Special Report No. 41, Working Within The Rules: Supporting Employment For Income Assistance Recipients arose from one person’s complaint that the ministry had improperly imposed a one-month suspension of the earnings exemption. The exemption is designed to encourage and support income assistance recipients to work by allowing them to keep limited amounts of earned income over and above their monthly income assistance payments. The Ombudsperson determined that a ministry policy contravened the law and resulted in an estimated 3700 people being denied up to $700 since 2012.
The report makes four recommendations including ensuring the ministry amend the relevant earnings exemption policy to comply with the law and that by October 1st, 2018 it reimburse all income assistance recipients whose benefits were improperly calculated.