Temporary Reduction of Your Client Rate

If you are receiving publicly subsidized home and community care services and payment of your assessed client rate would cause you or your family serious financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced rate.

Serious financial hardship means that payment of the assessed client rate would result in you or your spouse (if applicable) being unable to pay for:

  • adequate food;
  • monthly mortgage/rent;
  • sufficient home heat;
  • prescribed medication; or
  • other required prescribed health care services.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a temporary reduction of your client rate, you and your spouse must not receive monthly support and shelter assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (Persons with Disabilities) or the Employment and Assistance Act (Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers).

In addition, your responsible assessor must determine that:

  • payment of your assessed client rate would cause you and your spouse and/or dependent children (if applicable) serious financial hardship; or
  • you or your spouse (if applicable) would be unable to pay the client rate and still maintain the family home or unit, if you are receiving short-term residential care services.

How do I apply?

If you meet the eligibility criteria, your responsible assessor will work with you to complete a standard application form for a temporary reduction of your client rate.  On the application form, you will be required to provide certain information on your income and expenses. If your application is approved, this information will be used to calculate your reduced rate.  For more information about the application forms, please contact your responsible assessor within your health authority.

Please note, you or your legal representative must submit supporting documentation to verify the income and expenses listed on the application form.  If you meet the eligibility criteria, please refer to the Supporting Documentation Checklist for Temporary Rate Reduction Applications to help you prepare the necessary documents before your meeting with your responsible assessor so your application can be completed and processed as quickly as possible:

What happens after I apply?

Health authorities must process your application for a temporary reduction of your client rate within 30 business days of the date they receive complete documentation supporting your application from you or your legal representative. You will receive a decision letter from the health authority to let you know whether your application has been approved or denied.

If your application is approved, your reduced rate will take effect:

  • the first day of the month following the date the health authority receives complete supporting documentation from you or your legal representative; or
  • the date the health authority receives complete supporting documentation from you or your legal representative, if you are receiving short-term residential care services.

Your reduced rate will be in place for the shortest amount of time necessary to alleviate your serious financial hardship, but cannot be in place for longer than one year.

If payment of your assessed client rate would continue to cause you or your family serious financial hardship when your reduced rate expires, you may be eligible to re-apply for a temporary reduction of your client rate.

Where can I get more information?

For more information, please see:

If payment of your assessed client rate would cause you or your family serious financial hardship, please contact your responsible assessor within your health authority to discuss your eligibility for a temporary reduction of your client rate.

You can find the contact information for your responsible assessor in the client rate letter that was mailed to you or your legal representative in the Fall.

Changes to the Temporary Rate Reduction Process - Effective April 1, 2013

Changes to the temporary rate reduction process will take effect April 1, 2013. These changes were made to ensure the process reflects the current costs of living in B.C. and is based on a standardized approach. Some of the major changes that may impact you include:

  • updates to the types of allowable expenses that can be claimed with the necessary supporting documentation;
  • updates to the amounts deducted to allow for the purchase of food, clothing and footwear, transportation, and other expenses; and
  • changes to the calculation of the temporary daily rate for home support clients to ensure that the client's expenses are considered fairly and consistently.

If you have any questions about the new process or how it will impact you, please contact your responsible assessor within your health authority.