(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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Institutionalized Persons and their Spouses


Social assistance may not be granted to an inmate of a hospital, sanatorium, prison or training school, except in the case of a recipient who temporarily becomes an inmate of one of the above institutions, when it may be granted according to normal procedure for the first month of his admission and  for the month of his discharge, and in accordance with the prevailing comfort allowance rate during the months where he is an inmate in a sanatorium or hospital.    Regulation 5(5)

The spouse of an inmate of a hospital, tuberculosis sanatorium, jail or penitentiary, may apply for assistance.    Act 6(b)(iii)

Prince Edward Island

Where a beneficiary who is living alone is admitted to a hospital, treatment facility or home for special care, his shelter payment may be continued for 30 days.  Extensions may be granted by the Program Supervisor and shall include only rent or mortgage and minimal heat during winter months.    Policy 13-5-1 no. 10

Nova Scotia - Provincial

A parent with a dependent child may apply for assistance under the Family Benefits Act when:

a) the parent's spouse is a patient in a sanatorium, hospital or similar institution; or

b) the parent's spouse is sentenced to at least two years in a penitentiary to which the Penitentiary Act (Canada) applies.    Regulation 5; Policy 05-04-01

If a client or spouse who is included in the budget is hospitalized for a period of more than 30 days, the following rules shall apply:

i) the hospitalized person may receive a monthly comforts allowance;

ii) allowable shelter expenses shall continue if the client owns or rents his/her residence and benefits are required for its maintenance;

iii) where children are included in the budget, benefits on their behalf shall continue provided satisfactory arrangements have been made for the care of the children.    Policy 05-04-11

Nova Scotia - Municipal

Each municipality in Nova Scotia is responsible for its (short-term) assistance program; in Halifax, the married head of a family or spouse who is incarcerated or admitted to a hospital shall be removed from the family budget for food, clothing and miscellaneous essentials from the first full month following the actual month of admission or incarceration.  Following the person's release from hospital or jail, the person shall be reinstated into the family budget on a per diem basis from the actual date of release.    Policy

New Brunswick

Assistance may be granted to persons in need in approved nursing homes and other special care facilities in accordance with approved rates for comfort and clothing allowance and the cost of care in the facility.    Regulation 19


An adult who is incarcerated in a penitentiary, or detained in a house of detention or any other prison is not eligible for assistance under either the Financial Support Program or the Work and Employment Incentives Program (see section 5.1).    Act 7(5), 12

An independent adult required to live in an establishment with a view to his reintegration into society may be eligible for assistance under a program of last resort in one of the following situations:

i) if he is released on supervised probation;

ii) if he is authorized to be temporarily absent from a house of detention and his absence will likely be renewed; or

iii) if he is released on parole.    Regulation 4

An adult who is incarcerated in a penitentiary, in a house of detention or in any other prison or who is required to reside in a half-way house for the purpose of his reintegration into society is deemed to cease to be part of a family for the purpose of benefit calculations from the third month following that of his incarceration or detention.    Regulation 2(5)

Ontario - Provincial

Certain residents in homes for special care are eligible for assistance if they are persons in need.

Family Benefits may be granted to a married person who is a person in need and either 60 to 64 years of age, a parent with a dependent child, or the spouse of an Old Age Security pensioner provided that, in all three situations, the spouse is:

a) a patient in a sanatorium, hospital, a home for the aged or similar institution, and has been a resident therein for at least 6 months; or

b) imprisoned in a penal institution and has at least 6 months of his or her term left to serve.    Act 7(1); Policy 0203-02

No person is eligible for an allowance who is a resident or a patient in an institu­tion for the mentally ill or a sanatorium.

The Director may vary or suspend an allowance where a beneficiary is a patient in a hospital, detained in custody or serving a term of imprisonment.  Depending on an imprisoned beneficiary's marital status and term of imprisonment, shelter costs may be paid (to retain the person's accommodation), and other members of the household (if any) may continue to receive an allowance based on the reduced size of that household until the release of the beneficiary.    Regulation 16; Policy 0502-03

A person who ceases to be eligible for an allowance by reason of imprisonment or by reason of admission as a patient or resident of a hospital or other institu­tion may, as determined by the Director, continue to be entitled to receive any dental services that he was entitled to receive before his imprison­ment or admission.

When a beneficiary of FBA enters a general, convalescent or psychiatric hospital, the social worker shall ascertain the anticipated length of stay in the hospital and the person's ongoing financial commitments during the period.   Policy 0502-03

Allowance adjustments where client retains community accommodation:

i) first three full months (including month of admission) in hospital

- no change in FBA entitlement

ii) month of discharge

- full FBA entitlement

iii) second full three months in hospital

- single person, boarder: FBA entitlement is reduced to an amount equal to a personal needs allowance plus the shelter allowance for a single person

- single person, renter/owner: FBA entitlement is reduced to an amount equal to a personal needs allowance plus actual shelter costs up to the maximum shelter allowance

- family member: where the beneficiary is a member of a family in receipt of FBA, there is no change in FBA entitlement

iv) after six full months in hospital

- single person - personal needs allowance only

- family member - remove from family budget; if patient is the recipient (head) or spouse, add an amount equal to the personal needs allowance to the family's FBA allowances

- special circumstances - the supervisor may approve an extension beyond the first full six months of hospitalization.    Policy 0502-03

When a single recipient does not plan to retain his or her accommodation while in hospital, the allowance will be changed to the equivalent of a personal needs allowance the month following the month of admission.    Policy 0502-03

Ontario - Municipal

Persons already in receipt of GWA assistance continue to be eligible for full entitlement for a period of three months after being admitted to a hospital, commencing with the first full calendar month of hospitalization.  A person who applies for GWA assistance while in hospital and maintaining a residence in the community is entitled (if eligible) to assistance for three months from the date of eligibility.  Beyond the three-month period (in both cases noted above), the municipal administrator has the discretion to continue to provide assistance.  A person who is not maintaining a residence in the community is not eligible for this form of assistance.    Policy 0302; Provincial contact

Manitoba - Provincial

A parent with a dependent child or children, who is the spouse of a person who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment is eligible to apply for social assistance.    Act 5 (c)

When a recipient is admitted to a hospital or other institution for indefinite chronic care, allowances should normally be adjusted within 30 days.    Policy CO-21-09

Manitoba - Municipal

The Winnipeg Municipal Assistance Policy Manual provides the following guidelines respecting eligibility for persons who are on temporary absence from a provincial correctional institution:

1) the correctional institution is responsible for all needs of a person who is on a daily temporary absence and who is expected to return to the institution every night;

2) a person on temporary absence from a half-way house has all basic needs covered by the correctional institution; however, the City may assist with special needs such as work clothing and tools for verified employment, medical appliances or prescription medication;

3) a person on early release is treated like any other applicant, including job search/training expectations for employable persons.   Policy p.39


A person may apply for assistance in his own right where he:

a) is married and living apart from his spouse due to illness or institutionalization; and

b) resides in an institution or by himself in his own home.    Regulation 4(1)

When a client is temporarily (30 days or less) admitted to a special facility, e.g., family centre, treatment centre for alcoholics, respite home, jail, and that client has already received an allowance for the month, no adjustment is made and no overpayment assessed.  If a one person case is incarcerated for over 30 days, a new application must be taken upon discharge.  If the head of a family unit is incarcerated for more than 30 days, a new application is required from the spouse who becomes the family head; the inmate may remain on file, but no benefits are issued after the first 30 days on his/her behalf.    Policy 12-1-2, 3


Inmates held in a provincial or federal correction centre or persons residing in a community residence centre that receives funding from the Department of Justice are not eligible to receive a social allowance. Regulation 10; Policy 02-04-03

Clients who are temporarily admitted to Alberta Hospital Edmonton or Ponoka or to an auxiliary or active treatment hospital and who maintain and intend to return to their normal residence are treated in the following manner:

- for admissions of up to one month, the basic food allowances ( and comforts allowances for clients in auxiliary or active treatment hospitals) are to be pro-rated; there is no limitation on other benefits;

- for admissions from two to three months, only shelter allowances ( and comforts allowances for clients in auxiliary or active treatment hospitals) are payable;

- for admissions over three months, benefits are terminated (except for clients in auxiliary or active treatment hospitals) who continue to receive comforts allowances and complete coverage of the institution's accommodation charge).

Policy 02-03-06

British Columbia

With the exception of comforts allowances to patients in specific institutions, income assistance shall not be paid for an individual admitted to a hospital for the mentally ill or to a prison, and, unless authorized by the Director, for an individual admitted to an extended-care hospital or to an acute care hospital, but within the terms of the regulations an administering authority may authorize payment for essential shelter costs during a recipient's temporary absence from his or her usual residence when the absence is due to circumstances beyond his or her control.    Regulation 9(4)


Northwest Territories

No specific provisions made (other than comfort allowances and patient contributions to the cost of care).

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