Identification Requirements

Overview

To be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance, applicants and recipients must meet identification requirements.  The identity of each member of the family unit must be established, including verification of the Social Insurance Number of each applicant.

The identification requirements apply to family units under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Policy

Effective: February 27, 2017

ID requirements consist of both of the following:

  • proof of identity for all family members
  • a social insurance number for all adult family members.

To establish proof of identity, the applicant must provide documents at the time of application or there must be copies already on the case/contact where there is an existing case. Where a former client reapplies and staff are able to view previously scanned documents that in the EAW’s opinion establishes the applicant’s identity, the identification requirements are considered satisfied [see Policy - ID on Existing File].

An applicant can meet the requirement to provide a social insurance number by providing an original document or other information which verifies the SIN provided by the applicant.  [See Policy – Verification of SIN]

In cases where a couple, with or without dependent children, applies for assistance, only the primary applicant in the family unit must meet the ID requirements to be considered eligible for income assistance or disability assistance.  The other family members must meet the ID requirements as soon as possible.

Effective: January 9, 2015

At the time of application for assistance, each applicant must provide two pieces of identification (ID).  One must be a photo ID from the list of primary ID, and the second may be selected from either the primary or secondary ID list [see Policy - Table: Primary and Secondary ID]. Interim documents (for example, interim driver’s licence) are not to be accepted as primary ID.  In cases where a photo ID is older or has expired, it is acceptable as primary ID as long as the EAW is satisfied that the photo resembles the applicant and therefore proves the applicant’s identity. For example, an immigration document with photo dated from the applicant’s childhood is not acceptable as Primary ID for an adult applicant.

For each dependent child, at the time of application for assistance or when a dependent child is added to an existing case, one piece of ID from either the primary or secondary ID list is required. A birth certificate is the preferred proof of ID for a dependent child. [For more information on exceptions to ID requirements for dependent children, see Policy – Exceptions]

 

Table: Primary and Secondary ID

Primary ID Secondary ID
  • BC Driver’s Licence and Services Card (Combined Card)
  • BC Services Card (Photo Card)
  • BC Identification (BCID) card
  • Canadian driver’s licence
  • Passport
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) issued by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) [see Additional Resources]
  • Original Canadian citizenship papers or immigration documents with photo, for example the Canadian Citizenship Certificate (wallet card with photo) issued prior to February 1, 2012
  • Offender identification card issued by Correctional Service Canada
  • BC Services Card (Non-Photo Card)
  • Birth certificate
  • Citizenship papers or immigration documents (without photo)
  • Older versions of the Certificate of Indian Status (CIS) issued by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) (Laminated Certificate of Indian Status, Certificate of Indian Status “All-in-One,” or Certificate of Indian Status “Pilot Project”) [see Additional Resources]
  • Other documents that, by themselves or in conjunction with other documents, would be considered acceptable identification for cheque cashing purposes at banks or other financial institutions
  • Other acceptable proof of ID for a dependent child [see Policy – Exceptions]       


Following is an example of the Secure Certificate of Indian Status card.Note:  The SCIS card is acceptable as primary ID, while the older versions of the CIS cards are only acceptable as secondary ID. The CIS cards cannot be used as secondary ID when the SCIS is used as primary ID. The toll-free number may be used to verify the validity of the card in questionable circumstances, or if the photo does not match the applicant. If a call to the automated system indicates that the card’s serial number is invalid, return the card to the applicant and inform them to contact ISC [see Contacts – ISC].

Sample Secure Certificate of Indian Status Card

All persons holding the Sponsorship Undertaking: Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292) [see Additional Resources - Canadian Documents] automatically receive the Permanent Resident Card. There is a $50 fee for the card and the card expires every five years.

Note: Children receive their own Permanent Resident Card.

Applicants must be registered on the system in the name for which they have produced identification.

Applicants who are unable to provide the required identification, may opt to access the ministry’s Client Identification Process (CIP) [see Procedures – Establishing Proof of Identity].  Assuming all other eligibility requirements are met, applicants who meet identification requirements using CIP will be eligible for Income Assistance on a temporary basis (up to 6 months) while they continue to pursue the required identification documents.

Effective: May 31, 2021

All applicants and adult dependants are required to have a verified and valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). Documents that may be used for verification of a SIN consist of:
 

  • A valid SIN card
  • A copy of a valid SIN card on the client’s existing case
  • Previous verification of SIN on the client’s existing case
  • Confirmation of SIN letter from Service Canada
  • An original Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) containing SIN (unredacted) and name, or a copy of this document on the client’s existing case
  • Other original formal documentation from the Government of Canada that contains social insurance number and name, or a copy of this documentation on the client’s existing case.

Note: A valid SIN card refers to a Social Insurance Card issued by Service Canada.  Metal cards that have Government of Canada printed on them are not valid SIN cards.

When an applicant or adult dependant provides a valid SIN, but is unable to provide a verifying document, an additional method of verification may be available. At the discretion of the minister, and following consent of the applicant, the ministry may attempt to verify a SIN directly with the CRA. However, if a SIN cannot be verified by this process, documentation will still be required.

Assuming all other eligibility requirements are met, clients may be eligible for hardship assistance SIN required, while they await documentation to verify their SIN. [For more information, see Related Links – SIN Required.]

The following applicants and recipients are exempt from meeting the Social Insurance Number (SIN) requirement when determining eligibility for income assistance or disability assistance:
 

  • Refugee claimants or persons applying for protection
  • Temporary Resident Permit holders,
  • Applicants who have applied for a Temporary Residence Permit as a victim of family violence,
  • Those with permanent resident status waiting to receive a Social Insurance Number

[For more information, see Related Links- Citizenship Requirements.]

Effective: December 1, 2008

If a former client reapplies and no longer has the required ID or SIN documents in their possession, but copies are on their case, they have met the ID requirements and no identification supplement should be issued.

Applicants without the required ID (and prior copies are not on their case) may opt to access the ministry’s Client Identification Process (CIP) [see Procedures – Establishing Proof of Identity].  Assuming all other eligibility requirements have been met, applicants who meet identification requirements using CIP will be eligible for income assistance on a temporary basis (for up to 6 months) while they obtain replacement ID. 

Effective: December 13, 2019

The following are exceptions to ID requirements:
 

  • For newborn infants, a copy of the registration of live birth, application for a birth certificate or ankle bracelet from the hospital is sufficient for identification purposes for a three-month period.
  • For Children in Home of Relative (CIHR) recipients, one piece of identification from either the primary or secondary ID list, plus a photograph of the CIHR child is sufficient for identification purposes.
  • Where a client is incapable of managing his or her normal daily responsibilities due to health issues beyond his/her control and is therefore unable to obtain ID or a SIN, a third party can assist them in obtaining the documents needed to meet the ministry’s ID requirements.
  • For applicants who are refugee claimants or persons applying for protection or Temporary Resident Permit holders, the Acknowledgement of Claim and Notice to Return for Interview (AOC) form or the IMM1442 (Refugee Protection Claimant Document, Temporary Resident Permit) immigration document is acceptable as primary identification and as the sole identification required from this client group while waiting to receive secondary documentation. The status of clients with the AOC or the IMM1442 should be verified with the Financial Administrative Services Branch (FASB) [see Contacts FASB Verification of Immigration Status. [See Related Links -Citizenship Requirements – Procedures – Citizenship Requirements and Type of Assistance.]
  • Where an applicant or recipient is unable to provide one piece of ID for a dependent child from either the primary or secondary ID list (because the ID does not exist or is not legally accessible), a supervisor has authority to accept other proof of identity.

Examples of other acceptable proof of identity include:

  • a signed letter from medical personnel (e.g., physician, nurse, nurse-practitioner, registered midwife, or hospital social worker) who attended the birth of the child (for a newborn).
  • a signed letter from an authority (e.g., a social worker from the Ministry of Children and Family Development) regarding the identity and residence of the child.

 

Effective: July 1, 2019

Until the required identification documents are received, the family unit is not eligible for income assistance or disability assistance.  Assuming all other eligibility requirements are met, clients may be eligible for hardship assistance under identity not established while they apply for replacement ID. [For more information, see Related Links – Identity Not Established.]

Applicants who are unable to provide the required identification, may opt to access the ministry’s Client Identification Process (CIP) [see Procedures – Establishing Proof of Identity].  Assuming all other eligibility requirements are met, applicants who meet identification requirements using CIP will be eligible for income or disability assistance on a temporary basis (up to 6 months) while they continue to pursue the required identification documents.

The ministry may issue funds to assist recipients in obtaining the required ID [for more information, see Related Links – Identification Supplement].

If the client does not produce the required identification documents within 6 months, their case must be reviewed with the supervisor for action.  The Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (Section 10) authorize the ministry to request or seek verification of information related to eligibility provided by a client, including identification. 

If it is established that the client has been attempting to obtain the documentation but for reasons outside his/her control has not been successful, an extension may be given with supervisor approval. Ministry staff should assist the client in obtaining identification documents and consider eligibility for an ID supplement. [See Related Links – Identification Supplement]

If it has been established that the client has not been pursuing the required identification documents, the requirements for continued eligibility for income assistance are not being met and further assistance should be denied.

Procedures

Effective: May 31, 2021

Collection of identification:
 

Obtain required identification documents for each member of the family unit.

Note: If a former recipient reapplies and staff are able to view previously scanned ID or SIN documents on the contact or case, or previous CRA verification on the case that in the EAW’s opinion establishes the applicant’s identity, the identification requirements are considered satisfied [see Policy - ID on Existing File and Policy – Verification of Social Insurance Number].

When an applicant has none of the required identification and has no prior relationship with the ministry, a referral to PLMS is required to complete the Identity Verification Process.

Applicants must be registered by the ministry in their legal name for which they have provided identification. An “aka” (also known as) is required when a client’s name changes. An alert can be added if the client prefers to use a different name than on their legal identification.

Where identification is questionable or appears altered, staff must contact the PLMS Criminal Investigation Unit for review. This process applies in any case where there is any question or concern regarding the validity of any identification presented.

If the applicant is unable to provide the required ID documents or the ministry is not satisfied that an applicant has proven their identity, the applicant may opt to access the Client Identification Process (CIP). 

Once CIP has been completed, the applicant’s identity has been verified, and all other eligibility requirements have been satisfied, the applicant may be eligible to receive income or disability assistance on a temporary basis while pursuing required ID documents [see Related Links – BCEA Application – Stage 2]. These cases will be reviewed with the client regularly.

Applicants who have not provided a SIN or where it cannot be verified will be considered for hardship assistance under SIN Required [see Related Links – SIN Required].

Clients may be assisted in obtaining identification documents [see Related Links – Identification Supplement].

If the required identification documents are not received within 6 months, eligibility will be assessed on a month to month basis.

[See Additional Resources – on valid Birth Certificate documentation – Vital Statistics Agency – information regarding birth certificates.]

Effective: June 4, 2019

The identification required to validate an electronic consent differs from the identification requirements for determining eligibility for assistance.

To complete an Application for Assistance the following documents are required to validate an electronic consent:

  1. Social Insurance Number (SIN) (note: this differs from Identification Requirements for eligibility)
    • Note: The applicant must provide their SIN for the application, however, a SIN card or other confirmation of the SIN is not required to validate consent.
  2. One piece of photo identification [see Policy – Proof of Identity] the front and back of the ID must be scanned with the exception of:
    • Passport
    • Previously submitted Photo ID visible on the Contact Attachments tab can meet this criteria provided that it is clear and legible. The back of previously accepted Photo ID is not required.
  3. Any two of the following types of items which show the applicant’s name on the document and aligns with the name on the Photo ID:

These must show the applicant’s name, which aligns with the primary ID

  • Utility bills in the applicant’s name (ie: Phone, Gas, Hydro)
  • Bank statement or Bank Profile
  • Notice of Assessment or T4
  • Record of Employment (ROE)
  • Pay Stub
  • 2-year diploma or certificate, bachelor's degree or post-graduate degree from post-secondary institution
  • Documents from Corrections to show that the applicant has been incarcerated at least 6 months in last 2 years
  • Most recent property tax assessment
  • Mortgage documents
  • Property Insurance Statement
  • SIN card or confirmation of SIN from the federal government. Scanning the back of the SIN card is not required
  • Another primary identification from Primary ID list (different from the above submission) – the front and back must be scanned except for passport and previously submitted Primary ID visible on the Contact Attachments tab.
  • Secondary ID such as from the Secondary ID list [see Policy – Proof of Identity] both front and back except for Canadian Birth Certificates, Care Cards and previously submitted Secondary ID visible on the Contact Attachments tab.
  1. A photograph of the applicant’s face that realistically demonstrates their appearance.

Photo details:

The purpose of the photo is to confirm that the person applying is the same person as the Primary Photo ID. Staff performing ID validation must compare the Photo to the Primary photo ID and approve validation only if the appearance matches.

The requirements for the photo are that it is clearly showing the current appearance of the applicant’s face (straight on), and

  • The face is not obstructed by headgear, shadows, or glare from glasses (tinted glasses and sunglasses cannot be used)
  • No alterations (photo-shopping) are made
  • The photo does not include any other person’s face
  • Photo may be in colour or black and white

Once staff have reviewed the supporting information and are satisfied that the person in the Photo matches the Primary Photo ID, this criteria is met.

If the electronic consent cannot be validated using the above steps or all the necessary documents have not been provided, the applicant will be required to attend a ministry office to present any required supporting documentation and sign application documents (HR0080B and HR0080).

In order to meet the criteria for ongoing electronic signature for other forms such as Employment Plans, Monthly Reports (HR0081), etc. a person must have:

  • An active MySS account, AND

 

  • A HR0080B signed either in person or electronically AND
  • A HR0080 signed either in person or electronically OR

 

  • A HR0080R signed either in person or electronically may be in place of the HR0080B and HR0080

Effective: July 31, 2008

If a client loses their immigration documents, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will replace the documents for a fee. The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction may issue the identification supplement to a person who requires identification for the family unit to be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance [see Related Links – Identification Supplement].

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: January 9, 2015

Supervisor is responsible for:

  • approving other acceptable proof of ID of a dependent child not listed in the primary or secondary ID table