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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: April 24, 2012
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04 Special Groups

Financial Administrators, Public Trustee or Third Party Payments

AUTHORITY

Income and Employment Supports Act, Section 17
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Section 1(4)

INTENT

If a person who is eligible for Income Support (IS) is unable to conduct their own financial affairs, the appointment of a financial administrator, or payment of benefits directly to a third party (such as a landlord), in full or in part, ensures IS benefits are expended to meet that person’s basic needs for shelter, food and health care.

POLICY

Workers may consider the appropriateness of the appointment of a financial administrator or redirecting an appropriate portion of the client’s Core Benefits or supplementary benefits to a third party on a case-by-case basis when the client:

  • Lacks the mental capacity to expend income support payments in such a manner as to meet their essential needs for food, shelter and health care, or

     

  • Has established a pattern of expending their income in such a manner that their essential needs for food, shelter and health care have not been met.

Workers should obtain a client’s consent prior to establishing a financial administrator or a third party payment.

When the client does not consent to the appointment of a financial administrator, or to third party payments, the matter must be referred to an Income and Employment Supports Appeal Panel for a decision regarding the client’s ability to manage their own financial affairs. To commence the Appeal, the worker completes an EMP 0547A Notice of Appeal on behalf of the client, clearly indicating that they are doing so because the client does not consent to appointment of a financial administrator or third party payments.

Third Party Payments
Payments to a third party should be made only for a purpose relevant to the third party (e.g., shelter benefits can be directed to a landlord).  Third party payments can be made on a one time basis (e.g., utility arrears) or may be necessary on an ongoing basis over more than one period of assistance.

Benefits not issued for a specific purpose (e.g., handicap benefit or personal needs supplement) could be directed to a third party.

Signed consent, including the name of the payee, (e.g., landlord) and the specific time period for which the third party payment will be made (start and end date), should be obtained from the client or financial administrator prior to redirecting any portion of benefits to a third party.  When it is not possible to obtain signed consent, workers may receive verbal consent from the client or financial administrator outlining the details of the third party payment.  This consent should be documented in Mobius Notes.

When issuing a payment to a third party, staff must follow procedures as outlined for third party payments.

Private Financial Administrator
A private financial administrator is appointed under IESA Section 17 with the consent of clients, where feasible.

IS workers may request an accounting from the financial administrator when they believe it is necessary. The appointment of a financial administrator may be revoked where the financial administrator is not acting in the best interests of the client, or fails to provide required information, or where information provided causes a debt to the department.

Note
These rules apply to financial administrators appointed under the authority of the IESA only.

The supervisor cannot revoke a court appointed trustee.

Authority
Supervisor

If there is suspicion or evidence that a financial administrator is not expending the IS benefits for the purpose it was intended, the matter is referred to the Fraud Unit for investigation. The Service Centre initiates appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation, which may include assignment of a debt to the financial administrator.

Private financial administrators are required to report the client's circmstances on a monthly basis and have all the rights and obligations of the client under IESA, except Part 5.

Public Trustee (Alberta Community and Social Services)
If the Public Trustee is already the trustee for the client, then he/she is automatically the financial administrator for IS purposes.

If the person does not already have a Public Trustee, then Community and Social Services Public Trustee becomes involved only as a last resort if no other individual is able to assist the dependent adult as a private financial administrator.

The Public Trustee derives its authority from the Public Trustee Act, or in the case of a mentally disabled person from the Dependent Adults Act. The Public Trustee may be appointed to act either by order of the Surrogate Court or after a Certificate of Incapacity is issued.

The Public Trustee has the power to maintain and preserve a dependent adult’s (individuals 18 years of age of older) estate through control of the dependent adult’s financial matters. This may include the right to:

  • Lease, sell or transfer property,
  • Deposit or invest money,
  • Write or cash cheques or bonds,
  • Settle debts or court actions,
  • Carry out contracts, or
  • Carry on business on behalf of the dependent adult.

An annual report is required for all clients whose finances are managed by the Public Trustee.

PROCEDURES

Workers must make sure the financial administrator, and client when possible, understand the statements outlining the financial administrator’s responsibilities and sign the EMP 0509 Financial Administrator Appointment.

The worker takes the following steps when:

  • The Public Trustee has been appointed for an applicant who is applying for IS or AISH financial benefits, or

     

  • An AISH client applies for IS benefits, including one-time issues and the Public Trustee is involved, or

     

  • An IS client is approved for AISH benefits and the Public Trustee is involved.

The worker:

  1. Phones the office of the Public Trustee and obtains all financial information about the client’s income and assets.

     

  2. Records the following in Mobius Notes:

     

    • Date of the call
    • Name of the person providing the information
    • Financial details
       
  3. Offices of the Public Trustee

    North:

    4th Floor, Brownlee Building
    10365 - 97 Street
    Edmonton AB T5J 3Z8
    Phone: 780-427-2744
    Fax: 780-422-9136

    South:

    Suite 900
    444 - 7 Avenue SW
    Calgary AB T2P 0X8
    Phone: 403-297-6541
    Fax: 403-297-2823

If the Client is Eligible

  1. Has the client sign the EMP 3428 Income Support Application.

     

  2. If the client has a guardian, the worker has the guardian sign.

     

  3. Explains to the signer the information the Public Trustee provides.

     

  4. Crosses out and initials any statement in the Declaration the signer is unable to declare.

     

  5. Whether or not there is a signer, prints Public Trustee on the Trustee’s Signature line in the Declaration.

     

  6. Issues benefits payable to the Public Trustee, based on the information received verbally from the Public Trustee’s office.

    Note
    If funds are required immediately for food and shelter, the worker and the Public Trustee must discuss issuing initial benefits directly to the supplier or landlord, with subsequent issues payable to the Public Trustee.

     

  7. Sends a copy of the EMP 3428 Income Support Application to the office of the Public Trustee.

     

  8. Records the assigned Service Centres/unit/caseload on the EMP 3428 Income Support Application. Once the Public Trustee receives the EMP 3428 Income Support Application, the Public Trustee sends a memo to the worker substantiating the income and assets of the client.

    Note
    The Public Trustee returns CRCs monthly, stamped with the words Public Trustee and with only changes for the income and asset sections recorded.

     

  9. Creates a Task for one month to make sure the memo is received from the Public Trustee confirming the client’s income and assets.

     

  10. Follows up the Task if required, and adjusts the client’s budget if necessary.

     

  11. Files the memo from the Public Trustee with the EMP 3428 Income Support Application on section 1 of the file.
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