
      • PDC would have no employment obligations while her child is under 3. The PDC would be eligible for a $200 earnings exemption (remaining $100 income deducted from cheque)

Scenario 3:
 

  • A 17-year-old PDC and her baby are living with her aunt who has legal custody of the PDC.
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development provides the aunt with a monthly payment to care for the PDC.  The Ministry of Children and Family Development does not provide support for the baby.
  • The ministry can provide assistance and supplements for the family in one of two ways:
    • The baby would be a dependent child on the aunt’s case. When issuing assistance the family unit would be eligible as unit 2.  No assistance would be issued for the PDC (as payment is provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development).
      OR
    • PDC applies as single parent
      • The aunt would be eligible for unit 1 support and shelter.
      • PDC would be eligible for unit 2 support and shelter minus the Ministry of Children and Family Development  payment (paid to aunt).

[For information on the treatment of Ministry of Children and Family Development  payments, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions – Policy – Ministry of Children and Family Development.]

Scenario 4: 
 

  • A 17-year-old PDC and her baby are living with her biological mother.
  • The 17-year-old boyfriend of the PDC is living in the home.
  • The ministry can provide assistance and supplements for the family in one of two ways:
    • The PDC and baby can be added to the parents’ case.  
      • The boyfriend cannot be added to the case, and could only be eligible for assistance as a single person (see Underage Applicants). The boyfriend can continue to live in the home.
        ‚ÄčOR
      • The PDC, the baby and the boyfriend could apply as a unit 3 and continue to live in the home.
        • The mother could apply as a unit 1.

[see Related Links – Underage Applicants]

[For further information on steps to follow on Three-Generation Families, see Procedures – Three-Generation Families.]

Effective: December 1, 2003

A dependent child of a family unit receiving income assistance or disability assistance, who turns 19 while attending secondary school may remain on the family unit for the purposes of determining the monthly income assistance or disability assistance rate for the family unit. This provision may continue for each calendar month that the person (the former dependent child) is residing with the family unit and attending school, until the end of that school year.  The amount of support allowance that may be issued is shown in Rate Tables – General Supplements and Programs – Family Bonus Top-up Supplement. [see Rate Tables]

Note: The same provision does not exist in Schedule D (Hardship) of either the EA Regulation or the EAPWD Regulation for recipients of hardship assistance.

Procedures

Effective: July 1, 2006

Each of the following three factors are applied to determine whether a marriage-like relationship exists:
 

  1. Length of time the parties have resided together is greater than 3 months
  2. Financial inter-dependence is consistent with “marriage-like”
  3. Social / familial aspects are consistent with “marriage-like”

Factor 1: The parties have resided together for at least 3 months, or 9 out of the previous 12 months

  • Evidence of “residing with” can be that one person acknowledges the shared residence as their primary residence (place of contact, mailing address, place to store items while away at work, etc.) for three consecutive months (or nine out twelve months), and it is reasonable to assume they will return.
  • Example:  An applicant states they live alone and the vehicle used to drive to the appointment was borrowed from a friend who uses the applicant’s address to insure the vehicle, receive mail, and store personal items.  The applicant states that the friend returns for visits periodically.  The applicant also has 2 children who share the same last name as the friend. It is reasonable to assess this case for a marriage-like relationship. The friend may meet the criteria for factor one (resides at the home). Staff must determine how long the friend had resided with applicant. If it was for nine months out of the previous twelve, then factor one is met and the staff would continue with the assessment. If the friend has never physically lived at the residence they do not meet factor one. 

Factor 2: Financial interdependence is consistent with “marriage-like”

  • The persons share the same shelter accommodation and household facilities on a consistent basis and the finances are shared and / or shared financial products. (e.g. the parties have a joint bank account)
  • One person supports the other, or they share their income
  • Example: Joint credit or loans, car ownership documents, a tenancy agreement that verifies the parties are spouses, and / or the parties share a vehicle.

Factor 3: Social / familial aspects are consistent with “marriage-like”

Examples:

  • The persons are listed together on residential tenancy applications (either previously or currently) and identified as spouses, common-law or partners.
  • The persons share household responsibilities on a consistent basis. Such responsibilities may include child care, meal preparation, laundry, shopping, housecleaning, etc.
  • Joint credit or loans when used together for them and their children.
  • School contact information lists other person as emergency contact.
  • Persons presenting themselves to others as a couple, spouses, partners, common-law or husband and wife (including married persons of the same gender).

Effective: February 6, 2014

Indications that an assessment should be done or followed up on after three months may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • applicant is sharing a one-room dwelling with another adult and it is unclear whether a dependency relationship exists
  • during interview client states another adult uses the residence as their main address (example:  an ex-spouse who works for periods of time away from town but uses the residence address as a point of contact).  Staff may assess however, the ministry cannot collect the other adult’s information unless that person is also a client. 

Note: A follow-up assessment may be booked if the applicant or recipient advises that they have not resided for more than 3 months (or 9 months out of 12 months in the past) with the person they are residing with
 

  • applicant is recently separated from spouse with a history of repeated separation and reconciliation or contradictory information provided by applicant regarding the whereabouts of the ex-spouse
  • court order documents express that a dependency relationship existed between the two in the past (e.g. child support court order)
  • current roommate has formerly been declared as spouse
  • family composition is different from previous applications without a reasonable explanation

Note: When assessing for a marriage-like relationship, the sexual nature of the relationship is not considered. Stating they do not have an intimate relationship is not an indication that a dependency relationship does not exist. A marriage-like dependency relationship assessment is based on the 3 factors listed above.

Complete a Marriage-Like Dependency Spouse Assessment using the follow guidelines:
 

Factor

Documentation or Demonstration

Suggested Questions

  1. Resided together for at least 3 months (or 9 out of 12 months); residency factor is satisfied if absence is employment

If “yes” continue assessment for factors 2 and 3

  • Mail (bills) received by each party (both are clients) at the residence 
  • Tenancy agreement verified by landlord
  • History of sharing common residence

I see you are sharing the household with another adult. How long have you lived together?

Have you resided together before?

  1. The extent of the financial support provided by one person to the other person or the degree of financial interdependence between the two persons is consistent with “marriage-like”

If “yes” continue assessment for factor 3

  • Shared financial products(such as joint bank accounts)
  • Declared spouse on tax documents (CRA)
  • Third party checks (when verifying client information) indicate a marriage-like relationship exists (e.g. landlord states client shares home with spouse and shares rent).
  • Named as beneficiary (life insurance, will, etc)
  • In a marriage-like relationship, it is reasonable that one party could rely on the other party for financial or social support in a way that is unique to couples

How does the household work?

How are the bills paid?

Do you share credit cards or bank accounts?

Who is your beneficiary?

How would your situation change if this person moved away?

How would you manage if you were in hospital? (would this person assume responsibilities for you?)

  1. Extent of social and familial aspects of the relationship between the two persons is consistent with “marriage-like”

 If “yes” consider the evidence available to support each factor. If the overall picture indicates a marriage-like relationship, determine status.

  • Documents that identify parties as “spouse”
  • Shared parenting (child’s last name is same as other adult / child’s birth certificate lists other adult as parent)
  • Landlord / tenancy agreement identifies parties as a couple,
  • Documents that express the two are or have been a couple (child support court order, will, etc.)
  • *Factors 2 and 3 may be demonstrated with the same documents. An application for credit may list the name of a spouse indicating both social and financial factors are met)

Would this person be considered your spouse or partner?

How do you manage household duties?

I see the children have same last name, tell me about the relationship.

Tell me how the children relate to other person?

Is the manner in which the client interacts in the community consistent with a marriage?

Who is your beneficiary?

How would your situation change if this person moved away?

 

  • The suggested questions and list of documents are not exhaustive and should be used to supplement information received and other interview questions (record notes).
  • In order for a couple to be assessed to be in a marriage-like relationship, you should be confident that there is sufficient evidence to support your decision that each factor has been met.  The factors may build on each other and in some cases the documentation that demonstrated financial inter-dependence will also demonstrate social / familial aspects of a marriage-like relationship (example, a credit application form that lists the other person as “spouse”, a tenancy agreement that when verified by the landlord indicated it was a marriage-like relationship).
  • In making the determination, ensure that you have a preponderance of evidence that when considered in its totality supports your decision that a marriage-like dependency relationship exists.
  • When a person with a disability is living with another adult, staff should consider whether the person’s disability explains the financial, social and family-like aspects of their relationship. For example, an applicant or recipient may have joint bank accounts and other joint assets because the applicant or recipient is unable to do the banking or manage finances.  The need for assistance from another person due to a disability may also explain why two people spend a significant amount of time together.
  • Note: Staff must consider the whole picture once each factor has been demonstrated. If the picture you are left with is that the parties are roommates sharing expenses and babysitting responsibilities then it is not appropriate to determine the relationship is marriage-like.
  • If all three factors have been met, add notes on the case detailing how each factor was demonstrated.  Scan and profile necessary documents.
  • Follow process for adding the spouse to the case or the application.
  • A follow-up assessment may be booked if the applicant or recipient advises that they have not resided for more than 3 months (or 9 months out of 12 months in the past) with the current person they are residing with.  

The ministry is committed to providing accommodation to clients for needs related to the grounds protected under the British Columbia Human Rights Code (for example, accommodating the needs of a client with disabilities). [For more information, see Related Links – Individual Case Management – Duty to Accommodate.]

If the client disagrees with the assessment advise them of their right to reconsideration. 

Effective: October 15, 2014

Recipients who identify that they have a child who is now residing with them must indicate on the Monthly Report (HR0081) or "stub" [see Forms and Letters] that there is a change in the number of dependants living in the home, and include the following:
 

  • child’s name
  • date of birth
  • gender
  • date child started residing with them
  • percentage of time the child is going to reside with them.

Note: This information may be included in the stub, or provided in an attached note signed by the recipient.  If a Monthly Report is submitted online through My Self Serve the note must be submitted by mail, fax or in person.

A parent whose child resides with them for more than 50% of the month is eligible for income assistance, hardship assistance or disability assistance that includes the child in the family unit.

When parents state that they have custody for more than 50 per cent of the time, there is no requirement for the parents to produce a legal document unless both parents are claiming the child or children as dependants, or one of them is also claiming the shared parenting assistance (SPA).

If an applicant or recipient does not have a court custody order or shared parenting agreement, and the other parent cannot be located, the applicant or recipient with whom the child resides has de facto custody of the child; the child is his or her dependent child.

The Child Residency Statement (HR2864) [see Forms and Letters] should be completed to indicate the number of nights the child or children reside with an applicant or recipient when either of the following apply:
 

  • an applicant or recipient identifies that he or she has a child or children residing less than 50 per cent of the time
  • more than one applicant or recipient is claiming a child as a dependant

By signing the HR2864, applicants or recipients authorize the ministry to periodically confirm with the other parent that there have been no changes in the shared parenting arrangement and that they continue to have their children at least 40 per cent of the time in any given month.

If the HR2864 is being mailed to the applicants or recipients to complete, then advise them that they must submit the form to a trusted third party (for example, a government agent) or Employment and Assistance office who will validate the document and authenticate the person’s identity.

Note:  In exceptional circumstances whereby an applicant is unable to reach an EAW/ministry staff or a trusted third party, the ministry may accept witness signatures from members in the following groups:
 

  • other government staff; or
  • prescribed professionals (see EAPWD Regulation, Section 2(2)).

If the parents have a shared custody court order or a shared parenting agreement filed in court that specifies a fifty-fifty custody arrangement, for assistance purposes, they must designate in writing that the child is a dependent child of one parent. Any written confirmation that states the parents’ agreement and is signed by both is acceptable.

Effective: November 24, 2014

When a child has been temporarily removed from the family unit and is cared for under the Child, Family, and Community Service Act (CFCSA), a Ministry of Children and Family Development social worker will notify our ministry staff.  The family may maintain their shelter allowance while the child has been temporarily removed from the family unit.  If the family is eligible, the shelter top-up allowance will be provided on an ongoing basis. Confirmation is required every six months from a social worker to confirm that the parent is actively working on reunification.

Initial Removal of Child from Family Unit

When a child is initially living outside of the parental home and ministry is notified by the Ministry of Children and Family Development that the child is cared for under CFCSA:
 

  1. Review the automatic system notification of the child status change.  If required, contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development to request a completed Children Cared for Outside the Parental Home Notification and Confirmation form (CF3471) to determine if the child has been removed from the family permanently or temporarily. 
    [For more information see Resources for Staff – Process for Child Status Notifications]
  2. If the child has been permanently removed from the family:
    • Profile the notification CF3471 to Case and associate the parent(s) and child(ren)
    • Update Case to add a stop date for the removed dependent.
  3. If the child has been temporarily removed from the family:
    • Open a Service Request (SR) on Case
    • If applicable, profile the notification CF3471 to the SR, Case, parent(s) and child(ren)
    • Update Case to add a stop date for the removed dependant
    • If eligible, provide shelter top-up (CIC Temp Absence Assistance) to payment
    • Close the SR after the temporary allowance has been set up
    • Add a Notification Activity to the Case with due date five months from when shelter top-up has been provided to set a reminder that the six-month notification is required from the Ministry of Children and Family Development
    • In description of notification write “Six-month confirmation of child status from the Ministry of Children and Family Development”.
  4. Contact the client to advise of the change in support and shelter allowance due to change in the family unit if the child has been permanently removed from the family or if the client is not eligible for shelter top-up (CIC Temp Absence Assistance).
  5. Advise the client they have the right to reconsideration.

Six-Month Monitoring

To provide on-going shelter top-up to the parent(s) while the child is temporarily removed from the family under CFCSA, the Ministry of Children and Family Development must provide confirmation that the parent(s) are actively working on reunification.  The confirmation process is every six months and starts on month five after issuing shelter top-up so that the ministry has received the confirmation from the Ministry of Children and Family Development by month six.  The temporary shelter top-up allowance will continue while confirming with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation EAW

1.

Email Social Worker in control of case to request status update on CF3471. Note:  Do not include client information in the Subject line of the email.

2.

Add deferred notification to file for follow-up if no response within 10 business days.

Note: if out-of-office indicates absence over 10 days, immediately forward request to alternate contact listed, or, if no alternate contact provided, proceed to step 3.

3.

If no response within 10 business days, forward original request to After Hours requesting they forward request to Social Worker in control of case and their Team Lead for an urgent status update on CF3471 within 3 business days. [see Contacts for After Hours]

Ministry of Children and Family Development Social Worker

1.

Review Case and complete CF3471.

2.

Send CF3471 to the Employment and Assistance office by emailing SDSI Office 138.

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation EAW

1.

Review the confirmation received from the Ministry of Children and Family Development social worker (CF3471).

2.

Create a new SR on case and profile the document to the SR, Case and Contacts.

3.

If parent is not actively working on reunification:
 

  • Discontinue the shelter top-up (CIC Temp Absence Assistance) and advise the parent(s) that they have the right to reconsideration.
  • Close the SR.

4.

If parent is actively working on reunification:
 

  • Continue providing shelter top-up.
  • Close the SR.
  • Set the notification activity Due Date (in Case) to initiate the next 6-month confirmation at month 5.

Example:  A child is cared for under CFCSA and has been temporarily removed from the family.  The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation was notified by the Ministry of Children and Family Development  on June 15, 2011 and the family was issued temporary shelter top-up (CIC Temp Absence Assistance). The first six-month confirmation is due by December 15, 2011.  Another confirmation from the Ministry of Children and Family Development will be required by June 15, 2012.  The anniversary months for confirmation will be December and June of each calendar year until the child is returned or permanently removed from the family.

A notification activity will be set (in Case) with a due date of November 15 to set a reminder that the confirmation from the Ministry of Children and Family Development is required and this will provide 30 days for the confirmation to be completed by December 15.  After the confirmation for December has been completed and the ministry is informed by the Ministry of Children and Family Development that the parents are actively working towards reunification, the notification activity should be reset with a due date of May 15, 2012 to set another reminder that the second confirmation is to be completed by June 15, 2012.  

Change to Child Status Prior to Six-Month Confirmation

There may be changes to the child’s status prior to the six-month window of confirmation such as:
 

  • Child has been returned to the parental home.
  • A court order that the child is to be permanently removed from the family; OR
  • Parent is no longer working towards reunification.

In each of these situations, if there is a change to the child’s status prior to the six-month window of confirmation, the Ministry of Children and Family Development social worker will send a CF3471 notification to the ministry worker.  The temporary shelter top-up will be discontinued and the case will be updated with appropriate information.

When child is returned to parental home:
 

  1. Create a new SR on Case
  2. Profile CF3471 to the SR, Case and Contacts
  3. Confirm with parent(s) the child has returned to the parental home
  4. Discontinue the temporary shelter top-up allowance (CIC Temp Absence Assistance)
  5. Update case to include the dependant in the family unit
  6. Close the SR.

When child is removed by court order or parent(s) is no longer working towards reunification:
 

  1. Create a new SR on Case
  2. Profile CF3471 to the SR, Case and Contacts
  3. Discontinue the temporary shelter top-up allowance (CIC Temp Absence Assistance)
  4. Advise the client they have the right to reconsideration
  5. Close the SR.

 

Effective: December 1, 2003

The onus is on the parents to file a shared parenting agreement with the court or to obtain a court custody order if any of the following apply:
 

  • the parents do not have a court order or agreement concerning custody
  • the parents have a shared custody court order but do not agree on amount of time that they each have the child or children
  • the court order does not specify how much time the child or children spends with each parent

While the parents are resolving the amount of time they each have the child or children:
 

  • if only one parent is in receipt of assistance (and other parent is not requesting assistance on behalf of the same child), Employment and Assistance Workers (EAWs) have the discretion to determine that the child is a dependent child of the applicant or recipient
  • if both parents are on assistance, neither may claim the child or children as dependent child or children but both may be eligible to receive SPA

Effective: September 1, 2015

If a parent [see Definition] is in receipt of income assistance, disability assistance, or hardship assistance and has a parenting dependent child (PDC) residing with them, staff follow these steps:
 

  1. If required, confirm the birth of the PDC’s child.  [For more information on establishing proof of identity, see Related Links – Identification Requirements.] 
     
  2. Assess eligibility under the Three-Generation Families Policy:
     
    1. When the PDC is under 16 years of age, add the PDC’s child to the parent’s family unit by adding the child as a “Contact” and entering relationship as a “grandson” or a “granddaughter”
       
    2. When the PDC is between 16-18 years of age, assess which option is the most appropriate:
  • Include the PDC’s child in the parent’s family unit by adding the child as a “Contact” and entering relationship as a “grandson” or a “granddaughter”;

    OR
     
  • PDC applies on their own case with their child while continuing to live with the parent. 
  1. To make the assessment for 16-18 year olds, staff must consider the following:
     
    • rates
    • client category
    • eligibility for supplements
    • employment obligations
    • income exemptions, including earnings exemptions 

These factors are not exhaustive; ultimately, staff and family should work together to determine the most appropriate option for the family unit.  Authority for eligibility decisions, including which option to provide, rests with the ministry.  [For scenarios, see Policy – Three-Generation Families.]
 

  1. Conduct eligibility review, including
  • Confirm receipt of any Ministry of Children and Family Development payments, and all other eligibility criteria have been met.  [see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions – Policy – Ministry of Children and Family Development] [For scenarios, see Policy – Three-Generation Families.]

    ‚ÄčOnce Ministry of Children and Family Development  payments have been confirmed, the ministry can provide assistance and supplements for the family in one of two ways:
     
    • If the PDC and baby are dependent children on the parent’s case, remove the PDC as a subject from their parent’s case. Do not provide assistance for the PDC as payment is provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development ;

      OR
       
  • If the PDC applies as single parent, issue support and shelter to the parent for unit 1.
  • Issue support and shelter to the PDC for a unit 2 minus the Ministry of Children and Family Development payment (paid to parent).

 

  • Confirm receipt of Family Bonus.  [For more information on the Family Bonus Supplements, see Related Links – Family Bonus Supplement – Policy and Procedures.  For information on treatment of Family Bonus payments, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions – Policy – Family Bonus.]
  1. Set a notification prior to the PDC’s 19th birthday to review any changes in the family unit. 

Note: When a PDC turns 19, the system will alert staff that the PDC will be aging out as a dependent child. At that time, an eligibility review will need to take place to determine whether the parent will have legal custody/guardianship of the grandchild or if the PDC will be leaving the case with their child.

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: May 3, 2011

Position Authority
Supervisor
  • Approve extension of up to three additional months of shelter top-up allowance if extenuating circumstances occur for a temporarily reduced family unit.

 

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