BC Employment & Assistance Policy & Procedure Manual

Welcome to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) Policy and Procedure Manual.

The BCEA Policy and Procedure Manual is a one-stop source for all BCEA policy, procedure and program information.

BCEA policy and procedure information is organized by Category. Each Category has a set of Policy Topics. To view an expanded list of available Policy Topics, click on the appropriate Category.

Topics provide related content such as an overview, policies, procedures, and links to relevant acts, regulations, contacts, rate tables and resources.

For more information on how to use the BCEA Policy and Procedure Manual, please visit our Navigation & Search Tips page.

 

What's New

Effective: December 1, 2018

General Supplements & Programs

Policy has been changed to increase the monthly limit on the Crisis Supplement for Food from $20 to $40 per person.

To ensure that recipients can receive the additional amount, policy has been changed to adjust the overall annual limit for crisis supplements.

Effective: July 16, 2018

Application & Intake

Clarification that family units applying for income assistance that include a person who has received income assistance or disability assistance in at least one of the preceding three calendar months can, at the ministry’s discretion, apply for assistance by submitting the Monthly Report Form (HR0081) rather than the Application for Assistance Part 1 and Part 2 (HR0080B and HR0080).

In addition, procedures have also been updated to clarify when to use the Application for Assistance - Verbal Consent (HR0080A) and EA/EAPWD Review (HR0080R) to obtain consent.

Eligibility

Clarification that family units applying for income assistance that include a person who has received income assistance or disability assistance in at least one of the preceding three calendar months can, at the ministry’s discretion, apply for assistance by submitting the Monthly Report Form (HR0081) rather than the Application for Assistance Part 1 and Part 2 (HR0080B and HR0080).

Clarification that family units applying for income assistance that include a person who has received income assistance or disability assistance in at least one of the preceding three calendar months are not required to serve a one-month waiting period before being eligible for the earnings exemption.

Effective: October 18, 2018

Case Administration

Procedures have been updated to clarify when duty to accommodate alerts are to be added to the case.

Effective: October 1, 2018

General Supplements & Programs

Policy has been changed to remove the requirement for a disconnection notice for the Essential Utilities Crisis Supplement.

Policy has been clarified to explain that the 12-month crisis supplement maximum does not apply to the Essential Utilities Crisis Supplement, and to explain that the Essential Utilities Crisis Supplement can be provided for firewood and propane.

Policy has been updated to add the Emergency Home Repair Crisis Supplement.

Support & Shelter

The 2019 Cheque Issue Schedule and Cut-off Dates has been updated in Additional Resources.

Effective: August 31, 2018

General Supplements & Programs

The policy for bus passes for low-income seniors has been clarified to remove the criterion of living in a valid transit area.

Effective: August 28, 2018

Health Supplements & Programs

Policy, Procedures and Authorities have been updated as eligibility for all medical supplies is determined by Health Assistance.

Effective: July 25, 2018

Eligibility 

Hardship Assistance

The following are exempt as income and an asset for the purposes of determining eligibility for income assistance, disability assistance, and hardship assistance:

  • money that is paid or payable from compensation paid by the Government of Canada to the Songhees Nation under the terms of the Songhees Nation settlement agreement or to the Esquimalt Nation under the terms of the Esquimalt Nation settlement agreement.

OIC #511 (B.C. Reg. 189/2018)  amended the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Effective: July 23, 2018

Support & Shelter

A client temporarily caring for a child without legal custody or guardianship may be considered a parent.

Effective: July 16, 2018

Eligibility 

Hardship Assistance

The following are exempt as income and assets for the purposes of determining eligibility for income assistance, disability assistance, and hardship assistance:

  • money that is paid or payable by the government of British Columbia to or for a person if the payment is in accordance with an award in a legal proceeding or with a settlement agreement in respect of a claim for injury, loss or damage caused by the Minister of Children and Family Development, that ministry, an employee of that ministry or a person retained under a contract to perform services for that ministry; and
  • money that is paid or payable by the government of British Columbia to or for a person because the person was a resident of Woodlands School.

OIC #395 (B.C. Reg. 150/2018)  amended the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Effective: July 11, 2018

Information Privacy & Security (FOIPPA)

A new form has been created to allow clients the ability to authorize the disclosure of information to third parties as well as authorize them to start some services on the client’s behalf.  The new form is called Consent to Disclosure of Information – Service Authorization (HR3189A).

Effective May 15, 2018

Health Supplements & Programs

Aircasts/walking boots have been added as an eligible item under Medical Equipment – Orthoses.

OIC #245 (B.C. Reg. 94/2018)  amended the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Effective: May 1, 2018

General Supplements & Programs

Beginning May 1, 2018, BC Hydro is introducing a new Customer Crisis Fund (CCF). The CCF grant will be available to all BC Hydro residential account holders between May 1, 2018 and May 31, 2021. The CCF grant can be provided once every 12 months, to a maximum of $500 for non-electrically heated homes or $600 for electrically heated homes. 

Crisis supplement policy and procedures have been updated to reflect changes to BC Hydro’s Credit and Collection Policy & Procedures. For a BC Hydro disconnection notice, the ministry’s crisis supplement continues to be available for half of the amount of arrears accrued on assistance while the CCF is now available for the other half.

Effective: April 24, 2018

Eligibility

This topic is being updated to clarify Room Rental income from Collection of Rent that is forwarded by a client to a landlord or owner on behalf of other individuals sharing that residence, with no financial gain to the client.

Support & Shelter

This topic is being updated to clarify the role of landlords in confirming shelter costs so that shelter allowance is not to be denied because the landlords is not the registered owner of the property or because certain forms of documentation are not provided.

Effective: April 3, 2018

Employment Programs, Planning & Exemptions

Policy and procedures have been updated to change adjudicator to supervisor and clarify that the suspension of an Employment Plan (EP) refers to suspending the conditions within an existing EP.

Effective: April 1, 2018

General Supplements & Programs

The rate table has been updated to reflect increase in federal OAS/GIS rates, effective April 1, 2018.

Effective: March 27, 2018

Eligibility

Clarification that clients who use a Part 2 form to apply for income assistance are required to serve a one-month waiting period before being eligible for the earnings exemption, and clients who do not use a Part 2 form to apply for income assistance are not required to serve a one-month waiting period.

Effective: February 22, 2018

Health Supplements & Programs

Ministry of Health has implemented a Two Step Enrolment process for residents of BC to confirm permanent health care coverage.

Procedures have been updated to reflect changes to the enrolment process for new and returning BC residents.

Effective: January 1, 2018

Support & Shelter

General Supplements & Programs

Compliance & Debt Management

The Transportation Support Allowance is being rolled into the rate for disability assistance, and will no longer be referenced as a distinct part of the client’s support amount. A new Transportation Supplement has been created that functions as other general supplements. The Transportation Supplement is separate from the actual disability and hardship rate, and is available to all PWD clients. 

OIC #414 (B.C. Reg. 193/2017) amended the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulations.

General Supplements & Programs

The Transitional Transportation Support (TTS) is provided in specific scenarios when a person leaves disability assistance in order to continue their transportation supplement. This is necessary to ensure that the bus pass continues to function as an “annual” pass.

The bulk of the policy for the TTS will move under the new Transportation Supplement topic, under General Supplements. The TTS will remain as a short description for the next year or so, and will be retired after that. 

General Supplements & Programs

  • Special Transportation Subsidy

The Special Transportation Subsidy topic is being retired. The subsidy was replaced by a rate increase in September 2016.