Getting the help to where it’s needed

Authority Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Peter received disability assistance from the Ministry of Social Development. He contacted us after he noticed that his cheque was less than usual. Peter explained that he had notified the ministry several weeks earlier that he was moving and asked it to discontinue sending funds to his former landlord for his rent. He said the ministry assured him that he had contacted them in plenty of time to make the change.

However, after receiving a reduced cheque, he learned that the ministry had not made the change he requested. He told us that the ministry informed him that it had sent a rent cheque to his former landlord. He said that the ministry told him to contact the former landlord and ask for the funds to be reimbursed. Peter contacted his landlord but the landlord refused to cooperate. Peter complained to our office that the ministry turned down his request to replace the funds that had been sent to his former landlord, which amounted to over $300. Peter was paying rent to his current landlord out of what remained of his cheque, leaving him with very little money for food.

We contacted a ministry supervisor about its response to Peter’s request. In response to our investigation, the ministry determined that its records confirmed that due to an error on its part, the payment to the former landlord was not deleted from the file and therefore a portion of Peter’s assistance for support had been sent to the landlord as rent. We suggested the ministry should consider providing a cheque to Peter for the amount it had erroneously deducted from his benefits. The ministry agreed. Peter was satisfied with this outcome.

Category Income and Benefits
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast