I’m left with no money for necessities

Authority Public Guardian and Trustee

Louisa had recently returned home after spending some time in a psychiatric facility run by Island Health (IH). While she was in the facility, IH staff had concerns about Louisa’s ability to handle her financial affairs and made a referral to the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT).

Having been away from home for some time, Louisa had no food in the house and went grocery shopping. When she tried to pay for her groceries her credit and debit cards did not work. She called her bank and was told that the PGT had placed a hold on her accounts. It was a Saturday and Louisa wasn’t able to reach anyone at the PGT’s office. On the following Monday, Louisa received a letter from the PGT and called the PGT’s office but was referred to a person who Louisa tried to reach but who wasn’t able to speak with her.

We investigated to assess whether there was unreasonable delay in responding to Louisa. The PGT explained that its office had received the referral from IH the previous week. At the same time as the PGT sent a notice to the bank that temporarily froze Louisa’s assets, it also asked that the bank make $200 available weekly to Louisa for personal needs.

In response to the questions we raised, the PGT agreed to contact Louisa’s bank and confirm that she was to have access to $200 each week. Louisa called us back again and said that when she tried to access funds from her bank she was again told that her accounts were frozen and that no funds were available to her. We contacted the PGT again and the PGT contacted the manager of Louisa’s bank. This finally resolved the problem and Louisa was then able to access some money to purchase food and other necessary items.

It appeared that Louisa’s bank did not register the PGT’s initial request to allow Louisa access to specified funds. By contacting our office, Louisa was able to have the issue resolved quickly.

Category Health, Income and Benefits
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2013
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast