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Short-Changed: Ensuring Federal Benefits Paid to the Province Reach Caregivers
June 27, 2022 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am PDT
Short-Changed: Ensuring Federal Benefits Paid to the Province Reach Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
In a report released May 31st, the Ombudsperson finds the Ministry of Children and Family Development acted unjustly when it failed to pass on federal disability benefits to grandparents caring for their granddaughter, an Indigenous girl living with mental and physical challenges.
The report, Short-Changed, details the case of “The Taylors” who are grandparents caring for their granddaughter “Jesse”. The Taylors complained to the Ombudsperson after they did not receive the federal Child Disability Benefit despite being eligible. The Taylor’s caregiving arrangements meant that the Child Disability Benefit went into general provincial revenues rather than to the Taylors because, under federal legislation, the province was supporting the Taylors financially, even though the provincial funding the family was receiving was unrelated to Jesse’s disability. The Ombudsperson’s investigation found that it was unjust that the Ministry of Children and Family Development – which knew of this problem – had failed to find a way to pass the federal disability benefits through to the Taylors. The Taylors were eligible for over $7,000 since 2019.
On Monday, June 27th at 10:30am, the Ombudsperson and investigative staff will be holding a one-hour presentation highlighting key findings and recommendations from this report. They will also share information about the kinds of complaints the Ombudsperson can investigate related to the administration of financial benefits.
The BC Ombudsperson is an oversight office that has a statutory mandate to receive and investigate complaints from the public when they feel they have been treated unfairly. The office also investigates allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace from current and former public service employees and works proactively by providing training and consultation services to support fairness in the public sector.