Getting help that's needed

Authority Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Andrew had been designated a Person with Disabilities (PWD) and received disability assistance. As a recipient of disability assistance, Andrew wanted to apply for health supplements under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (the Act). Specifically, he wanted to get new glasses and a denture reline. Andrew’s application for PWD designation had been approved in August, so he believed he was eligible to apply for the supplements. However, earlier in the year Andrew had opted out of the provincial Medical Services Plan (MSP). The ministry told Andrew because he had opted out of MSP, he was not able to apply for supplements under the Act. Andrew said this was unfair, because MSP was completely separate from the health supplements available under the Act.

We investigated whether the ministry had followed an arbitrary procedure in determining that Andrew could not apply for health supplements. The ministry initially told us that Andrew was not eligible because in order to process his application, the ministry needed a personal health number, which is only provided if Andrew was registered with MSP. We reviewed the legislation and noted that a person’s MSP status was not part of the eligibility requirements for health supplements.

After consultation, the ministry agreed that Andrew could apply for the health supplements he required and which were provided for under the Act and associated regulations. The ministry wrote to Andrew to explain how he could obtain these supplements.

Category Health
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location The Lower Mainland