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Policy Changes For Receiving Welfare

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Victoria/Vancouver The first of a series of policy updates by the Province is aimed at removing barriers and make it easier for people to get help when they need it most.

The policy changes that came into effect on July 1, were the focus of a roundtable discussion that Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, hosted with poverty reduction stakeholders and advocates.

This affects how you qualify for welfare and income assistance.

The updated Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction policies include:

* decreasing work searches from five weeks to three weeks;

* ending penalties for families providing room and board to a family member;

* expanding access to the identification supplement;

* expanding access to and simplifying the application process for the Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers category;

* eliminating the “transient” client category;

* removing the $10,000 asset limit on a primary vehicle;

* increasing asset limits for people on income assistance; and

* expanding the moving supplement for people to move anywhere in B.C.

From the Provincial Statement: When people cannot afford to obtain personal identification or are required to sell their vehicle to get onto assistance, they face additional and unnecessary barriers. These types of harmful policies get in the way of accessing services like banking, health services, housing, food, school and/or completing daily tasks, like driving to school or work. These simple and supportive changes will allow people to access essential services and keep them from falling further and further behind.

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