SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
AND
RELATED PROGRAMS

("SARP")

1994

(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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ASSETS

Real Assets

Newfoundland

Property which is used as a residence by the applicant and his family (if applicable) is not considered as an asset in the determination of eligibility. Provincial Contact

Prince Edward Island

Real property used as the beneficiary's principal residence (and lot up to one acre) or as base of his business, farming or fishing operations is not considered as a financial resource; personal property normally associated with the above (including clothing and personal necessities) is also exempt. The principal vehicle owned by the applicant or beneficiary may also be exempted if it is required to enable him/her to obtain or maintain employment or to undergo training. Regulation 10(1,4), 1(x)

Fixed assets, which are not considered as a financial resource, include the following:

a) breeding stock on a farm owned and operated by the applicant;

b) fishing craft and gear owned and used by the applicant where fishing is ordinarily the principal source of his income;

c) seed for next year's crop;

d) other equipment which is essential (Director's opinion) for business which ordinarily provides the principal source of income. Regulation 12(1)(e)

Nova Scotia - Provincial

The client's equity in any real property which is not used as principal residence or place of business will be considered an asset, unless the Director determines that there are sound social or economic reasons for deferring the sale of such property (see section 4.3). Policy 05-05-05

A motor vehicle is exempt from the calculation of a client's financial resources only in the following cases:

i) where one reasonably priced vehicle is required by the household due to transportation needs and/or lack of readily available public transportation; or

ii) where a specialized vehicle such as a boat or snowmobile is necessary transportation for clients living in remote areas.

Where the allowable level of liquid assets would be exceeded because a motor vehicle cannot be exempted as above, the client shall be granted an administrative exemption of three months to dispose of the vehicle at fair market value; the proceeds of the sale are to be considered a liquid asset (see section 4.1 concerning liquid asset exemption levels). Policy 05-05-08

Nova Scotia - Municipal

Persons applying for Municipal Social Assistance are subject to the asset exemption policy of the municipality in which they are applying; the Halifax Social Planning Department, for example, will consider as a financial resource any equity accumulated by an applicant on antiques, paintings, collections, etc., but will exempt property in which the applicant resides, an automobile as required for personal use, furniture used in his household and any other real or personal property as approved by the Social Assistance Administrator. Policy 1.1.7

New Brunswick

The following are considered fixed assets, that is, those assets which are potential sources of livelihood and essential for maintenance at a reasonable level of existence:

a) a vehicle needed for routine transportation, work, or medical reasons;

b) a dwelling place and associated out-buildings;

c) property and fishing and farming equipment; and

d) non-convertible trust funds.

Fixed assets are not considered as financial resources. Policy p. 51, p. 41

Quebec

"Value" means the market value of property or an asset. The value of a residence corresponds to the value of the house and the lot on which it is built. The value of a farm corresponds to the value of the land, buildings, livestock and equipment. Notwithstanding the above, the value of any building entered on the assessment roll of the municipality is equal to the value shown, multiplied by the comparative factor of the roll, pursuant to the Act respecting municipal taxation. Regulation 62

The value of the following property is excluded for benefit calculation purposes:

- the total value of furniture and household articles;

- the value of a motor vehicle up to $5,000;

- books, instruments and tools necessary for carrying out an employment or the practice of a trade or art;

- property owned by a dependent child where such property is adminis­tered by a tutor, testamentary executor or trustee, before an accounting must be rendered;

- property that a dependent child has earned from his own work;

- the value of pension credits accumulated in a retirement plan other than the Quebec Pension Plan or an equivalent plan and the amounts that have accrued with interest as a result of the beneficiary's participation in another retirement savings instrument which cannot be returned to the beneficiary before the age of retirement;

- equipment adapted to the needs of persons who have functional limitations, including a vehicle adapted for transportation and not used for commercial purposes; and

- the value of a contract for the advance arrangement of funeral services or for the advance purchase of a sepulchre, where those contracts are in force. Regulation 63

The value of the following property shall be excluded for benefit calculation purposes, to a maximum of a total net value of $60,000:

(1) the value of a residence or of a farm in operation;

NOTE : In the case of a household which is eligible for benefits under the Financial Support Program, the amount of $60,000 is increased by $1,000 for each full year of occupation as owner of the residence. Regulation 64-eff. 08-90

(2) the value of a residence or a farm belonging to an independent adult who no longer lives in that residence or operates that farm since having been placed in a foster family or sheltered in a reception centre or in a hospital centre, during the first year in that family or that centre;

(3) the value of a residence belonging to an independent adult or to a family who no longer lives therein for health reasons, for a period of one year from the time of moving;

(4) the value of a residence belonging to an adult who no longer resides there because of a separation, for a period of not more than 18 consecutive months from the date when legal proceedings are initiated;

(5) the value of property other than liquid assets used in self-employment or in the operation of a farm;

(6) the amount of an indemnity paid as compensation for immovable property following an expropriation or a disaster, where that amount is used within two years of its receipt to replace property with a view to permanent relocation or in accordance with a course of action referred to in section 22 of the Act;

(7) the amount of an indemnity paid as compensation for movable property following a fire or another disaster, where that amount is used within 45 days of its receipt to repair or replace that property; and

(8) the amount from the sale of a residence, where that amount is used to purchase or build another residence within six months of the sale.

The exclusions provided for in subparagraphs 6 to 8 of the first paragraph apply only where amounts referred to are deposited without delay into a trust account, a chartered bank or another institution legally authorized to receive deposits or, in the case provided for in paragraph 5, if those amounts are the subject of an investment that a trustee is permitted to make under the Civil Code.

Any part of an amount referred to in subparagraphs 6 to 8 of the first paragraph shall constitute liquid assets for all of a month in which it is used contrary to those provisions or for all of a month in which it is not deposited or invested in accordance with the second paragraph and the exclusion provided for in section 68 (liquid asset exemptions - see section 4.1) is not applicable thereto. Regulation 64

Where the value of non-exempted property of a household exceeds $1,500 for a single person or $2,500 for a family, the monthly benefit payable to that household must be reduced by an amount equal to 2% of the aggregate value of non-exempted property which exceeds the appropriate exemption level; this provision does not apply to property which cannot be transferred by reason of a legal impediment beyond the control of the beneficiary. Act 8(2)(e), 13(2)(e); Regulation 66

In the determination of eligibility, the household's residence is first assessed and income is imputed (at 2% per month) on any net value exceeding allowable exemptions; if the income imputed to the household in such cases does not result in ineligibility (i.e., if imputed income does not equal or exceed the household's budgetary needs), then the aggregate value of remaining non-exempted property is calculated, subject to the $1,500 (single) or $2,500 (couple) exemption. Any value which exceeds these levels is imputed as income to the household at the rate of 2% per month. Editorial Comment

Ontario - Provincial

If an applicant or recipient, or the spouse or a dependent child of an applicant or recipient has an interest in real property other than real property used by the applicant or recipient as his principal residence, the applicant or recipient is ineligible for an allowance unless there is an arrangement with respect to the interest that is approved by the Director as necessary for the health or welfare of a beneficiary included for the purposes of calculating the amount of allowance to which the applicant or recipient is entitled. Regulation 6(1)

An applicant or recipient is required to make every effort to sell any real property other than property used as his/her own principal residence at a fair market value, unless the combined value of all such property and other non-exempted assets is less that the appropriate asset exemption level (see section 4.1). There are other situations where a client may be eligible for assistance while having an interest in a second property, for example where the second property is in a country with currency restrictions or where that property is unmarketable; the client's eligibility in such cases may be reviewed periodically to determine whether impediments to the sale of the property still remain. Policy 0302-05

Where an applicant or recipient is a foster parent he is not eligible for an allowance on behalf of a foster child who has an interest or estate in real property other than the real property used as his principal residence by the foster child unless there is an arrangement with respect to the interest that is approved by the Director as necessary for the health or welfare of the foster child. Regulation 6(2)

Motor Vehicles

The determination of whether a motor vehicle is a necessity is based on the following criteria:

- amount of time the client uses the vehicle

- availability and accessibility of public transit

- unique needs of the client (e.g., shift work)

- safety

- undue hardship (e.g. parent with an infant child)

- employment requirements

- remoteness (e.g., snowmobile for winter transportation in remote areas).

Once the determination of necessity has been made, the liquid asset level must be determined. A primary vehicle is exempt up to $10,000; a secondary vehicle is exempt up to $5,000. The used car "Redbook" is used to establish the vehicle's value (less any loans or encumbrances), decreased by $500 to allow for depreciation. Policy 0302-04

In determining liquid assets, machinery, equipment and other items required to derive an income from a farming operation will be considered "tools of the trade" and therefore exempt. Policy 0303-07

Ontario - Municipal

The definition of liquid asset includes any asset that can be readily converted into cash. (see section 4.1) Regulation 1(l)

Assets that are necessary for personal use (e.g., car, home care equipment, television set) are not considered liquid assets. Policy 0403-02

Where a client states that he/she is giving up a business or farm, a grace period of six months is allowed to arrange for the liquidation of related assets; where special circumstances exist, the welfare administrator may extend this period. During the grace period, all assets related to the farm or business are not considered when determining the client's need. Policy 0303-04

Manitoba - Provincial

The following items of personal property are excluded from all calculations of the financial resources of the applicant or recipient:

a) equity in the home in which the applicant or recipient resides and the property on which it is located that is essential to the home;

b) personal property essential to the health and well-being of the member's applicant or recipient's household, including household furnishings and personal clothing;

c) inventory and equipment essential to carrying on a viable farming or business operation;

d) an automobile. Regulation 8(l)(a); Policy EO-21-02

Where a recipient owns property in excess of his residential requirement and such property is a source of revenue, net income shall be calculated by deducting from gross any mortgage payments, taxes, and costs of essential upkeep. In such cases all assistance granted beyond the first 4 months is subject to special case approval. Policy E1-41-03

Manitoba - Municipal

The following property is exempt from the determination of the financial resources of an applicant or a recipient:

a) equity in the home in which the applicant or recipient resides and the property on which it is located that is essential to the home;

b) inventory and equipment essential to carrying on a viable farming or business operation;

c) personal property essential to the health and well-being of members of the applicant's or recipient's household, including household furnishings and personal clothing;

d) property of a value up to $25,000 that is held in trust for a dependent child of an applicant or recipient if

i) the trust property derives from compensation paid in respect of personal injury to the dependent child or the death of a parent of the dependent child or from an inheritance from a parent of the dependent child,

ii) the terms of the trust are evidenced in writing, and

iii) no property is removed from the trust without the prior consent of the designated municipal employee. Regulation 6(1)

In Winnipeg, the ownership of a motor vehicle, including recreational vehicles and snowmobiles, will be taken into account in the determination of financial resources of an applicant only when two or more vehicles of significant value are owned. Policy p.57

Saskatchewan

The following assets are excluded from the computation of financial resources:

a) the home in which the person resides (including the quarter section of farmland on which it is located, if applicable);

b) the basic stock herd on a farm;

c) seed for next year's crop;

d) essential equipment to carry on farming or business operations;

e) one car of reasonable value. Regulation 28(2)(g,h,i,j); Policy 18-2-4

The real property which a recipient uses for his business or farm operation is not a capital resource but income is calculated from it. To determine the net profit, deductions are allowed for upkeep expenses but not for payments on the principal on mortgages or agreements of sale. Regulation 29B(2)

When certain items of personal property are considered not essential to the health and welfare of the recipient, the recipient must use them for his maintenance, either as collateral for loans or through outright sale. Regulation 29B(3)

Each unexempted item of personal property with an estimated market value of $500 or more is considered as a resource. Examples of unexempted personal property include all motor vehicles after the first, stamp or coin collections, cameras and stereo equipment. Policy 18-2-4

Alberta

A home (of reasonable value) in which the applicant resides together with normal household furniture is exempted, as is the home quarter section of land if the applicant resides on a farm. Regulation 6(a,b); Policy 01-05-02

An exemption is allowed for up to two motor vehicles where the total equity in both vehicles is not more than $4,000; in the case of a motor vehicle that is adapted to accommodate a disability of the applicant or recipient or a member of the family unit, there is a total exemption of the value of such vehicle. Regulation 6(c,d)

A client who sells the motor vehicle(s) referred to in the first part of the previous paragraph is allowed a total exemption (in the determination of assets) of up to $4,000 of the proceeds of such sale for a period of one month. Regulation 5(6)

The following are not considered as assets:

- any asset purchased with money received under the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement or the Extraordinary Assistance Plan, or from the a provincial government (in the case of a person infected with the HIV virus through the blood supply);

- any assets held by a trustee in bankruptcy;

- any other asset specified by the Director that is to be disposed of for fair value within the time specified by the Director. Regulation 6 (e,e.1,f,h)

The applicant's share of jointly-owned property, where he does not occupy the property, may be exempted up to 12 months; during this period, the applicant has the responsibility of initiating legal action to obtain his share of the property. Where action has been initiated but not resolved, a new exemption may be granted every 12 months. Real estate other than that exempted shall be considered equivalent to cash assets which can be sold or against which a loan can be secured. Policy 01-05-02

Business or farm assets which are required for the viability of the operation may be exempted for a period of three months (see section 2.16) with extensions allowed with the approval of the Casework Supervisor. Policy 01-05-02

British Columbia

The following are not considered liquid assets:

a) necessary household equipment, wearing apparel, and business tools;

b) an uncashed life insurance policy with a cash surrender value of $1,500 or less;

NOTE : The Director may authorize that the total cash surrender value of an uncashed life insurance policy is totally exempt and not an asset for those who are handicapped and for those who are likely to be unemployable for a minimum of 3 months from the date of application for assistance.

c) prepaid funeral costs;

d) the family home partially or wholly owned and lived in by the applicant;

e) the first motor vehicle used for transportation;

f) monies received or to be received from a mortgage or agreement for sale on the recipient's previous ordinary residence, provided such monies are to be applied to the amount owing on a home being purchased and occupied by the recipient, or to rent for his or her ordinary residence;

g) fishing craft and gear used by a commercial fisherman;

h) seed required by a farmer for the next crop year;

i) essential equipment and supplies for farming and commercial fishing;

j) basic stock herd on a farm which is the breeding-stock held at the date of application for benefits, and female stock held for stock replacement;

k) five or less common shares issued in 1979 to a recipient by the B.C. Resources Investment Corporation;

l) the federal Child Tax Credit and Sales Tax Credit;

m) payments received under the Extraordinary Assistance Plan or the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement. Regulation 8(3), 8(4); Policy 3.16

Saleable acreage and buildings apart from the home are considered an asset except where the Regional Director or his designate rules otherwise. Regulation 8(5)

Yukon

Real property used as the applicant's home is not considered as a financial resource, nor are items of personal property. However, when any item of personal property is not essential to the health, welfare or rehabilitation of the applicant and his dependents, the Director may require, as a condition of eligibility for assistance, that it be used as collateral for a loan or converted into liquid assets. Regulation 20, 21

Real property used in an applicant's business is not considered a financial resource, but income derived from such property is so considered, allowing for reasonable and necessary expenses of upkeep (but not for payments on the principal of mortgages or agreements for sale).

Northwest Territories

The value of real property used as the applicant's residence is not included as a financial resource unless, in the opinion of the Director, such property is in excess of the applicant's reasonable needs. Regulation 20(5)

Not included in the calculation of income is the value of real property necessary for the operation of the applicant's business and the value of essential equipment to carry on hunting, trapping, logging, fishing or business operations. Regulation 20(5)

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