I Have Been Denied or Cut off Welfare

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Revision as of 17:49, 7 March 2012 by Drew (talk) (Where to get help)

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.
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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 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 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.
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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.



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