Note: It does not reflect any retroactive amendment enacted after November 14, 2012.
To find out if an amendment is retroactive, see the coming-into-force provisions
at the end of the amending Act.
C.C.S.M. c. E98
The Employment and Income Assistance Act
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
In this Act,
"agency" means a child caring agency as defined in The Child and Family Services Act; (« office »)
"appeal board" means the Social Services Appeal Board under The Social Services Appeal Board Act; (« Commission d'appel »)
"applicant" means a person who applies for income assistance or general assistance; (« requérant »)
"assistance" means assistance as defined in The Social Services Administration Act; (« aide »)
"basic necessities" means the things and services to which reference is made in section 2; (« besoins essentiels »)
"child" means a boy or girl actually or apparently under 18 years of age; (« enfant »)
"cost of the basic necessities" or "cost of his basic necessities" means the cost, as established in the regulations, of those basic necessities with respect to which a regulation is made under section 6; (« coût des besoins essentiels »)
"crisis intervention facility" means a facility approved by the minister for providing shelter and protection to persons who have been abused by other persons; (« établissement d'intervention d'urgence »)
"dependant", with respect to any person, means the person's spouse and includes any child who is dependant upon the person for support but does not include the spouse of any child to whom this definition applies; (« personne à charge »)
"director" means the person designated as Director of Employment and Income Assistance under section 2.1; (« directeur »)
"financial resources" means, with the exception of the exemptions specified in the regulations, any one or more of the following things:
(a) all the real and personal property of an applicant, a recipient or a dependant of the applicant or recipient, including the net income from any such property,
(b) allowances, pensions, insurance benefits, and income from business farming or any other source received by an applicant, recipient or a dependant of the applicant or recipient,
(c) gifts and gratuities whether in cash or in kind received by an applicant, recipient or a dependent of the applicant or recipient on a one time basis or otherwise, and
(d) the value attributed by the director to free shelter, free board or free lodging, received by an applicant, recipient or a dependant of the applicant or recipient; (« ressources financières »)
"general assistance" means assistance provided by the director to or in respect of a person referred to in section 5.1; (« aide générale »)
"hospital" means a hospital as defined in The Hospitals Act or The Mental Health Act or an institution operated by the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba; (« hôpital »)
"income assistance" means an amount paid to any person pursuant to section 5; (« aide au revenu »)
"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act; (« ministre »)
"municipality" does not include
(a) the City of Winnipeg, or
(b) a municipality that was a local government district that is continued as a municipality under section 428 of The Municipal Act,
but does include a local government district that has not been continued as a municipality; (« municipalité »)
"recipient" means a person to whom income assistance or general assistance is being, or has been, provided; (« bénéficiaire »)
"social services" means services having as their object the lessening, removal or prevention of the causes and effects of poverty, child neglect or dependence on income assistance, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes
(a) rehabilitation services,
(b) case work, counselling, assessment and referral services,
(c) adoption services,
(d) homemaker, day care and similar services,
(e) community development services,
(f) consulting, research and evaluation services with respect to social programs, and
(g) administrative, secretarial and clerical services, including staff training, relating to the provision of any of the foregoing services or provision of income assistance or indigent relief. (« services sociaux »)
R.S.M. 1987 Supp., c. 4, s. 21; R.S.M. 1987 Supp., c. 31, s. 17; S.M. 1992, c. 30, s. 2; S.M. 1996, c. 41, s. 3 and 4; S.M. 2001, c. 9, s. 31; S.M. 2001, c. 43, s. 9; S.M. 2004, c. 2, s. 2; S.M. 2004, c. 42, s. 26.
Subject to this Act and the regulations, the Government of Manitoba may take measures to provide to residents of Manitoba those things and services that are essential to health and well-being, including a basic living allowance, an allowance for shelter, essential health services and a funeral upon death.
The minister must designate a person as Director of Employment and Income Assistance.
The director may, in writing, authorize a person or class of persons to perform any of the director's duties or exercise any of the director's powers under this Act or the regulations.
Amounts expended by the government for the purposes mentioned in section 2 may be paid from the Consolidated Fund with moneys authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be so paid and applied.
The director shall provide income assistance, in accordance with this Act and the regulations, to or in respect of a person who, in the opinion of the director is a person
(a) who, by reason of age or by reason of physical or mental ill health, or physical or mental incapacity or disorder that is likely to continue for more than 90 days
(i) is unable to earn an income sufficient to meet the basic necessities of himself and his dependants, if any; or
(ii) is unable to care for himself and requires to be cared for by another person or in an institution or home for the aged or the infirm; or
(b) who is a widowed spouse with a dependant child or dependant children; or
(c) who is a parent with a dependant child or children and
(i) is deserted by, or is living separate and apart from, his or her spouse, or
(ii) is the spouse of a person who is sentenced to and is serving a prison term, or
(iii) is not married, or
(iv) is divorced; or
(d) who is a child that has been placed temporarily by the director or an agency without the transfer of guardianship in a foster home, group foster home or in an institution, in accordance with the provisions of The Child and Family Services Act; or
(e) who has been apprehended as a child in need of protection under The Child and Family Services Act and
(i) is in the charge of an agency during the period before the investigation by the judge under that Act, or
(ii) has been committed under that Act to the care and custody of an agency, or
(iii) having been committed, as described in sub-clause (ii), is admitted to a hospital and is in receipt of hospital care and treatment in respect of which he is not an insured person under The Health Services Insurance Act; or
(f) who is a child both of whose parents are dead or in the opinion of the director are unable to contribute to his maintenance and who is wholly dependent on another person for his basic necessities; or
(g) who has one or more dependants in need of special care as that expression is defined in the regulations; or
(h) repealed, S.M. 1993, c. 31, s. 2;
Repealed, S.M. 1993, c. 31, s. 2.
In the case of a person who
(a) is employed, or has any other source of income;
(b) has one or more dependants in need of special care; and
(c) is not otherwise eligible for income assistance;
the income assistance may be granted only for the purpose of meeting the costs of the special care.
For the purposes of this section "special care" means care provided to a dependant of an applicant or recipient in a residential welfare institution that has been approved by the minister, or in a day nursery that has been approved by the minister, or care approved by the director and provided to a dependant by a nurse, housekeeper, or homemaker in the home of the applicant or recipient or in a foster home.
Where two persons who are not legally married to each other are living together under circumstances that indicate to the director that they are cohabiting in a conjugal relationship, they shall, for the purposes of this Act and the regulations, be treated in the same manner as two persons who are legally married, and any application by either or both of them for income assistance or general assistance shall be dealt with in every respect in that manner.
Where a person
(a) repealed, S.M. 2004, c. 2, s. 6;
(b) is not a person described in section 5; and
(c) applies to the director for general assistance;
the director shall provide general assistance to or in respect of that person in accordance with this Act and the regulations.
(a) the financial resources of an applicant or a recipient are less than the cost of basic necessities; and
(b) the applicant or recipient and any dependants of the applicant or recipient comply with the requirements of this Act and the regulations;
the director shall in accordance with this Act and the regulations
(c) in writing, fix an amount to be paid as income assistance or general assistance; and
Repealed, S.M. 2004, c. 2, s. 8.
An applicant, recipient or dependant as specified in the regulations has an obligation to satisfy the director that he or she
(a) has met the employment obligations set out in the regulations that he or she is required to meet; and
(b) has undertaken any employability enhancement measure as set out in the regulations that he or she is required to undertake.
If an applicant, recipient or dependant, as specified in the regulations, fails to satisfy the director under subsection (1), the director may deny, reduce, suspend or discontinue the income assistance or general assistance otherwise payable, in accordance with the regulations.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation made by order in council, establish, for the purpose of this Act and as at the time of the making of the regulation, the cost of the several basic necessities or of those the cost of which should, in his opinion, be established from time to time.
7(1) to (4) Repealed, S.M. 1992, c. 30, s. 6.
Where a recipient has a right to bring an action against a person who is or might be indebted or liable to that recipient for payment of money and the recipient has not done so at the time that assistance is granted, the director or any person acting under the authority of the director may bring action in the name and on behalf of the recipient.
Payment of the cost of legal aid in civil matters, where furnished under The Legal Aid Manitoba Act to persons who while the legal aid is being so furnished are receiving or are eligible to receive income assistance under this Act, is established as a class of benefits under this Act.
The class of benefits established under subsection (1) is additional to and separate from income assistance and neither the need for that class of benefits by any person nor the provision of that class of benefits to any person shall be taken into account as a factor in determining the eligibility or the extent of the eligibility of that person for income assistance under this Act and the regulations.
Such monies out of any grants paid to Legal Aid Manitoba under subsection 25(2) of The Legal Aid Manitoba Act as are used under that Act to pay the cost of legal aid in a civil matter furnished to a person who, while the legal aid is being so furnished, is receiving or is eligible to receive income assistance under this Act are deemed to be monies paid and used for the purposes of this section.
If, on the basis of information received, the director is of the opinion that the income assistance or general assistance being paid to a recipient should be discontinued, reduced, suspended or increased, the director may order that change in writing.
The director or a person acting under the authority of the director shall forthwith notify an applicant or recipient or a person who has applied for or is or was receiving income assistance or general assistance in writing of any decision or order which denies, discontinues, reduces or suspends income assistance or general assistance to the applicant, recipient or person, stating the reasons for the decision or order and advising the applicant, recipient or person, as the case may be, that he or she has the right under the Act to appeal the decision or order to the appeal board.
An applicant or a recipient may appeal to the appeal board where the applicant or recipient feels his or her treatment was unfair because
(a) he or she was not allowed to apply or re-apply for income assistance or general assistance;
(b) his or her request for income assistance or general assistance or increase in income assistance or general assistance was not decided upon within a reasonable time;
(c) his or her application for income assistance or general assistance was denied;
(d) his or her income assistance or general assistance was cancelled, suspended, varied or withheld; or
(e) the amount of income assistance or general assistance granted is insufficient to meet his or her needs.
A person who receives a notice under subsection (2) and who wishes to appeal the decision or order for any of the reasons set out in subsection (3) may file a written notice of appeal with the appeal board in accordance with The Social Services Appeal Board Act, and the provisions of that Act apply with respect to the appeal.
Repealed, S.M. 2001, c. 9, s. 31.
For the purpose of clause 15(2)(b) of The Social Services Appeal Board Act, the respondent shall provide the appeal board with
(a) a copy of the appellant's application for income assistance or general assistance;
(b) particulars of the financial resources of the appellant; and
(c) evidence that the requirements of subsection (2) have been met;
9(7) to (10)Repealed, S.M. 2001, c. 9, s. 31.
Repealed, S.M. 2001, c. 9, s. 31.
In any appeal to the Court of Appeal the normal fees payable by law shall be waived, and where an applicant or recipient for income assistance or general assistance succeeds upon his appeal, the court, in the light of all the circumstances, may fix the costs to be paid to such applicant or recipient.
Where the appeal of such applicant or recipient for income assistance or general assistance is dismissed, the court, in the light of all the circumstances, may fix the costs and fees to be taxed, allowed and paid to the director, notwithstanding the waiver of fees under the provisions of subsection (13).
S.M. 1990-91, c. 12, s. 18; S.M. 1992, c. 30, s. 8.
With the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the Government of Manitoba may enter into agreements with the Government of Canada under which the Government of Manitoba may be reimbursed, in whole or in part, for its costs incurred in providing income assistance and general assistance and any associated administrative costs.
The Government of Manitoba may, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with the Crown in right of another province of Canada, or with the Crown in right of Canada or other duly constituted authority administering a territory of Canada
(a) for the payment of income assistance or general assistance to residents of that other province or that territory who are temporarily in Manitoba; and
(b) for the granting of moneys or assistance equivalent to income assistance or general assistance to residents of Manitoba who are temporarily in that other province or that territory;
(c) repealed, S.M. 2004, c. 2, s. 13;
upon such terms and conditions as may be mutually satisfactory to the parties to the agreement.
The minister may enter into agreements with persons and organizations for the provision of services under this Act and payment for the services.
A municipality must pay an annual amount to the Government of Manitoba as a contribution toward the cost of providing general assistance.
A municipality's annual contribution shall be its average annual cost of providing municipal assistance over the calendar years 1995 through 2001.
A municipality's annual cost of providing municipal assistance is to be calculated by adding
(a) the shareable cost of municipal assistance paid to or on behalf of persons by the municipality for the year, less the total amount of grants it received under section 11 of this Act for that year; and
(b) if the municipality received a grant under section 13 of this Act for the year, the total eligible staff and administrative service costs incurred by the municipality for that year, less the amount of that grant.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, establish when and how a municipality's contribution is to be paid.
The following definitions apply in this section.
"eligible staff and administrative service costs" means
(a) the annual costs for salary and wages of municipal staff engaged in full-time social services work, in excess of the costs for those purposes in 1964; and
(b) the annual administrative service costs associated with clause (a), where the services are administrative services the costs of which were formerly shareable with the Government of Canada under the Canada Assistance Plan. (« frais admissibles engagés relativement au personnel et aux services administratifs »)
"municipal assistance" means municipal assistance as defined in section 1 of this Act as that definition read on January 1, 2003. (« aide municipale »)
"shareable cost of municipal assistance" means shareable cost of municipal assistance as defined in subsection 11(1) of this Act as that provision read on January 1, 2003. (« montant partageable d'aide municipale »)
Every municipality must identify and promote employment opportunities for recipients in accordance with the terms of an agreement to be reached between municipalities and the minister.
The minister is responsible for the administration of this Act; and the director shall make an annual report to the minister respecting the administration thereof.
The minister shall lay the annual report before the Legislative Assembly forthwith if it is then in session and, if not, then within 15 days of the beginning of the next following session thereof.
Any person may make application for a income assistance or general assistance.
Every application shall be made to the director in such form, and containing such information, as may be prescribed by the minister.
For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act according to their intent, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make such regulations and orders as are ancillary thereto and are not inconsistent therewith; and every regulation or order made under, and in accordance with the authority granted by, this section has the force of law; and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations and orders,
(a) repealed, S.M. 2004, c. 2, s. 15;
(b) establishing the cost of the basic necessities as provided in section 6;
(c) prescribing rules for determining the income and financial resources of applicants or recipients and providing that certain income or classes of income shall be excluded from, or included in, the calculation of the income and financial resources of an applicant or recipient;
(d) prescribing rules for determining the amount of income assistance or general assistance that a recipient is entitled to receive and for determining whether an applicant is entitled to receive any income assistance or general assistance;
(e) fixing the amount of income assistance or general assistance that may be paid to an applicant or a recipient;
(f) prescribing procedures to be followed in the administration of the Act and prescribing forms for use for any purpose under this Act or the regulations, or providing that forms prescribed or approved by the minister shall be used for any purpose under this Act or the regulations;
(g) prescribing conditions that a recipient is required to comply with in order to be eligible to continue to receive income assistance or general assistance or an applicant is required to comply with to be eligible to receive income assistance or general assistance;
(g.1) specifying applicants, recipients or dependants for the purposes of section 5.4;
(g.2) establishing employment obligations and employability enhancement measures for the purposes of subsection 5.4(1) and establishing the circumstances in which an applicant, recipient or dependant is required
(i) to comply with an employment obligation, or
(ii) to undertake an employability enhancement measure;
(g.3) establishing the manner in which income assistance or general assistance may be denied, reduced, suspended or discontinued under subsection 5.4(2) and prescribing the amount of any reduction;
(h) to (j) repealed, S.M. 2004, c. 2, s. 15;
(k) repealed, S.M. 1993, c. 31, s. 3;
(l) prescribing terms for discharging any lien and charge for the purposes of section 21;
(m) defining words, phrases or forms for which no definition is given in the Act;
(n) repealed, S.M. 2004, c. 2, s. 15;
(o) making any provision of this Act apply to the granting of general assistance;
(p) repealed, S.M. 2004, c. 2, s. 15;
(q) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the intent and purpose of this Act.
A regulation under clause (1)(c) may, notwithstanding the provisions of The Regulations Act, be made with retroactive effect, but only to the extent that it applies to any additional benefits receivable by a recipient.
A regulation under clauses (1)(d) and (e) may be made with retroactive effect.
Where the government has provided or paid assistance or any income assistance or general assistance to or for a person, if the assistance or income assistance or general assistance, or any part thereof, would not have been provided or paid except for
(a) a false statement or misrepresentation made by the person; or
(b) an error;
the government may recover from the person, or his executors or administrators, or his spouse, or the executors or administrators of his spouse, and, if the person is an infant, his parent or guardian or any person legally liable to pay his expenses, the amount of that assistance or income assistance or general assistance or that part thereof as a debt due and owing from the person to the Crown.
Where the government has provided or paid assistance or any income assistance or general assistance to or for a person, if the assistance or income assistance or general assistance or any part thereof would not have been provided or paid except for the neglect or failure of another person to comply with any law or the order of any court requiring that other person to maintain or to contribute toward the maintenance of the person to or for whom the assistance or income assistance or general assistance or part was provided or paid, the government may recover from that other person, or his executors or administrators, the amount of that assistance or income assistance or general assistance or part, up to the total amount that the other person neglected or failed to provide or pay, as a debt due and owing from that other person to the Crown.
Despite any other provision of this Act or the regulations, if a person who is a recipient incurs or has incurred a debt to the Crown under subsection (1) or (2), the director may authorize the deduction of an amount from income assistance or general assistance paid to the person until the indebtedness is discharged. The amount to be deducted must not be so large as to cause undue hardship to the person.
Where pursuant to subsection (3), deductions are made from the income assistance or general assistance payable to a person and the income assistance or general assistance is for any reason discontinued or terminated and the amount deducted is insufficient to discharge his indebtedness to the Crown, the unpaid balance continues to be a debt owed by that person to the Crown until fully paid and discharged.
(a) a debt becomes due and owing from a person to the Crown under section 20; or
(b) the government has made any payment to or for a person to cover
(i) the principal portion of any instalment payable under a real property mortgage or an agreement for the sale of land, or any part of that principal portion, or
(ii) arrears of real property taxes, or any part of those arrears, or
(iii) the cost of such building repairs as may be defined in the regulations to be major repairs;
the minister may cause to be registered in any Land Titles Office in the province a statement showing the minister's address for service certifying the amount of the debt, payment, assistance or income assistance or general assistance, and in the statement the minister shall name the person indebted.
From the time of its registration, a statement registered under subsection (1), except as hereinafter mentioned, binds and forms a lien and charge on all lands of the debtor against which the statement is registered by instrument charging specific land, and, while registered in the general register, against all lands of the debtor in the Land Titles District in which the statement is registered that are held in a name identical to that of the debtor set out in the statement whether or not the lands registered under the Real Property Act for the amount certified in the statement and the amount of
(a) any debt that subsequently becomes due and owing from the person to the Crown under section 20 after the statement is registered; and
(b) any payment of a kind described in clause (1)(b) subsequently made by the government to or for the debtor.
A statement submitted for registration under subsection (1) shall be registered on its mere production, without any affidavit of execution.
A lien created by the registration of a statement under subsection (1) may be discharged by the registration in the same office where the statement is registered of a discharge executed by the minister.
When a statement is registered against an identified parcel of land, the District Registrar shall forthwith notify the registered owner of the registration by ordinary mail sent to the address shown on the title.
(a) who makes a false statement in any form, application, record or return
(i) prescribed or required by this Act or the regulations, or
(ii) approved by the minister for use under this Act; or
(b) who fails to inform the director of a material change in circumstances affecting his entitlement to any income assistance or general assistance, within 30 days of the commencement of the change;
is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $500. or to imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both.
Where a judge or justice finds a person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) he may, in addition to any penalty imposed under subsection (1) order the person to repay to the Crown any moneys obtained by that person by reason of the commission of the offence.
Where moneys are ordered to be paid under subsection (2), the director may file or cause to be filed, a certified copy of the order, in the Court of Queen's Bench and thereupon the order shall be deemed to be, and enforceable as, a judgment of the court in favour of the Crown in right of Manitoba.
Notwithstanding anything in this Act or in any other Act of the Legislature, no information or complaint in respect of an offence under this section shall be laid or made after the expiration of four years from the time when the matter or cause giving rise to the information or complaint arose.
The Act shall no longer be referred to as chapter S160 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba, but may be referred to as chapter E98 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.