What is the BC Employment and Assistance Program?
In BC, the Employment and Assistance Program (also called welfare) provides support and shelter assistance for those who are eligible. For most people the program is temporary, but for some it may be a long-term need.
You may be eligible if you are:
How do I apply?
Complete the Self-Serve Assessment and Application Tool online: www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/bcea.htm. You can also call 1-866-866-0800 or visit an Employment and Income Assistance office. After you apply, you will either be asked to do a work search or be invited to an eligibility interview.
What is a work search?
Before the eligibility interview date, you are expected to look for employment. If you do not find employment during the work search period, the next step is an eligibility interview.
What is an eligibility interview?
An eligibility interview takes place with a worker from the B.C. government who decides what course of action is best suited to your situation. If you do not find employment during your work-search period, and you return to the ministry for an eligibility interview, ministry staff will:
It is important to prepare your information before you have your eligibility interview. You must bring proof of your work search activities, including a current resume and a record of employers contacted.
What if I disagree with the results of my eligibility interview?
You have the right to appeal a decision when a monthly benefit or supplement is refused, reduced, or stopped by making a “Request for Reconsideration”.
If you are not satisfied with the reconsideration result, you can file an appeal to the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal (EAAT). The EAAT is like a court – it has authority to make decisions in Employment and Assistance Appeal cases.
REMEMBER: Do not be afraid to challenge a decision to try to get what you need.
As soon as you find out about a ministry decision that you disagree with, do the following:
Last reviewed: March 2016
IMPORTANT: This page provides legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice consult a lawyer.
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