What more can I do to prove that I’m being evicted?

Authority Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
Details

Max contacted us with a complaint about the Ministry of Social Development. He told us that he had asked the ministry for assistance as he had no food and was unable to pay his rent.

He said that he had been advised that he was required to perform a three week job search in order to qualify for any benefits. He explained to ministry staff that it was not practical for him to be interviewing for jobs when he has no food and nowhere to live. He also suggested that while his need was immediate, it would be temporary as he believed that he had a job available at the end of the month.

Max told us that the ministry did not consider his need to be immediate as he had not been able to produce an eviction notice from his landlord. Max said that it was not possible for him to produce an eviction letter as it was his roommate who was evicting him. He had explained his dire situation to the ministry and was not satisfied with the ministry’s response.

We investigated whether the ministry had provided Max with adequate reasons regarding its decision to refuse his request for food assistance, and its requirement that he perform a three week job search in order to qualify for shelter assistance. We contacted the ministry to discuss his concerns. We asked the ministry what information it relied upon when it refused to provide Max with food vouchers. Ministry staff acknowledged that it would have been appropriate for staff to have provided food vouchers at the time Max contacted the ministry and that these would now be made available to him. We also asked whether a notice of eviction from his roommate could be considered as evidence in support of his contention that he has an immediate need for shelter. The ministry agreed that this would assist and suggested Max provide staff with this document.

Max subsequently confirmed that he had received food vouchers, that the eviction notice from his roommate had been accepted as evidence in support of an immediate need, and that the requirement that he perform a three week job search had been waived. He also confirmed that he had received the shelter assistance which enabled him to secure a place to live.

Category Income and Benefits
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location The Interior