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: November 4, 2021

Eligibility

Policy has been updated for applicants and recipients participating in full-time or part-time education. Recipients participating in a funded program of studies through WorkBC may now participate in programs up to two years in length.

Policy has been updated regarding the treatment of student funding. This update details new exemptions for education costs and education-related living costs for recipients of assistance participating in full-time funded training through WorkBC.

Effective: October 5, 2021

Eligibility

PWD Designation & Application

The PPM has been updated to include references to the CPP Post-Retirement Disability Benefit (PRDB). PRDB benefits are payable to CPP contributors with disabilities that are not eligible for a disability pension due to receiving CPP Early Retirement Benefits for more than 15 months. Applicants and clients are required to pursue PRDB benefits which are to be treated as non-exempt unearned income. People eligible for the PRDB are a prescribed class for the purposes of the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) designation.

Effective: October 1, 2021

Eligibility 

Support & Shelter

Minor adjustments have been made to simplify income, disability, and hardship assistance support and shelter rates. Rates will be maintained and in some circumstances, increased.

Effective: September 13, 2021

Eligibility

Hardship Assistance

General Supplements & Programs

Eviction Compensation has been renamed Tenant Compensation to acknowledge the large variety of payment types that fall under this policy. It has been removed from the Financial and Other Awards policy and is now a distinct type of income. Tenant Compensation payments are exempt as both income and assets for income, disability, and hardship assistance applicants and recipients.

Effective: August 24, 2021

Eligibility 

This policy is being updated to add information on Canada Pension Plan Post-Retirement Disability Benefits and explain that applicants and recipients must file their taxes to be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). The ministry will require applicants and recipients to apply for GIS at 64 to be received at 65.   

Supports for Seniors

This policy is being updated to explain that applicants and recipients must file their taxes to be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), which is necessary to receive the Senior’s Supplement, clarify how the Senior’s Supplement is calculated and that seniors must notify the ministry when they receive retroactive Old Age Security/GIS payments and adjustments.

This topic has been moved to the new category, Supports for Seniors.

Effective: July 1, 2021

Eligibility

The Employment Income Monitoring Initiative (EIMI) has been removed from policy and procedures.

When a recipient obtains employment through WorkBC Employment Services, policy previously stated workers would apply the EIMI policy, which advised staff that eligibility is assessed at any time in the calendar month for recipients.

All employment income is declared in the following month, by the 5th, following regular reporting requirements.

Effective: June 9, 2021

Case Administration

Applicants who have applied for a Temporary Resident Permit as a victim of family violence may meet citizenship requirements while their federal application is being processed. These applicants are also exempt from SIN requirements. This allows applicants that do not meet citizenship requirements to receive the support they need when leaving instances of family violence.

Effective: May 31, 2021

Application & Intake

Policy has been updated to include additional methods of verifying the Social Insurance Number (SIN) of an applicant, or adult dependant, for the purposes of meeting eligibility requirements.

Effective: May 1, 2021

Eligibility 

Support & Shelter

Income assistance, disability assistance and hardship assistance support rates have been increased by $175 per adult.

The comforts allowance for clients who do NOT have the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation has been increased by $20, from $95 to $115 per month.

Eligibility

Hardship Assistance

ICBC Rebate payments are now exempt as income and assets for income assistance, disability assistance, and hardship assistance applicants and recipients.

Effective: April 1, 2021

General Supplements & Programs

The maximum rate has been increased to $99.30 per single senior and $220.50 for senior couples.

Effective: February 1, 2021

Eligibility

Hardship Assistance

Payments resulting from the Ross et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen Final Settlement Agreement and Supplementary Agreement and the Toth v. Her Majesty the Queen Final Settlement Agreement are now exempt as income and assets for income assistance, disability assistance, and hardship assistance applicants and recipients.

Effective: January 11, 2021

Employment Programs, Planning & Exemptions

In some circumstances, applicants and recipients may be temporarily exempt from the requirement to enter into an Employment Plan (EP). EAW authority will be updated to allow EAWs to temporarily exempt clients from the requirement to enter into an EP in situations where a client has been assessed as unable to seek work.

Effective: January 1, 2021

Eligibility

The Earnings Exemption and the Annual Earnings Exemption limits have increased. 

Eligibility

Hardship Assistance

The Work Experience Opportunities Grant (WEOG) initiative provides grants to eligible organizations to support individuals to participate in work experience opportunities.

Any payments made (including money, or goods or services in-kind) by an organization that has received a WEOG from the ministry, to a recipient of income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance, will be exempt as income and assets for the purpose of determining eligibility for assistance.

Support & Shelter

The Ministry of Health introduced new client rates for Community Care Residential Facilities in BC effective January 1, 2021. The monthly rate has been increased to $1,204.90 (was previously $1,189.70). There has been no increase to other per diems.

o $1,189.70 (was previously $1,162.80). There has been no increase to other per diems.