BC introduces new welfare restrictions – Income Issues

BC introduces new welfare restrictions – Income Issues – Brief Article

VICTORIA — British Columbia introduced new restrictions on the receipt of welfare payments. These include:

* a three-week wait from first contact until intake review;

* child care subsidy reductions;

* children living with relatives who are their legal guardians are considered to be part of that family and thus no longer eligible for “Child in the Home of a Relative” assistance;

* monthly limits on crisis grants for food, shelter, and clothing;

* discontinuation of the the 25-per-cent earnings exemption;

* elimination of the earnings exemptions for employable clients and people with level one disabilities;

* increase in earnings exemption for clients with level two disabilities to $300/mo. (up from $200);

* discontinuation of exemptions for family maintenance payments and orphans’ benefit from CPP and income from other specified sources;

* full-time non-disabled post-secondary students in programs eligible for BC Student Financial Assistance (SFA) are not eligible for income assistance through the BC Employment and Assistance program;

* discontinuation of homemaker services; short-term, emergency home-support services are provided by local health authorities and other ministries;

* revised (downwards) asset limits;

* security deposits will be recovered from BC Employment and Assistance cheques at $20 per month; all BC Employment and Assistance clients are limited to a maximum of two outstanding security deposits (except where the recipient is fleeing domestic abuse or has to move as a result of sale or demolition of the residence);

* employable single parents receiving BC Employment and Assistance are expected to seek work when their youngest child reaches age three;

* support rates reduced (The support rate has been simplified to create standard rates for people under 65 years);

* employable clients will be limited to a cumulative 24 months (two years) of income assistance out of every 60 months (five years); after receiving assistance for a total of 24 months in a 60-month (five year) period, eligibility will cease for single people and rates will be reduced for families with children;

* work entry assistance is discontinued and clients’ requirements for items such as work clothes will be considered through the new job-placement programs;

* ongoing transition-to-work assistance is discontinued.

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