Warrants

Overview

Individuals who are warrant holders may receive a repayable warrant supplement while dealing with an outstanding  warrant. Their family unit may be eligible for reduced amount of income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance.

Individuals who are warrant holders may also request a repayable transportation supplement to return to the issuing jurisdiction to resolve the warrant.

Applicants or recipients who have a confirmed outstanding warrant are not eligible for income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance unless the individual is under the age of 18 years, or is pregnant, or has reached the end stage of a life-threatening disease or illness.

Warrant holders can seek appropriate legal advice about their outstanding arrest warrant(s) from the contact information for available legal resources and services in British Columbia on the Information Sheet [see Additional Resources].

Policy

Effective: June 1, 2010

Applicants or recipients who have a confirmed outstanding warrant are not eligible for income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance unless exempt [see Policy – Exemptions] or the warrant has been resolved [see Policy – Resolving a Warrant].

An applicant or recipient is considered to have an outstanding arrest warrant only if it is confirmed. [see Procedures – Confirming the Existence of a Warrant].  If the applicant does not have identification to confirm an outstanding warrant, the applicant may be eligible for hardship assistance for lack of identification.

The remaining family members  of the warrant holder’s family unit may be eligible for reduced amount of income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance [see Rate Tables].

Effective: June 1, 2010

Individuals who have an outstanding warrant may be eligible, if all other eligibility criteria are met, for:

  • a repayable warrant supplement for undue hardship [see Policy – Repayable Warrant Supplement]
  • a repayable warrant transportation supplement to return to the issuing jurisdiction to resolve the warrant [see Policy – Repayable Warrant Transportation Supplement].
 

Effective: June 1, 2010 

The following individuals who have a confirmed outstanding warrant may be eligible for assistance:  

  • under the age of 18
  • pregnant, confirmed by a medical/nurse practitioner or midwife
  • in the end stage of a life-threatening disease or illness, confirmed by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner

Note: Underage applicants/recipients who are over 18 and Children in Home of Relative recipients who are over 18 are not exempt.

Effective: May 1, 2021

A repayable warrant supplement for undue hardship may be provided to applicants and recipients with an outstanding warrant, while dealing with their warrant. Warrant holders must agree in writing to repay the supplement.

The repayable warrant supplement can be provided to replace all types of assistance including:

  • support and shelter
  • room and board
  • comforts allowance and per diems for people in a special care facility or a private hospital

The remaining members of the warrant holder’s family unit may be eligible for income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance at a reduced rate. [See Policy - Calculation of Repayable Warrant Supplement and see Rate Tables.]

The repayable warrant supplement can only be provided for three consecutive calendar months.  After three months, a supervisor may authorize up to only three additional months.  After this time, if the warrant is still outstanding, the warrant holder would only be eligible for the repayable warrant transportation supplement [see Repayable Warrant Transportation Supplement].

 [For more information on repayment, see Related Links – Recoveries – Policy – Promise to Repay – Recovery of Repayable Benefits at a Future Date and Related Links – Recoveries – Policy – Repayment Agreements – Repayable Benefits by Deduction from Ongoing Assistance.]

Calculation of Repayable Warrant Supplement:

The amount of the Repayable Warrant Supplement is provided up to the amount of assistance the family unit would normally receive if none of the adults in the family unit were warrant holders.

For example: 

Single Person with No Dependent Children

A single person with no dependent children on income assistance under the age of 65 may be eligible for the following support and shelter amounts:

  • Shelter rate: $375.00
  • Support rate: $560.00

If that same single person is a warrant holder, the family unit is not eligible for support and shelter rates:

  • Shelter rate: $0
  • Support rate: $0

The repayable warrant supplement for this person would be $935.00 per month since that is the difference between the amount of assistance due to the warrant and the assistance otherwise received by the family unit.

Families with Dependent Children

Normally, a family unit that consists of two applicants under the age of 65, and two dependent children where one applicant is a person who has persistent multiple barriers to employment, the family unit may be eligible for the following support and shelter amounts:
 

  • Shelter rate for unit four:  $700.00
  • Support rate:  $1,040.06

However, in the same scenario if one applicant is a warrant holder.  This family unit may be eligible for the following support and shelter rates:
 

  • Shelter rate for unit four:  $700.00
  • Support rate:  $940.06

In this case, the repayable warrant supplement would be $100 per month since that is the difference between reduced assistance due to a warrant and the assistance otherwise received by the family unit. 

Effective: June 1, 2010

A repayable warrant transportation supplement may be provided to assist a warrant holder (and other members of the family unit, as applicable) to return to the issuing jurisdiction to address the warrant.  Applicants or recipients are eligible for the supplement if all the following conditions are met:
 

  • the ministry is able to confirm the existence of a warrant and the issuing jurisdiction [see Procedures – Confirming the Existence of a Warrant]
  • the family unit cannot access any other available resources to cover the costs of transportation
  • the warrant holder has agreed in writing to repay the supplement

[For more information on repayment agreements, see Related Links – Recoveries – Policy – Repayment Agreements – Repayable Benefits by Deduction from Ongoing Assistance.]

A repayable warrant transportation supplement may be provided to the family unit of the warrant holder to accompany the warrant holder to the issuing jurisdiction.  Alternatively, the family unit may choose not to travel with the warrant holder [see Policy – Treatment of Family Unit While Warrant Holder is Out of Province].

The supplement provided will be for the cost of the least expensive, appropriate mode of transportation to the applicable jurisdiction and the least expensive, appropriate living costs while traveling to the applicable jurisdiction.  If necessary, meal costs, while the warrant holder or family unit is traveling, will be equivalent to the meal allowance in the rate table for the medical transportation supplement [see Rate Tables - Health Supplements & Programs].  Meal costs will only be provided for the period of travel and not for the stay in the jurisdiction or the return travel from the jurisdiction. The ministry does not pay for return transportation costs, from either outside or within BC.

Warrant holders may be eligible for the warrant transportation supplement to travel either within or outside of BC to resolve their warrant. If a warrant holder has warrants in multiple jurisdictions (within or outside BC), the warrant transportation supplement will be paid to travel to one issuing jurisdiction at a time. 

Effective: June 1, 2010

If the warrant holder leaves the province to resolve a warrant and the remainder of the family unit chooses to stay in British Columbia, the family unit is considered to be a temporarily reduced family unit [see Related Links – Family Composition – Policy – Temporarily Reduced Family Unit].  The change in support takes effect as soon as the warrant holder leaves the home (the support rate no longer includes the warrant holder).

A temporarily reduced family unit continues to receive the shelter they are eligible for based on the family unit size, including the warrant holder.  If the warrant holder is out of the province for more than three calendar months, the family unit will cease to be considered a temporarily reduced family unit and, for the purposes of calculating maximum monthly support and shelter, the family unit will no longer include the warrant holder.

Effective: May 4, 2011

Ministry staff can advise clients to seek appropriate legal advice if they wish to resolve their warrant(s).  Ministry staff must not provide legal advice to clients about resolving a warrant.    

Ministry staff can provide a listing of legal resources and services available in British Columbia [see Contacts]. 

If any of the following documents noted below are provided by the warrant holder, or the ministry has confirmation from PSSG [see Procedures – confirming a warrant], the ministry will consider the outstanding arrest warrant(s) to be resolved for the purpose of providing income assistance, hardship assistance, disability assistance or supplementary assistance if all other eligibility requirements are met.
 

  • Promise to appear
  • Recognizance
  • Undertaking
  • Appearance notice
  • Copy of Request for Waiver filed with the courts

Effective: June 1, 2010

The income and assets of all recipients, including the warrant holder, are to be considered for the purposes of determining eligibility and the amount of assistance for the family unit.

If the warrant holder is out of the province for more than 30 consecutive days per year (including if they left BC to address a warrant), the income and assets of the warrant holder are no longer considered.  [For more information, see Policy – Treatment of Family Unit While Warrant Holder is Out of Province.]

 

Procedures

Effective: June 1, 2010

An applicant or recipient is considered to have an outstanding arrest warrant only if it is confirmed by Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General.

The ministry has an agreement with the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General whereby that ministry will confirm the existence of a warrant.  Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General will advise the ministry whether a warrant(s) exists, which jurisdiction issued the warrant(s) and the date issued.  Details of the warrant (e.g., nature of offence) will not be disclosed to the ministry. 

The ministry cannot ask about or check for warrants if the applicant or recipient is a dependent child or a child under the age of 18. 

If the applicant does not have identification to confirm an outstanding warrant, the applicant may be eligible for hardship assistance for lack of identification. Once the applicant obtains identification the ministry will check for an outstanding warrant.

The ministry will check for a warrant when an applicant or recipient discloses they have a warrant, or is unsure if they are subject to a warrant, or if the ministry is provided information that indicates the existence of a warrant or at the minister’s discretion.

If the ministry is made aware that a recipient may have an outstanding warrant and the recipient applied for assistance prior to June 1, 2010, the EAW must send the recipient the Request for Client Consent to Verify Outstanding Warrant letter (HR 3335) [see Forms and Letters].  The recipient will continue to receive assistance until it has been verified that an outstanding warrant exists then ongoing eligibility will be determined.

The recipient is required to complete the Employment and Assistance Review or Employment Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Review form (HR0080R) [see Forms and Letters] to provide the consent to conduct the verification check.  Prior to sending the verification request, the consent must be submitted to the local ministry office.  

To verify if the applicant or recipient has any outstanding warrants, follow these steps:

EAW

1.

Verify that there is a valid written consent to conduct a warrant search.  Obtain the client’s written consent if there is no valid consent. 

If the recipient applied for assistance prior to June 1, 2010, the person will need to sign the consent on the Employment and Assistance Review form (HR0080R).

If the recipient applied for assistance post June 1, 2010, the HR0080A has consent in it.

2.

Complete the “originating office” and “applicant information” sections in the Outstanding Warrant Check form (HR3332) [see Forms and Letters].

3.

Send the HR3332 form to the ministry’s Provincial After Hours office via email [see Contacts] with email subject line “Request:  O/S Warrant Check.”

After Hours

4.

Assign a reference number to the request.  Review the HR3332 form for completion.

5.

Fill out the date the request to check will be sent to Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General and the reference number on the HR3332 form.

6.

Review the HR3332 form for completion and forward the form to the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP) via email.

Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General

7.

Confirm the existence or non-existence of a warrant (issuing jurisdiction and date issued).

8.

Complete the HR3332 and return the form to After Hours via email [see Contacts] with email subject line “As Requested:  O/S Warrant Check.”

After Hours

9.

Review the warrant check result of the HR3332 form.

10.

If any outstanding warrant exists:

  • Add an eligibility (ELI) alert to the system (see examples below)
  • update the case by SD More Info Tab – Outstanding Warrants

 

11.

Return the HR3332 form to the email address of the originating office(and cc the worker who requested the warrant check).

All HR3332 results must be sent back to the originating office.

12

Record completed request on billing/tracking sheet.

EAW

13.

Review the warrant check result on the HR3332 form, record that the warrant verification has been completed and scan and profile the HR3332 form.

14.

Continue with the application, monthly report, or eligibility review process.

If the applicant or client has declared they have an outstanding warrant and the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General is unable to confirm the existence of a warrant, then eligibility may be determined as if there is no outstanding warrant.

Use of ELI Alerts

When requesting an ELI alert be added to the case regarding any outstanding warrants, the alert message must provide the number of any outstanding warrants, the date the warrant(s) was issued and the issuing jurisdiction:

ELI Alert Text Examples

Example 1:  Verification from Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General was returned with one outstanding warrant.

1 O/S WARRANT VERIFIED –

2009-APR-05 EDMONTON, AB

Example 2:  Verification from Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General was returned with two outstanding warrants.

2 O/S WARRANTS VERIFIED –

2009-DEC-03 VANCOUVER, BC

2010-FEB-18 PRINCE GEORGE, BC

Example 3:  Verification from Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General was returned with six outstanding warrants.

6 O/S WARRANTS VERIFIED –

VAN, BC PG, BC EDM, AB

CAL, AB MTL, QC OTT, ON

SEE VERIFICATION RESULT

(Note: ELI alert only has 4 lines)

Supervisor must update the ELI alert in each instance that an applicable warrant has been resolved. For example, the applicant with two outstanding warrants has just resolved the warrant issued from Vancouver but still needs to resolve the Prince George warrant:

2 O/S WARRANTS VERIFIED –

VANCOUVER – RESOLVED

2010-FEB-18 PRINCE GEORGE, BC

When all warrants have been resolved, the supervisor must inactivate the alert and update the details.  

 ALL WARRANTS RESOLVED.  ALERT INACTIVATED.

Effective: June 1, 2010

After verifying outstanding warrants, follow the standard process to determine eligibility. 

If the verification process confirmed the existence of any outstanding warrants, provide the applicant or recipient with the Notifying Client with Outstanding Warrant letter (HR 3334) [see Forms and Letters].

Family Unit

Outstanding Warrant

Support Allowance

Shelter Allowance

Single
(no dependent)

Yes

Not Eligible

Not Eligible

Couple
(no dependent)

One Adult

Reduced

Reduced

Couple
(no dependent)

Both Adults

Not Eligible

Not Eligible

Single Parent

Yes

Reduced

Yes

2-Parent Family

One Adult

Reduced

Yes

2-Parent Family

Both Adults

Reduced

Yes

Shelter Reduction and Adjustment for Couples Only (one adult with outstanding warrant)

Couples with no dependants, whereby one adult has an outstanding warrant, will receive a reduction in their support allowance as well as their shelter allowance.  The family unit in this situation is entitled to a maximum of $375 shelter allowance.

The system reduces the shelter allowance by $195 when the warrant shelter sanction code is applied.  It is necessary to manually adjust the shelter amount for clients who have shelter costs between $375 and $570 so that they receive the amount to which they are entitled.  If the couple’s shelter costs are less than $375, the shelter sanction code should not be applied and the shelter allowance should not be reduced. 

Prior to applying the warrant sanction type to reduce the shelter allowance, follow these steps:
 

  1. Check the family unit’s actual total shelter cost.
     
  2. If the total shelter cost is less than $375, do not apply the warrant shelter sanction type.
     
  3. If the total shelter cost is between $375 and $570, apply the warrant shelter sanction type then calculate the difference between the reduced amount and the amount to which they are entitled.  An imprest cheque will need to be issued for the difference.

Example:  The family unit’s actual shelter cost is $400.  The system will reduce the shelter allowance by $195 to $205.  However the family unit is entitled to $375 for shelter – the maximum for the family unit that includes the warrant holder.  In this case, an imprest cheque will be issued for $170.

[$375 less the (Actual Shelter Costs – $195)]
 

  1. If the total shelter cost is over $570, apply the warrant shelter sanction type.  An adjustment for the shelter allowance is not required.

Exemptions

Certain applicants or recipients with outstanding warrants will be exempt from ministry consequences [see Policy – Exemptions from Ministry Consequences of a Warrant]. 

The supervisor must update the eligibility alert with the reason why the person has been exempted from ministry consequences and when or if the situation has changed.  For example, the person with the outstanding warrant is pregnant and has been exempted from ministry consequences.  Case has been updated with an alert message that the person has been exempted due to pregnancy.  But once the person is no longer pregnant, the situation has changed and the alert message must be updated.

ELI Alert Examples

Example 1:

1 O/S WARRANT VERIFIED –

2006-JUN-27 KELOWNA, BC

LEG N/A – TERMINAL ILLNESS

Example 2:

1 O/S WARRANT VERIFIED –

2010-JAN-14 VANCOUVER, BC

LEG N/A – PREGNANT

Example 3:

2 O/S WARRANTS VERIFIED –

2008-MAR-15 MONTREAL, QC

2009-AUG-04 OTTAWA, ON

LEG N/A – UNDER 18

Warrant Holder Out of Province

When the warrant holder leaves BC to resolve a warrant and the remainder of the family unit chooses to stay in BC, the family unit will be considered a temporarily reduced family unit [see Policy – Treatment of Family Unit While Warrant Holder is Out of Province]. 

[For more information, see Related Links – Family Composition – Policy – Temporarily Reduced Family Unit.]

Effective: May 4, 2011

If the criteria are met [see Policy – Repayable Warrant Supplement], the warrant holder and the family unit may be eligible for repayable warrant supplements to “top-up” the assistance so the amount they receive is the amount they would normally receive as if none of the adults in the family unit were warrant holders.

Family units are eligible for the warrant supplement, assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria, as long as they agree to the terms of the repayment agreement. 

Depending on the type of family unit, there are two different methods of issuing repayable warrant supplements.  The first payment method is for warrant holders with no dependents.  The second payment method is to family units with dependents and at least one adult is a warrant holder. 

Repayable Warrant Supplement – Singles and Couples

This repayable warrant supplement is only applicable for either of the following:
 

  • Single persons (with no dependants) that have any outstanding warrants
  • Couples (with no dependants) and both adults have any outstanding warrants

If the applicant or recipient has agreed to repay the supplement:
 

  1. For an applicant, the system will have already updated the case to hardship category: Outstanding Warrant.
  2. For a recipient, update the case to hardship category: Outstanding Warrant.
  3. Issue the repayable warrant supplement using Hardship assistance (for administrative purposes) – OTA, support and shelter, if eligible
  4. This repayable warrant supplement can only be provided for three consecutive calendar months.  After three months, a supervisor may authorize up to three additional months only.
  5. No sanction type for reducing assistance will be required since they are not entitled to any assistance until any outstanding arrest warrants have been resolved.
  6. Cheque distribution is to the office.  This will default, as system will not allow Cheque Distribution to be updated to “Mailed” when any repayable hardship category is in place.
  7. System will send batch processing of Promise to Pay forms (HR2664) to the office.
  8. Applicant or recipient must sign the HR2664 before collecting their cheque.
  9. Supervisor may extend the hardship allowance for an additional three months.

Note: These applicants and recipients are not eligible for hardship assistance. Hardship category Outstanding Warrants (the repayable warrant supplement) supercedes all other types of assistance including the hardship categories.  For instance, if the warrant holder would have otherwise been eligible for Hardship category Awaiting EI Benefits if not for the warrant, Hardship category Outstanding Warrants (the repayable warrant supplement) would supersede this category in the ministry’s system.  Further, an assignment of benefits will not be taken.

Note: After the repayable warrant supplement is issued for six months, a recipient who still has an outstanding arrest warrant(s) is no longer eligible for any assistance except the repayable warrant transportation supplement [see Repayable Warrant Transportation Supplement].

When this happens, staff can advise the client to seek appropriate legal advice about the outstanding arrest warrant(s) and provide him or her with contact information for available legal resources and services in British Columbia [see Contacts].

Applicants who would otherwise have been eligible for Hardship category SIN Required will still be required to pursue the required documentation, but would not be placed in Hardship category SIN Required in the ministry’s system, unless all warrants become resolved.

[For more information on promise to repay, see Related Links – Recoveries – Policy – Promise to Repay – Recovery of Repayable Benefits at a Future Date.]

Repayable Warrant Supplement – Family Units with Dependants and Couples

This repayable warrant supplement is only applicable for the following:
 

  • Single parent with any outstanding warrants
  • Couple where one adult has any outstanding warrants
  • Two-parent family where one or both adults have any outstanding warrants

If the client has agreed to repay the supplement:
 

  1. The amount a family’s total allowance has been reduced is used to determine the maximum amount to “top-up.”
  2. The allowance can only be provided for three consecutive calendar months.  After three months, a supervisor may authorize up to three additional months only. Check the DGR tab to see how many times it has already been issued.
  3. Update the repayment screen with debt reason (name reason).
  4. Print the repayment agreement and print two copies of the Repayment Agreement Acknowledgement of Debt (Repayable) (HR2663A) to have the client sign.
  5. Issue the “top-up” amount to the family unit on an Imprest Cheque – allowance type Outstanding Warrant HS Top-up – 15.

Note: If the cheque is cancelled, a Credit Memo Service Request must be sent to Financial and Administrative Services Branch to reduce the debt.

[For more information on repayment agreements, see Related Links – Recoveries – Policy – Repayment Agreements – Repayable Benefits by Deduction from Ongoing Assistance.]

Effective: June 1, 2010

The ministry may provide a repayable warrant transportation supplement to assist a warrant holder (and other members of the family unit, if appropriate) to return to the issuing jurisdiction to address the warrant.  Prior to issuing a repayable warrant transportation supplement, the applicant or recipient must meet all conditions [see Policy – Repayable Warrant Transportation Supplement] and the type of transportation and living costs must be the least expensive, appropriate mode.

If all conditions are met and the applicant or recipient agrees to repay the supplement:
 

  1. Confirm the transportation and living costs are the least expensive, appropriate mode.
  2. Update repayment screen with debt reason.
  3. Print the repayment agreement and print two copies of the Repayment Agreement Acknowledgement of Debt (Repayable) (HR 2663A) [see Forms and Letters] to have the client sign.
  4. Issue an imprest cheque with allowance type Outstanding Warrant Trans Supp – 25.

Notes:
 

  1. If the imprest cheque is cancelled, a Credit Memo Service Request must be sent to Financial and Administrative Services Branch to reduce the debt.
  2. If the transportation supplement is over $1500, it will be necessary to issue multiple imprest cheques but only a single repayment transaction is required.

[For more information on repayment agreements, see Related Links – Recoveries – Policy - Repayment Agreements – Repayable Benefits by Deduction from Ongoing Assistance.]

Best Practices for Repayable Warrant Transportation Supplement

Provide the transportation supplement “in kind” and make the cheque payable to the supplier providing the transportation services or living costs; e.g., airline, bus company, hotel, etc.

Effective: May 4, 2011

Unless exempt, adult warrant holders are ineligible for all assistance (except the repayable warrant supplements) until the outstanding arrest warrant(s) is resolved.

Ministry staff can advise clients to seek appropriate legal advice if they wish to resolve their warrant(s).  Ministry staff must not provide legal advice to clients about resolving a warrant.   

To assist clients, ministry staff can provide a listing of legal resources and services available in British Columbia [see Contacts].

Determining a Warrant is Resolved

Staff will review any of the following documents to confirm the outstanding arrest warrant(s) is resolved:
 

  • Promise to appear
  • Recognizance
  • Undertaking
  • Appearance notice
  • Copy of Request for Waiver filed with the courts.

Staff will not copy the court documents.  Staff will not file the court documents or record details of the offence. 

Once the outstanding arrest warrant(s) is resolved, clients can be provided income assistance, hardship assistance, disability assistance or supplementary assistance if all other eligibility requirements are met.

Authorities and Responsibilities

 

Responsibilities

Effective:  June 1, 2010 

Warrants
EAW and Community Integration Specialist (CIS)
  • Request verification of outstanding warrant and monitor verification result.
  • Determine eligibility for the repayable warrant hardship supplement for the first three months.
  • Determine eligibility for the repayable warrant travel supplement.
Supervisor
  • Manage eligibility alert records for exempt warrant holder cases or warrant resolution.
  • Approve extension of the repayable warrant supplement in exceptional circumstances where the client requests an additional three months.
Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Provincial After Hours Office
  • Send verification requests to Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General.
  • Return verification results to originating office.
  • Manage eligibility alerts and update case if required.
  • Track verification requests sent to Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General for quarterly billing.
  • Send quarterly billing information to the Operations Support Contracts team. 
Operations Support
  • Journal Voucher Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General