What the Left Hand Is Doing…

Authority Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Sandy, a single parent with two children, had lost her job and could not make ends meet. While she had some help from her religious community, rent was due and she urgently needed funds to avoid eviction. Sandy applied to the ministry for income assistance and submitted documentation to demonstrate her eligibility. Hearing nothing back, Sandy followed up only to learn her file had been closed due to documentation issues. Sandy believed she gave the ministry everything she could, and was in urgent need, so she did not understand why her application was not processed. With no further response from the ministry, and an eviction notice for her family, Sandy called us.

When we contacted the ministry we learned that it had flagged Sandy’s financial documents that showed deposits into her bank account and needed further information to determine her eligibility. Sandy told the ministry that she had received some money from her church community. However, the ministry would not accept without documentation that the bank deposits were gifts from her church community.

Given Sandy’s urgent need for assistance the ministry agreed to reopen her file immediately. In response to our investigation, the ministry told Sandy what kind of documentation they would need and agreed to accept letters from Sandy’s friends at church who had helped her. The church community sent letters and the ministry approved her application for income assistance and immediately provided Sandy with the funds she needed to avoid 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 Lower Mainland