Difference between revisions of "Introduction to Welfare (21:I)"

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(C. The Welfare Legislation)
 
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{{REVIEWED LSLAP | date= July 02, 2019}}
 
{{LSLAP Manual TOC|expanded = welfare}}
 
{{LSLAP Manual TOC|expanded = welfare}}
  
This chapter gives a general overview of a very complex area of law governed by lengthy and detailed legislation. It is not designed to be used on its own.   Users of this chapter should be sure in each case to refer to the applicable welfare legislation.  
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This chapter gives a general overview of a very complex area of law governed by lengthy and detailed legislation. It is not designed to be used on its own. Users of this chapter should be sure in each case to refer to the applicable welfare legislation.  
  
 
== A. What is welfare? ==
 
== A. What is welfare? ==
  
Welfare is a basic form of income support provided by the state to those in need.   In BC, the provincial government administers welfare via the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (the MSDSI). '''Welfare is a “payer of last resort”''', which means that in order to receive welfare, a person must demonstrate that he or she has exhausted all other forms of support.   This chapter will use the term “welfare” to describe all forms of income support provided by the BC government under the province’s welfare legislation.
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Welfare is a basic form of income support provided by the state to those in need. In BC, the provincial government administers welfare via the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (the Ministry; formerly the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation). Welfare is a “payer of last resort”, which means that in order to receive welfare, a person must demonstrate that he or she has exhausted all other forms of support. This chapter will use the term “welfare” to describe all forms of income support provided by the BC government under the province’s welfare legislation.
  
== B. Referrals ==
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== B. Welfare policy ==
  
See [[Referrals_(22) | Chapter 22: Referrals]] for additional referrals.
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While the government’s policy on welfare is not law, it is an important lens for understanding welfare  law in BC.  Ministry policy sets out the practical details of how welfare is to be administered.  The Ministry’s welfare policies are contained in “BC Employment and Assistance Policy and Procedure Manual”, which is available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/policies-for-government/bcea-policy-and-procedure-manual The Policy and Procedure Manual incorporates MSDPR policy with the rules set out in the welfare legislation. It is an extremely useful tool for researching welfare law and policy.
  
add contacts info from p. 21-1 - 2 here
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== C. Types of Welfare ==
  
== C. The Welfare Legislation ==
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Under the current welfare legislation in BC, the following types of welfare benefits are available to those who qualify: 
  
Welfare law in BC is governed by the following statutes and regulations, all of which are available at http://www.bclaws.ca:  
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*'''INCOME ASSISTANCE.''' This is a basic monthly support and shelter allowance provided under the Employment and Assistance Act [EAA]. This is the benefit most people get when they receive welfare.   
  
''Employment and Assistance Act'', SBC 2002, c 40 [EAA];
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:{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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| On income assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives '''$710.00 per month''' to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities.
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|}
  
''Employment and Assistance Regulation'', BC Reg 263/2002 [EAR];
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*'''DISABILITY ASSISTANCE.''' This is a slightly higher, but still modest, monthly support and shelter allowance provided under the ''Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act'' [EAPWDA] to those who meet the definition of “person with disabilities” in s 2 of that Act.   
  
''Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act'', SBC 2002, c 40 [EAPWDA]; and  
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:{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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| On disability assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives '''$1033.42''' to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities (or $52 per month more if the person chooses not to have a bus pass).
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|}
  
''Employment   and   Assistance   for  Persons  with  Disabilities  Regulation'',  BC  Reg  265/2002  [EAPWDR].  
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*'''PPMB ASSISTANCE.''' This is a special form of income assistance for people who have “persistent multiple barriers” to employment according to the criteria set out in s 2 of the ''Employment and Assistance Regulation'' [EAR]. It is for people who have a medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible to look for work or to keep a job. Technically, it falls within the definition of “income assistance” but this chapter will refer to it as a distinct form of welfare benefits.  
  
Forms  regulations  under the  EAA  and  EAPWDA  create  many  of  the  forms  that  MSDSI  uses  in administering  welfare. See  also  the  ''Child  in  the  Home  of  a  Relative  Transition  Regulation'', BC  Reg 48/2010.
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:{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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| On PPMB assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives '''$757.92''' per month to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities.  
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|}
  
Please keep in mind the following important points when dealing with a welfare law issue. 
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*'''HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE.''' This is a support and shelter allowance provided under s 5 of the EAA and s 6 of the EAPWDA to persons who are not otherwise eligible for income assistance, PPMB, or disability assistance (see also part 4 of the EAR and part 4 of the EAPWDR)Some (but not all) categories of hardship assistance are repayable, i.e. a person receiving hardship assistance may accrue a debt owing to the government. It is usually temporary assistance. People with the PPMB or PWD designation may also receive hardship assistance, if they are not otherwise eligible for PPMB or PWD benefitsTherefore, there are different rates of hardship assistance
*'''Be current.''' The statutes and especially the regulations governing welfare in BC can change often. Therefore, it is very important that students check the BC Laws website and confirm that one is dealing with the most current legislation. Occasionally, legislation on the MSDSI’s website is  updated  faster  than  BC  Laws.            Legislation  is  found  on  the  MSDSI’s  site  at: http://www.eia.gov.bc.ca/ministry/leg.htm 
 
*'''Be comprehensive.'''  Be sure to read the relevant section of the appropriate act or regulation in its entirety and to scan the legislation for other relevant sectionsThe legislation is complex and often a number of provisions work together to govern a particular program or benefit.
 
*'''Be  alert  to  mandatory  versus  discretionary  wording.'''  Welfare  legislation  contains  a mix  of mandatory  provisions  (requiring  the  government  to do  or  provide  something)  and  discretionary provisions  (which  permit,  but  do  not  require,  the government to  act  in  a  particular  way).   Consider  whether the legislative  provisions  relevant  to  the  client’s  case  are mandatory  or discretionary.   
 
  
== D. Welfare policy ==
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:{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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| On regular hardship assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives a maximum of '''$710.00 per month''' to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities.
  
While the government’s policy on welfare is not law, it is an important lens for understanding welfare law in BC. MSDSI policy sets out the practical details of how welfare is to be administered.  MSDSI’s welfare    policies    are    contained    in    an “Online    Resource”,     which    is    available    at http://www.gov.bc.ca/meia/online_resource/or_index/.  The  Online  Resource  incorporates  MSDSI  policy with the rules set out in the welfare legislation.
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On PPMB hardship assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives '''$757.92 per month''' to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities.  
  
It is an extremely useful tool for researching welfare law and policy.  
+
On disability hardship assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives '''$ 1,133.42 per  month''' to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities (or $52 per month more if the person chooses not to have a bus pass).
  
== E. Types of Welfare ==
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|}
  
Under  the current  welfare  legislation  in  BC, the  following  types  of  welfare  benefits  are  available to those who qualify:
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*'''HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS.''' Recipients of income assistance, PPMB, and disability assistance may qualify for various health supplements from the Ministry.  See Part 5, division 5 of the EAR, and the EAPWDR. The Ministry has a useful table summarizing health supplements that may be available, at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/policies-for-government/bcea-policy-and-procedure-manual/bc-employment-and-assistance-rate-tables/health-supplements-and-programs-rate-table
  
*'''INCOME ASSISTANCE.'''This is a basic monthly support and shelter allowance provided under the ''Employment  and Assistance  Act''  [EAA]This  is  the benefit most  people  get  when  they  receive welfare.
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*'''SUPPLEMENTS.''' These are other forms of assistance that may be provided on a case-by-case basis for specific purposes set out under the EAA and EAPWDA and their associated regulationsSee especially Part 5 of the EAR, Part 5 of the EAPWDR, and Ministry website (http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/income-assistance/on-assistance/supplements).
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{{LSLAP Manual Navbox|type=chapters15-22}}

Latest revision as of 15:41, 18 October 2020

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on July 02, 2019.



This chapter gives a general overview of a very complex area of law governed by lengthy and detailed legislation. It is not designed to be used on its own. Users of this chapter should be sure in each case to refer to the applicable welfare legislation.

A. What is welfare?

Welfare is a basic form of income support provided by the state to those in need. In BC, the provincial government administers welfare via the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (the Ministry; formerly the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation). Welfare is a “payer of last resort”, which means that in order to receive welfare, a person must demonstrate that he or she has exhausted all other forms of support. This chapter will use the term “welfare” to describe all forms of income support provided by the BC government under the province’s welfare legislation.

B. Welfare policy

While the government’s policy on welfare is not law, it is an important lens for understanding welfare law in BC. Ministry policy sets out the practical details of how welfare is to be administered. The Ministry’s welfare policies are contained in “BC Employment and Assistance Policy and Procedure Manual”, which is available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/policies-for-government/bcea-policy-and-procedure-manual The Policy and Procedure Manual incorporates MSDPR policy with the rules set out in the welfare legislation. It is an extremely useful tool for researching welfare law and policy.

C. Types of Welfare

Under the current welfare legislation in BC, the following types of welfare benefits are available to those who qualify:

  • INCOME ASSISTANCE. This is a basic monthly support and shelter allowance provided under the Employment and Assistance Act [EAA]. This is the benefit most people get when they receive welfare.
On income assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives $710.00 per month to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities.
  • DISABILITY ASSISTANCE. This is a slightly higher, but still modest, monthly support and shelter allowance provided under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act [EAPWDA] to those who meet the definition of “person with disabilities” in s 2 of that Act.
On disability assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives $1033.42 to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities (or $52 per month more if the person chooses not to have a bus pass).
  • PPMB ASSISTANCE. This is a special form of income assistance for people who have “persistent multiple barriers” to employment according to the criteria set out in s 2 of the Employment and Assistance Regulation [EAR]. It is for people who have a medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible to look for work or to keep a job. Technically, it falls within the definition of “income assistance” but this chapter will refer to it as a distinct form of welfare benefits.
On PPMB assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives $757.92 per month to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities.
  • HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE. This is a support and shelter allowance provided under s 5 of the EAA and s 6 of the EAPWDA to persons who are not otherwise eligible for income assistance, PPMB, or disability assistance (see also part 4 of the EAR and part 4 of the EAPWDR). Some (but not all) categories of hardship assistance are repayable, i.e. a person receiving hardship assistance may accrue a debt owing to the government. It is usually temporary assistance. People with the PPMB or PWD designation may also receive hardship assistance, if they are not otherwise eligible for PPMB or PWD benefits. Therefore, there are different rates of hardship assistance
On regular hardship assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives a maximum of $710.00 per month to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities.

On PPMB hardship assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives $757.92 per month to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities.

On disability hardship assistance, a single person under age 65 currently receives $ 1,133.42 per month to cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, and all other basic necessities (or $52 per month more if the person chooses not to have a bus pass).

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