B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke (Black Press files)

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Almost 1,000 former income assistance recipients are still owed money nine months after an investigation found their income exemptions were unlawfully suspended, B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke reported Thursday.

Chalke disclosed in May 2018 that the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction was unlawfully applying a one-month waiting period for the earnings exemption granted to people on welfare. The error applied to about 2,600 people, who were denied payments totalling $658,000, and 1,000 of them still haven’t been repaid, Chalke said in a follow-up report.

“I was extremely concerned when we made these initial findings,” Chalke said. “When government supports society’s most vulnerable citizens it is critical that benefits that can make a difference to making rent, caring for children or paying for basic transportation are administered properly.”

RELATED: B.C. changing orphan benefit policy for income assistance

RELATED: Inheritance, gift policy changed for disability assistance clients

Ministry policy has been changed to end the practice of suspending the earnings exemption, but as of this week some of the recipients are still owed payments totalling $225,000.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon PAC takes stand against dating violence

KSS to host presentation to equip parents with tools to spot unhealthy, violent relationships

VIDEO: Vernon man says stranger breaks in while family slept

Resident shares doorbell cam footage in hopes to ID suspect who raided his home and fridge

Two-car collision in busy Vernon intersection

Firefighters, RCMP and ambulance are on scene

VIDEO: Protesters set up beside Vernon highway

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP responds to countrywide blockades

Suspects wanted in attempted robbery of Vernon senior

Police are searching for man behind attempted assault last month

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Trans-Canada Highway closed between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Drive BC reports the closure is the result of a vehicle incident.

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

VIDEO: Kelowna welcomes first LQBTQ+ cocktail lounge

Friends of Dorothy lounge is located in downtown Kelowna

Most Read