Difference between revisions of "I Have Been Denied or Cut off Welfare"

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If you don’t agree with the reconsideration <span class="noglossary">decision</span>:
 
If you don’t agree with the reconsideration <span class="noglossary">decision</span>:
#Decide whether to appeal or simply re-apply for the benefit or supplement. In some cases, it may be easier and quicker to re-apply for the benefit with more evidence than you gave the first time. Welfare advocates can help you make this <span class="noglossary">decision</span>. (See [[PovNet]] for <span class="noglossary">contact</span> and website information for welfare advocates in your area.)
+
#Decide whether to appeal or simply reapply for the benefit or supplement. In some cases, it may be easier and quicker to reapply for the benefit with more evidence than you gave the first time. Welfare advocates can help you make this <span class="noglossary">decision</span>. (See [[PovNet]] for <span class="noglossary">contact</span> and website information for welfare advocates in your area.)
 
#If you decide to appeal, get a copy of a Notice of Appeal to the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal from the welfare office.
 
#If you decide to appeal, get a copy of a Notice of Appeal to the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal from the welfare office.
 
#Complete the Notice of Appeal and return it to the welfare office ''within seven business days'' after you received the reconsideration <span class="noglossary">decision</span>.
 
#Complete the Notice of Appeal and return it to the welfare office ''within seven business days'' after you received the reconsideration <span class="noglossary">decision</span>.

Revision as of 16:45, 20 April 2013

Most people get welfare through the provincial government Ministry of Social Development (MSD). However, people living on an Indian reserve get welfare through the Indian band or tribal council in the area they live. The process below is roughly the same on and off reserve.

If you have had a welfare benefit or supplement denied, cut off or reduced, you can ask for a reconsideration of that decision. You can also ask for a reconsideration if you have been denied a designation as a person entitled to disability benefits. If you are not satisfied with the result of the reconsideration, you may be able to appeal the reconsideration decision to an appeal tribunal.

First steps[edit]

  1. Ask a Ministry worker why the benefit or supplement was denied, cut off or reduced. Get them to tell you what law or policy they based their decision on.
  2. Ask a Ministry worker to prepare and provide you with a Request for Reconsideration form. Make sure that any evidence the Ministry used to make their decision is attached to the form.
  3. Complete the Request for Reconsideration form and return it to the welfare office within 20 business days. In completing the form, focus on how the Ministry applied the welfare rules incorrectly.
  4. If you need more time to gather documents or other evidence to support your reconsideration request, you may be able to get it. You must still give the Ministry your completed Request for Reconsideration form within 20 business days of the Ministry's decision. When you do that, you can ask the Ministry in writing for more time to provide other supporting information. The Ministry can give you an extension of as long as another 19 business days to do that.
  5. If you are requesting reconsideration of a decision to cut off or reduce your welfare benefits or a supplement, you can ask the Ministry to give you a reconsideration supplement while the Ministry is reviewing your Request for Reconsideration. A reconsideration supplement means the Ministry would pay you welfare benefits or a supplement at the rate you used to get, until the Ministry has had time to make its reconsideration decision. If you lose your Request for Reconsideration, you will have to pay the reconsideration supplement back to the Ministry.
Tipsandnotes.png
It is very important to make your best case when you are requesting a reconsideration. Supply as much information as you can, and attach copies of any documents or other evidence that supports your side of the story. If you have to appeal a decision after reconsideration, you may be limited to the information you used in your original Request for Reconsideration. It can be a good idea to get help from a welfare advocate. See the listing for PovNet in the Resource List of this Guide for contact and website information for welfare advocates in your area.

What happens next[edit]

You should receive a response to your reconsideration within a couple of weeks. If you don’t, contact the Ministry and ask a worker to explain why there is a delay. If you are not satisfied with their explanation, ask to speak to a supervisor.

The reconsideration decision will say whether or not your benefit or supplement has been granted or refused. It should also specify the law or policy on which the reconsideration decision was based, and indicate whether you may appeal the decision to an Appeal Tribunal.

If you don’t agree with the reconsideration decision:

  1. Decide whether to appeal or simply reapply for the benefit or supplement. In some cases, it may be easier and quicker to reapply for the benefit with more evidence than you gave the first time. Welfare advocates can help you make this decision. (See PovNet for contact and website information for welfare advocates in your area.)
  2. If you decide to appeal, get a copy of a Notice of Appeal to the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal from the welfare office.
  3. Complete the Notice of Appeal and return it to the welfare office within seven business days after you received the reconsideration decision.
  4. If you are appealing a decision to cut off or reduce your welfare benefits or a supplement, you can ask the Ministry for an "appeal supplement" until the Tribunal makes its decision about your case. If you lose the appeal, you will have to repay the appeal supplement to the Ministry.
Tipsandnotes.png
If you live on an Indian reserve, call the band office and ask to speak to the social development worker. This person can help with your application for emergency income assistance or hardship benefits, and tell you what to do if you want to appeal a decision.

Where to get help[edit]

See the Resource List in this Guide for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:

Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the form Preparing for Your Interview included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case.

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Alison Ward, January 2013.


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence Legal Help for British Columbians © Cliff Thorstenson and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.

An application to a higher court for a review of the correctness of a decision of a lower court. A decision of a judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia can be appealed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. A decision of a judge of the Supreme Court can be appealed to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. See "appellant" and "respondent."

Facts, or proof tending to support the existence of facts, presented to a judge at a hearing or trial. Evidence can be given through the oral testimony of witnesses, in writing as business records and other documents, or in the form of physical objects. Evidence must be admissible according to the rules of court and the rules of evidence. See "circumstantial evidence," "hearsay" and "testimony."

A method of calculating time under which the days for a legal deadline are counted according to the days when the court is open for business, excluding weekends and holidays. See "calendar days" and "clear days."

(1) A lawyer or a person other than a lawyer who helps clients with legal issues, or (2) to argue a position on behalf of someone.

A legal document required by the rules of court which is used to give notice of a party's intention to appeal a decision. See "appeal" and "decision."

(1) In law, a court proceeding; a lawsuit; an action; a cause of action; a claim. (2) A historic decision of the court; case law. See "action," "case law, " "court proceeding," and "precedent."

A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction by that jurisdiction's law society. See "barrister and solicitor."

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