Emergency Applications

What types of emergency applications are there?

There are 3 different applications to address emergency situations that may arise.
  1. Appointment of an emergency substitute decision maker where no legal decision maker is in place to act on behalf of a vulnerable person.
  2. An emergency variation application where there is a need to vary an existing substitute decision maker appointment
  3. An emergency suspension and replacement application where there is a need to temporarily suspend the appointment of an existing substitute decision and appoint a replacement in the interim.  

Who can submit an emergency application?

Any person may submit an emergency application to the Commissioner. The Commissioner may also appoint, vary or suspend a substitute decision maker on an emergency basis on his or her own initiative.

 

How long does it take to process an emergency application?

Given the urgent nature of an emergency application, such applications are given high priority and decisions are made by the Commissioner as quickly as possible, typically within 24-48 hours.

 

Emergency Appointment:

When would an emergency substitute decision maker be needed?

An emergency substitute decision maker may be needed in situations where:

  • there is immediate danger of death or serious harm or deterioration to the physical or mental health of the person, or of serious loss to his or her property;
  • the person involved:
    • is a vulnerable person;
    • is incapable of personal care or managing his or her property; and
    • needs decisions to be made on his or her behalf on an emergency basis to prevent the danger described above; and
  • prompt action is required in view of the nature and urgency of the situation.

The above are the criteria used by the Commissioner to assess and decide whether or not an emergency substitute decision maker will be appointed.

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What is the process for appointing an emergency substitute decision maker?

Upon receipt of the application, the Commissioner assesses the information provided, gathers more information via email or telephone as deemed appropriate and then makes a decision.

If the criteria as referenced above are met and the proposed substitute decision maker is determined to be suitable, a letter of decision is issued to the vulnerable person, the substitute decision maker, the vulnerable person’s Community Service Worker or Social Worker, the vulnerable person’s nearest relative and any other persons as determined by the Commissioner. The vulnerable person and the substitute decision maker also receive the Appointment Document outlining the scope of the appointment including the specific power(s) granted to the substitute decision maker to address the emergency situation, and the duration of the emergency appointment. 

The duration of the emergency appointment cannot exceed 30 days.

If a suitable substitute decision maker is not identified (see who can be a substitute decision maker section), The Public Guardian and Trustee is appointed.

The application forms and the information which are necessary when applying for the appointment of an emergency substitute decision maker are:

  1. Emergency Application for the Appointment of a Substitute Decision Maker (PDF 300KB)
  2. Schedule A - Real and Personal Property (PDF 60KB)
  3. Schedule B-E - Consent Form for Consideration of Appointment as Emergency/Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (PDF 56KB)
  4. Protection of Privacy

Those receiving notice of the appointment of an emergency substitute decision maker can submit a request in writing to the Commissioner for written reasons for his/her decision.  

 

Can an emergency substitute decision maker appointment be extended?

The Commissioner may extend the emergency appointment for an additional 30 days if, while the emergency appointment is in effect, a regular application is received requesting the appointment of a substitute decision maker.  

Emergency Variation:

When would an emergency variation be needed?

An emergency variation may be needed in situations where:

  • there is immediate danger or death or serious harm to, or deterioration in, the physical or mental health of the vulnerable person, or of serious loss to his or her property; and
  • prompt action is required in view of the nature and urgency of the situation.

The above are the criteria used by the Commissioner to assess and decide whether or not an emergency variation will be made to the existing substitute decision maker’s appointment.

The areas where an emergency variation can be made are the same as outlined for a regular variation application; however the situation creating the need for a variation must be of an urgent nature.

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What is the process for making an emergency variation to an existing appointment of a substitute decision maker?

Upon receipt of the application, the Commissioner assesses the information provided, gathers more information via email, telephone or fax as deemed appropriate and then makes a decision. 

If the criteria as referenced above are met, a letter of decision is issued to the vulnerable person, the substitute decision maker, the vulnerable person’s Community Service Worker or Social Worker, the vulnerable person’s nearest relative and any other persons as determined by the Commissioner. The vulnerable person and the substitute decision maker also receive the Varied Appointment Document outlining the scope of the varied appointment granted to the substitute decision maker to address the emergency situation, and the duration of the emergency variation. 

The duration of the emergency appointment cannot exceed 30 days. 

The application forms and the information which are necessary when applying for an emergency variation to the appointment of a substitute decision maker are:

  1. Emergency Variation (PDF 296KB)
  2. Schedule B-E - Consent Form for Consideration of Appointment as Emergency/Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (PDF 56KB)
  3. Protection of Privacy

Those receiving notice of the emergency varied appointment can submit a request in writing to the Commissioner for written reasons for his/her decision. 

Can an emergency varied appointment be extended?

The Commissioner may extend the emergency variation for an additional 30 days if, while the emergency varied appointment is in effect, a regular application is received requesting the ongoing variation to the substitute decision maker’s appointment.

Emergency Suspension and Replacement:

When would an emergency suspension and temporary replacement of an existing substitute decision maker application be needed?

An emergency suspension and temporary replacement of an existing substitute decision maker may be needed in situations where:

  • there is immediate danger of death or serious harm to, or deterioration in, the physical or mental health of the vulnerable person, or of serious loss to his or her property;
  • the vulnerable person’s substitute decision maker has:
    • failed to act in accordance with the terms and conditions of his or her appointment; or
    • acted in an improper manner or in a manner that has endangered or may endanger the well-being or property of the vulnerable person;
  • prompt action is required in view of the nature and urgency of the situation; and
  • the vulnerable person needs decisions to be made on his or her behalf on an emergency basis to prevent the danger described above.

The above are the criteria used by the Commissioner to assess and decide whether or not an emergency suspension of the existing substitute decision maker’s appointment will be made.

 

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What is the process for the emergency suspension and temporary replacement of an existing substitute decision maker?

Upon receipt of the application, the Commissioner assesses the information provided, gathers more information via email, telephone or fax as deemed appropriate and then makes a decision. 

If the criteria as referenced above are met, and the proposed temporary replacement is determined to be suitable, a letter of decision is issued to the vulnerable person, the existing substitute decision maker, the replacement substitute decision maker, the vulnerable person’s Community Service Worker or Social Worker, the vulnerable person’s nearest relative and any other persons as determined by the Commissioner.  The vulnerable person and the replacement substitute decision maker also receive the Appointment Document outlining the scope of the appointment and the duration of the emergency appointment. 

The duration of the emergency suspension and temporary replacement is determined by the Commissioner and is based on the specific circumstances of the particular situation.

If a suitable temporary replacement substitute decision maker is not identified, The Public Guardian and Trustee is appointed (see who can be appointed as a substitute decision maker section).

The application forms and the information which are necessary when applying for an emergency suspension and temporary appointment of a substitute decision maker are:

  1. Application for the Emergency Suspension and Temporary Appointment of a Substitute Decision Maker (PDF 264KB)
  2. Schedule B-E - Consent Form for Consideration of Appointment as Emergency/Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (PDF 56KB)
  3. Protection of Privacy

Those receiving notice of the suspension and temporary replacement appointment can submit a request in writing to the Commissioner for written reasons for his/her decision.

What can I do if I disagree with the Commissioner’s decision?

See Appealing the Decision section.

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