From Crisis to Recovery

Authority Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Sarah’s recovery from surgery was taking time and bills were stacking up. When her employment insurance (EI) sickness benefits were set to end, Sarah asked the ministry for help. A single mother of three children, Sarah was not well enough to work and her family had no other source of income. Sarah received an eviction notice and a hydro disconnection notice: she wanted a crisis supplement to help her with these urgent costs. 

The ministry, Sarah was told, could not offer a crisis supplement because documents showed she was expecting a retroactive child tax benefit payment soon. Likewise, the ministry offered partial income assistance – intended to be a “top-up” to her EI benefits. Full income assistance would start the following month. 

We investigated and learned that the ministry had not received all the required documentation pertaining to Sarah’s EI benefits, which indeed had been discontinued a month prior – there was nothing to top-up. Once the ministry reviewed this information, which demonstrated Sarah’s immediate need, the ministry recalculated and issued her with full income assistance benefits retroactive to the time that her EI ended. The ministry also agreed to assist Sarah with her outstanding rent and hydro costs, thereby avoiding eviction for her family.

Names in our case summaries have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. This case study can also be found in the 2016-2017 Annual Report.

Category Income and Benefits
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2016
Location The Interior