SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
AND
RELATED PROGRAMS

("SARP")

1994

(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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ASSETS

Transfer of Assets

Newfoundland

Real property, transferred by applicants for (or recipients of) social assistance should be assessed as having a cash value and such assessed value is considered as a liquid asset (for applicants) and as a lump sum payment (for recipients) for purposes of determining eligibility or continued eligibility for social assistance. Policy 120(d)

However, there may be circumstances where a transfer of real property has been made in good faith and hardship may ensue if the case is treated as outlined above. In such cases, property transferred should not be considered as having a cash value. For example, a mother who is an applicant for or recipient of Social Assistance may give her son a piece of the family land for the purpose of building a home.

Prince Edward Island

Where, within two years preceding the date of application for assistance, there has been an assignment, sale or transfer of liquid assets or real property from the possession of the applicant or and, in the opinion of the Director, the assignment took place in order to qualify the applicant for assistance, the Director may refuse the application or reduce the amount of assistance granted. Regulation 11

Assets that can be realized within 90 days or that can be converted into cash at a loss not exceeding 25% of reasonable market value such as real property or personal property are exempt from being considered as a financial resource for 90 days or until the assets have been liquidated, whichever occurs first. Assets may be considered exempt beyond 90 days if, in the opinion of the Director, all reasonable attempts are being made to liquidate the assets. Regulation 10(2,3)

Assistance may be granted for a period not exceeding 6 months to enable a beneficiary to sell personal property , including liquid assets, or raise money on the security of the personal property; the special conditions indicated for real property (see above) are also applicable to personal property. Regulation 15(5)(b)

Real and personal property need not be considered as a financial resource if the applicant has bona fide and sound social and economic reasons (Director's opinion) for delaying or refraining from converting such resources into cash. Regulation 15(5)(c)

An applicant or beneficiary shall not be required to liquidate non-exempted real and personal property under the following conditions:

a) welfare assistance is required for 90 days or less;

b) the property cannot be sold for at least 75% of reasonable market value;

c) the property is limited to sufficient woodland to meet the household's home heating needs;

d) the property is a farm which might reasonably be expected to sustain a son or daughter in the future;

e) the cash received from the sale of the property would not exceed the appropriate liquid asset exemption (see section 4.1). Policy 7(13-4-3)

Nova Scotia - Provincial

The Director may require an applicant or recipient to convert non-allowable liquid or other assets into cash and use the money to provide for himself or his dependents as a condition of eligibility for assistance under the Family Benefits Act. Regulation 47

The client's equity in real property (other than that used as principal residence or place of business) shall be considered a liquid asset provided that a period of six months is allowed for the applicant or recipient to realize on the asset and that the sale does not produce a loss greater than fifteen per cent of its appraised market value. Policy 05-05-05

Assistance may be denied where non-allowable or excess assets have been dissipated, spent, invested or dealt with in an unreasonable manner to qualify for assistance. A person so denied may be required to wait not less than one month and not more than one year from the date of refusal before reapplying for assistance. Regulation 48(1,2)

An applicant or recipient may not be refused assistance where assets have been spent for purchasing a home or discharging a mortgage, necessary repairs and replace­ments in the recipient's house, discharge of debts and purchases approved by the Director or for basic needs. Any proof of such action shall be supplied by the applicant or recipient to the satisfaction of the Director. Regulation 48(3,4)

Nova Scotia - Municipal

No Special provision.

New Brunswick

A recipient must notify the designated officer before selling, transferring or assigning any real or personal property. Regulation 8(1)

Any recompense to an applicant/recipient from the sale, transfer or assignment of real or personal property must be considered as an available resource. Regulation 8(2)

Quebec

In the two years preceding an application of or the payment of benefits, independent adults or adult members of a family must not have waived their rights, must not have disposed of property or of liquid assets without just cause or have squandered them so as to become eligible or render their family eligible for benefits under a program or so as to be granted greater benefits than those which would otherwise have been granted to them. Act 32

The Minister must, where there is an infringement of section 32 of the Act, reduce or, as the case may be, refuse or cease to pay benefits, including in the calculation thereof, the value of rights, property or liquid assets, at the date of relinquishment, disposition or squandering, after having subtracted fair consideration received and, for each month that has elapsed since that date, for a period of not more than two years, an amount equal to that provided for in the scale of needs applicable to an independent adult or to a family. Regulation 73

Ontario - Provincial and Municipal

Where, at any time within 3 years preceding the date of the application, or at any time subsequent thereto, an applicant or recipient or a dependent of an applicant or recipient has made an assignment or transfer of liquid assets or real property, and in the opinion of the Director or welfare administrator, as the case may be, the consideration for the assignment or transfer was inadequate, or the assignment or transfer was made for the purpose of qualifying the applicant or recipient for an allowance, the Director or welfare administrator may determine that the applicant or recipient is not eligible for an allowance or he may reduce the amount of an allowance granted to compensate for the inadequate consideration. The same restriction applies to a foster parent who has control over the transfer or assignment of the property of the foster child. FBA Regulation 6, GWA Regulation 6

Any payment received from the sale or other disposition of an asset shall be considered as income except that portion of the payment that is applied (or where the Director approves, will be applied) towards the purchase of a principal residence or the purchase of any other asset which in the Director's opinion is necessary for the health or welfare of the applicant or recipient or a dependant. A limit of three months is provided to purchase the residence or other approved asset in all cases; a further three months may be approved by the area manager. FBA Regulation 13(2)(12); GWA Regulation 15(2)(12); FBA Policy 0303-02 (p.7-8)

Manitoba

If at any time within five years before, or at any time after, the date of application for a social allowance, general assistance or municipal assistance, an applicant or recipient or a dependant of an applicant or recipient has assigned or transferred any property and the consideration received was inadequate or the purpose of the transfer was to reduce assets to qualify for an allowance or assistance, the director may, subject to the requirements of the Canada Assistance Plan and regulations,

a) determine that the applicant or recipient is not eligible for a social allowance, general assistance or municipal assistance; or

b) reduce the amount of social allowance, general assistance or municipal assistance that would otherwise be payable by deeming

i) the property assigned or transferred to be a financial resource of the applicant or recipient, and

ii) an amount that might reasonably have been earned as income from the property assigned or transferred, or from investments of equivalent value, to be income available to the applicant or recipient. Provincial Regulation 4(4); Municipal Regulation 8; Policy E0-11-04, E0-21-03

An applicant with financial resources not immediately available for use may be granted a social allowance or general assistance for a period up to 4 months (or, in the case of municipal assistance, for "a reasonable period of time") while his assets are being converted. Provincial Regulation 4(3); Municipal Regulation 16; Policy E0-11-03

Saskatchewan

The unit administrator shall review the circumstances surrounding the disposal of a recipient's assets within two years prior to application for assistance and if, in his opinion, the disposal of assets caused the recipient to qualify for assistance or if his failure to realize on an agreement for sale, mortgage or other security, caused him to qualify for assistance, the unit administrator shall refuse assistance to the recipient until such time as he is satisfied either that no income or equity can be obtained from such asset, or until the recipient's budget requirements plus 15% is equal to the market value of the asset disposed of. Regulation 29B(4)

A reasonable period (up to 90 days) is allowed for the conversion of assets after which time any payments received on such assets will be considered as income. Conversion of assets into cash shall not be at a discount rate greater than 20% of their value. If the recipient has sound social or economic reason (in the director's opinion) for delaying or refraining from converting an asset to cash, such asset need not be considered as a resource. Regulation 29B(1)

A recipient may sell property used as his residence for the purpose of purchasing a home provided that:

a) the recipient uses the proceeds from the sale to purchase a home within 4 months after having received such proceeds;

b) the recipient purchases a home suitable for his needs and in accordance with the standard of living he can reasonably expect to maintain;

c) any monies or other liquid assets remaining after the purchase of a home by a recipient shall be considered as a resource available for his current living needs. Regulation 29B(2)
If a home purchased while in receipt of assistance exceeds the reasonable needs of the recipient (in the opinion of the unit administrator), the recipient may be granted minimal assistance or he may be required to sell the property and use the proceeds for current maintenance.

Alberta

Assets which are locked in and which the client is not permitted to access are exempted until the client is permitted access to them. Assets which the client might sell or against which a loan could be secured may be exempted where the client demonstrates reasonable efforts to secure a loan or sell the asset and where extreme hardship would result from not providing assistance (Casework Supervisor's approval required). Policy 01-05-02

Where a client realizes a profit through the sale of an asset, only the profit is to be considered as income in determining eligibility; no exemptions are allowed on this type of income. Policy 03-01-05

British Columbia

Where an individual who applies for or is receiving income assistance or social services has, within 5 years immedi­ately preceding the date of application for or at any time during which he is in receipt of income assistance or social services:

a) assigned or transferred property:

- for consideration that, in the opinion of the minister, is inadequate; or

- for the purpose of reducing his assets or those of his spouse; or

b) refused to accept income or assets that would, in the opinion of the minister, be sufficient to enable him to be wholly or partly independent of income assistance or social services;

the Minister may:

a) declare the individual ineligible for income assistance or social services; or

b) reduce the amount of income assistance or social services, and for this purpose the minister may conclusively deem:

- that the property assigned or transferred under paragraph (a) is the property of the individual or his spouse; and

- that an amount that might reasonably have been earned as income from the property so assigned or transferred is income available to the individual or his spouse. Act 17

An applicant who has assets (i.e., property) exceeding allowable levels may receive "Hardship Assistance" (see section 5.2.10 note "l") provided that he/she has tried to sell or otherwise dispose of the asset(s), or to use the property as collateral to obtain a loan, none of which efforts have been successful. Regulation 4(1)

Yukon

Real property, other than that used as the applicant's home or in his business, is considered as a financial resource, provided that a reasonable period, not exceeding 90 days, is allowed to realize on the asset and that sale of the asset does not produce a loss greater than 25% of its appraised market value. Regulation 20

However, real property need not be considered as a financial resource if, in the opinion of the Director, the applicant has bona fide and sound social or economic reasons for delaying or refraining from realizing on such property. An applicant may sell real property for the purpose of purchasing a home if, within 4 months from the receipt of the proceeds, he purchases a home suitable to his needs and in accordance with the standard of living he can reasonably expect to maintain. Any money or other liquid assets remaining after such a purchase are considered as a financial resource available for the applicant's current living needs. Regulation 20

Northwest Territories

Assets that can be realized within 90 days or that can be converted into cash at a loss not exceeding 25% of reasonable market value - such as real property, personal property, money in a bank or other institution, a right to receive or recover a debt on demand, the immediate realizable value of stocks, bonds or other securities, mortgages, agreements for sale, life insurance and wills or other settlements - are considered as “unearned income” and deducted dollar-for-dollar from social assistance payments. Regulation 20(4)(m)

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