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.

Just Posted

Chance of showers and thunderstorm for Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen

Mostly cloudy day for the Okanagan-Shuswap and Similkameen regions

Vernon and Sicamous cannabis stores get provincial nod

Spiritleaf in Vernon will be the Okanagan’s first cannabis store.

UBC Okanagan study seeking North Okanagan participants

The research will be examining food purchasing preferences and behaviour, completion results in $400 cash prize

Province urged to increase funds for libraries

“It needs to be a collective of all library boards in B.C. to increase funding”

Falkland teen to compete at world’s largest rodeo

Taya Hamming will be travelling to Rock Springs, Wyoming July 14-20 for the 71st annual National High School Finals Rodeo

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Pelmewash Parkway opening is the latest milestone in First Nations-government relations

Lake Country officially opens the Pelmewash Parkway with a ceremonial ribbon cutting

Trans event at Pride gives marginalized youth a community, says director

The Trans Youth March and Social participants rallied on Thursday, June 20.

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

Two mudslides close Seymour Arm road in North Shuswap, no one injured

Slides hit Seymour Arm Main Forest Service Road halfway between St. Ives and Seymour Arm

One Okanagan municipality has seen a crime increase in almost every statistical category, report says

Report states there were 617 offences in Lake Country in 2018; almost 100 more than 2017

“Our community has had its heart broken”: South Okanagan celebrates life of David Kampe

Community and families members who knew Kampe give tearful addresses

Lower lake levels could create bumper crop of invasive milfoil

The CSRD board received an update on efforts to suppress the invasive aquatic plant

Most Read