Whose policy is it anyway?

Authority Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Alison was approved by WorkBC to participate in a training program. However, she had to complete the first two weeks of the program before she would qualify for living expense funds. She was also told that it could take an extra week to receive the funds due to direct deposit processing time.

Alison reached out to her case manager and the supervisor about the delay in issuing payment but was informed that they were required to follow WorkBC policy and there was nothing they could do to expedite payment.

Concerned that the delays would put her ability to successfully complete her training program in jeopardy, Alison called us for help.

We investigated whether the WorkBC service provider followed a reasonable process for determining the payment schedule for Alison’s living expenses as outlined in the WorkBC training program. 

We spoke with a WorkBC staff member who was responsible for overseeing the WorkBC service provider. We also requested and reviewed records related to Alison’s complaint.

Our review showed that it was the WorkBC service provider’s practice to require clients to complete two weeks of their training program before they were eligible for living expense funds, but that this was not a WorkBC policy requirement. As such, we asked WorkBC to review Alison’s file and they confirmed that their policy did not require clients to complete two weeks of their training program before they are eligible for living expense funds. However, we also learned that each WorkBC service provider can establish its own administrative procedures for paying living expenses as long as it complies with the policy and mitigates financial hardship. 

Given Alison’s financial circumstances, which she had shared with the WorkBC service provider, we asked WorkBC to consider whether the service provider’s procedure should have been questioned. WorkBC directed the service provider to connect with Alison to develop a plan to address her concerns about the delay in receiving living expense funds. Additionally, WorkBC clarified its expectations about mitigating financial hardship.

The WorkBC service provider followed up with Alison and she was able to receive her living expense funds during the first week of her training program.

Category Income and Benefits
Type Case Summary