Improvements to income assistance reconsiderations

Today, the ministry is able to respond within the required time limit nearly 100 per cent of the time

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

VICTORIA – B.C. is improving the income and disability assistance reconsideration process, Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Don McRae announced recently.

A regulation change will benefit people who are initially found ineligible for assistance on their original application and have to go through what is called a reconsideration process.

Starting immediately, all payments for successful reconsiderations will begin no later than the date the decision was required by legislated time limits. Payments will be backdated for anyone who has to wait longer than the legislated time limits before receiving approval.

This change responds to advice from the B.C. ombudsperson.

“I appreciate the work the ombudsperson has done in looking at our reconsideration process. It has shown us an opportunity for the ministry to make small changes that can make a positive difference for individuals who receive income and disability assistance,” McRae said.

Reconsiderations are available so that applicants have a formal process to question ministry decisions. The legislated time limits for the ministry to respond are within 10 business days for most cases and up to 20 business days for more complex cases.

“The speed of reconsideration decisions is also something the ministry has worked successfully to improve over the last year,” McRae said. “In accepting the ombudsperson’s advice, compensation will also be provided to people who had to wait longer than our time limits, from June 2009 onward.”

The ministry will provide total compensation of close to $500,000 to 1,272 people. The individual payments range from $10 to $2,000 – with the average being about $300. These individuals do not need to apply. Payments will be made automatically within the next month and will not impact the amount anyone is currently receiving for assistance.

In 2009, government began centralizing its reconsideration process to increase efficiency and reduce administrative costs. At the same time, the economic downturn led to an extraordinary increase in applications. The result was a temporary backlog.

Today, the ministry is able to respond within the required time limit nearly 100 per cent of the time.

The ministry also will be reviewing its disability assistance application process to determine ways to improve the decision-making process from the time a person first applies for assistance.

 

B.C. is looking for opportunities to improve support and make the province a more progressive place for people with disabilities. To learn more and share your ideas, visit: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper/

 

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Slippery suspect evades RCMP near Clearwater twice in one week

Anyone with information urged to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

Robert Lee discovered Helmcken Falls 105 years ago

By Roland Neeve Part two of two Anxious to get his letter… Continue reading

X Sky Paragliding’s El Nido Fly-in has best year yet

Pilots from across B.C. attend event and break site records

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read