Elan Rotating Header Image

welfare and debt

Hot of the Press: Social Assistance on Reserve in BC

Social Assistance on ReserveWe have updated and reprinted our booklet Social Assistance on Reserve in BC. Reprinted for the first time since 2008, this booklet features a whole new look and revised, easy-to-read content.

This booklet explains in plain language:

  • who’s eligible for social assistance on reserve,
  • what benefits are available,
  • how to apply for benefits,
  • your rights and responsibilities while you’re on benefits, and
  • how to appeal a decision about your benefits.

The booklet also features a comprehensive “Who can help” section, with detailed information on where to find an advocate in communities throughout BC, where to get legal help and information, as well as other resources.

Update on Your Welfare Rights

Your Welfare RightsWe’ve run out of copies of Your Welfare Rights. As you’re reading this, we’re updating the booklet to include the information from the 2012 insert, as well as making sure that all the information in the booklet is up to date.

As it stands, we aren’t sure when the new version will be available, or even if it will stay in booklet form. (For anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes complications of publishing, it’s because the booklet is physically getting too big to be contained by the binding.)

The online version is still current and available on the LSS website. Please use this online version as much as possible, and make careful use of the hard copies you have left. Feel free to print or photocopy and hand out sections to your clients as needed.

For those who don’t know, Your Welfare Rights is a popular booklet for people in British Columbia who need welfare. It explains:

  • who is eligible for welfare,
  • how to apply for welfare,
  • what your rights and responsibilities are while you’re on welfare, and
  • what benefits are available.

The booklet also has a comprehensive resources section with information on how to find an advocate and how to get legal information and help.

Thank you for your patience as we work to provide you with the most up-to-date information on this subject matter.

Update to the Your Welfare Rights update

We were alerted last week that the Ministry of Social Development has adjusted their policies since our Your Welfare Rights Update was published in October 2012. There are two changes to the content on pages 14 – 15 of the update.

The first one is an addition. There has been a $1,000 exemption increase (from $500) for two-adult families if only one adult has the PWD designation.

The second one is a correction. The update reads:

Also, as of January 2013, the ministry will add up your earnings exemptions per year rather than per month (again, only for those on PWD). This change means that you can earn more when you feel healthy and able to work without affecting your benefits. The total you can earn per year will be:

  • $9,600 per year for family units with one person on PWD
  • $19,200 per year for family units with two people on PWD

This is now incorrect. There is a pilot project to calculate the earnings exemption on a yearly basis, but it only applies to people who were offered the annual earnings exemption and accepted it.

We’ve produced a correction label to place on the front of all remaining copies. Crown Publications, our distributer, is holding all orders until the labels are applied to the covers.

 YWR correction

The labels will read:

Corrections: PWD earnings exemption raised, changing to yearly basis
(pages 14–15 of update)

Add a third bullet to the first paragraph:

  • $1,000 per month for two-adult family units if only one adult has the PWD designation (up from $500 per month).

The only people on PWD eligible for the annual earnings exemption described on page 14 are those who the ministry offered it to (and who accepted).

Please don’t hand out any copies of Your Welfare Rights without the correction label. If you currently have copies of Your Welfare Rights, email us, and we’ll send you labels (let us know how many you need).