Section 9 - Special Cases (Including Minors) and Crisis Intervention Facilities

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9.1.1 Special Cases (including minors)

Under section 5(2) of the Regulation, special cases are enrolled under the authority of the Minister's designate.
 
Special cases may be enrolled without prior approval of the Minister's designate only in situations of extreme urgency. When obtaining prior approval is not possible, all pertinent information should be documented for review by the Minister's designate as soon as possible after action is taken.
 
For a more detailed description of minor special case applicants, see section 9.2.1. Minor applicants in Winnipeg are assessed by EIA staff at the centralized intake office rather than by the program specialists (see section 6.4.5).
 
Special case enrolment terminates after:
  • the expiry of time-limited approval (less than one year); or
  • one year, unless reviewed by the EIA office and further approved by the Minister's designate, as described above.

9.2.1 Minor Applicants

Assessment by the responsible child caring agency required

For every minor applicant, the responsible child caring agency (CFS) is asked to provide an assessment of the minor's circumstances, including:
  • the minor's current family circumstances, including the viability of remaining in or returning to the parental home, unless CFS concludes that doing so is not in the best interests of the minor or other household members;
  • the possibility of residing with another responsible adult; and
  • the minor's capacity to live independently.
CFS must provide EIA with written assurance that the minor applicant's proposed living arrangements do not involve any child protection concerns.
 
In Winnipeg, an intake worker at the centralized intake office reviews CFS assessments regarding minor applicants (see section 6.4.5). A program specialist reviews these assessments for minor applicants outside Winnipeg.
 

EIA to explore parental support

After reviewing the CFS assessment, EIA staff explore the possibility of parental support. This may include:
  • exploring the possibility of remaining in or returning to the parental home, unless CFS concludes that doing so is not in the best interests of the minor or other household members; or
  • exploring the possibility of maintenance from the applicant's parents under The Family Maintenance Act.
The intake worker or counsellor documents the results, including reasons why parental support is not available. While remaining sensitive to any child protection concerns within the parental home that are identified by CFS, minor applicants are not enrolled when parental support is available.
 
(See section 8.3.1 regarding minor expectant mothers and minor single parents.) 
 

9.2.2 Medical Coverage for Minors

Manitoba Health Insured Benefits

Single minors, including single minor expectant mothers, generally receive Manitoba Health Insured Benefits coverage under their parents' registration, regardless of whether they live with their parents or not.
 
After the birth of a child to a minor single parent, coverage continues under the parents' registration as long as the minor single parent lives in the parental home. If the minor single parent's child also lives with the minor's parents, coverage for the child is also under the parents' registration.
 
Minor single parents who live with their child away from the parental home should register for Manitoba Health Insured Benefits coverage for themselves and their child.
 
In some circumstances, minors may be registered for Manitoba Health Insured Benefits in their own right. In such cases, coverage for minors (and their children, if applicable) is under their own registration.
 

EIA Health Services

Provisions regarding EIA health services cards (see section 22.1.2 and 22.1.4) apply to minor participants.
 

9.2.3 Employment Expectations for Minors

Minors are potentially subject to employment expectations, depending on their circumstances. For more on who is subject to employment expectations, see section 6.3.5. For many minors, the most appropriate way to fulfill their employment expectations might be to remain in or return to school. For more on the circumstances under which education assistance may be provided, see section 6.11.
 

9.3.1 Persons in Crisis Intervention Facilities

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Legislative Authority

Section 5(1)(i) of The Manitoba Assistance Act provides the authority for the granting income assistance to persons in crisis intervention facilities.
 
The Act states as follows:
"5(1) 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:

(i) who is a person requiring the protection of and residing in a crisis intervention facility."
 
A "crisis intervention facility" is defined as a facility approved by the Minister for providing shelter and protection to persons who have been abused by other persons and may include crisis shelters, or resource centres as listed below.
 

Approved Crisis Intervention Facilities

For the purpose of establishing eligibility for income assistance under section 5(1)(i) of the Act, the following have been approved as crisis intervention facilities:
 

Crisis Shelters

Osborne House Inc., Winnipeg
Ikwe - Widdjiitiwin Inc., Winnipeg
YWCA of Brandon (Westman Women's Shelter), Brandon
Portage Family Abuse Prevention Centre Inc.
Nova House Inc., Selkirk
South Central Committee on Family Violence Inc. (Genesis House), Winkler
Eastman Crisis Centre Inc. (Agape House), Steinbach
The Pas Committee for Women in Crisis Inc. (Aurora House), The Pas
Parkland Crisis Centre Inc., Dauphin
Thompson Crisis Centre Inc. (NorWin House), Thompson

Resource Centres

Swan Valley Crisis Centre Inc., Swan River
Women’s Safe Haven Resource Service, Flin Flon
Men’s Resource Centre of Manitoba, Winnipeg
These agencies are operated by non-profit organizations to provide emergency shelter and support services to women, men and their children who have been abused by intimate partners, or other family members. The agencies have a signed Service Purchase Agreement with the Family Violence Prevention Program, Department of Family Services in the Province of Manitoba.
 

Eligibility Under Section 5(1)(i)

Eligibility under section 5(1)(i) of the Act may be established for any person who:
  • is accepted into an approved crisis intervention facility; or
  • is referred by a full facility to alternate accommodation (e.g., YWCA and hotels) with the Department's prior approval, if possible; and
  • is in financial need.
 
The period of eligibility extends from the first to the last day (inclusive) of residency at an approved facility, subject to the following policies on length of stay.
 
The per diems are to be paid on behalf of income assistance participants as required (see section 9.3.4 entitled "Payment Considerations"); extensions beyond 30 days require the approval of the director or designate.
 
Emergency alternate accommodation should be time-limited, with the abused person moving to a crisis shelter as soon as a space is available, generally within three days. The time spent at the alternate accommodation should be counted in determining the approval level required for the length of stay.
 
When the abused person is a male, a stay of up to 30 days at alternate accommodation may be approved; any extension requires the approval of the director or designate.
 
If the abused person is in need when leaving the facility, ongoing eligibility for assistance should be determined in accordance with normal categorical eligibility considerations with the exception of persons who require assistance to secure an existing, or new living arrangement but who do not require ongoing assistance for basic needs. These cases must be referred to the appropriate EIA Office for consideration.
 

Application Process

Crisis facility staff will complete the Crisis Shelter Emergency Assistance Request (also known as the "short form") for abused persons requesting financial assistance for their stay at the facility. The agency has 30 calendar days from the date of entry to submit the short form. Three pieces of participant identification must be provided, as available, and copies made for the file.
 
Crisis facility staff should provide the telephone number to After Hours Emergency Services (AHES) for assistance in situations where an abused person applies for shelter services, but does not meet eligibility requirements in accordance with the Family Violence Prevention Program Service Purchase Agreement.
 
If there is a question regarding eligibility for service, the crisis facility has the authority to maintain the abused person until the next business day, when the Employment and Income Assistance office is open and able to review the documents for approval for services within the shelter. On weekends, the next business day is Monday (or Tuesday, if Monday is a holiday).
 
The EIA Liaison will review each application to determine eligibility under The Manitoba Assistance Act and in accordance with the policies on assessing resources, assessing needs and payment considerations. Verification of information will usually not be necessary unless the EIA Liaison has a reason to believe that a false statement has been made.
 
When the request has been appropriately completed and intake staff are satisfied that the applicant is financially eligible, the request may be approved for income assistance. Cases may be enrolled only under section 5(1)(i) of the Act, regardless of eligibility under any other category.
 

Fee Waiver Cases

Fee waiver cases are ineligible for income assistance because they have access to financial resources. Only the per diem and requests for extensions may be approved. However, other needs may be approved in exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis with prior approval from the director or designate.
 
"Fee Waiver" will be printed at the top of the request when either crisis facility staff or the EIA Liaison determines that a case is fee waiver. Each program must retain a copy of the request and forward a copy to the other program.
 
Crisis facility staff will forward billing invoices for fee waiver cases to the EIA Liaison for review and processing for payment. Billing invoices for fee waiver cases will be forwarded to Financial and Administrative Services for payment under the Family Violence Prevention Program Fee Waiver.
 

9.3.2 Assessing Resources

Due to the urgent nature of these cases, the financial eligibility of the applicants should be assessed only on the resources accessible during the stay at the facility (e.g., cash on hand, bank accounts, employment income, the applicant's share of a joint account which does not require the signature of both spouses for withdrawals) which can be accessed without jeopardizing legal positions and/or physical safety.
 
Financial resources, in excess of those exempted in the Regulation, should be used to offset income assistance eligibility.
 

9.3.3 Assessing Needs

See "Payment Considerations" in section 9.3.4.
 
Income assistance may be provided to meet the costs of the following items of need.
  1. Per Diems (effective Oct 1, 2013):
The following per diems have been approved depending upon whether the shelter location is north or south of the 53rd parallel.
 
North of the 53rd Parallel
 
The Pas Committee for Women in Crisis Inc (Aurora House), The Pas $29.76
Thompson Crisis Centre Inc (NorWin House), Thompson $29.76
 
South of the 53rd Parallel 
 
Osborne House Inc. $28.33
Ikwe - Widdjiitiwin Inc., Winnipeg $28.33
YMCA of Brandon (Westman's Women's Shelter) $28.33
Portage Family Abuse Prevention Centre Inc. $28.33
Nova House Inc. $28.33
South Central Committee on Family Violence Inc. (Genesis House) $28.33
Eastman Crisis Centre Inc. (Agape House) $28.33
Parklands Crisis Centre Inc., Dauphin $28.33
 
 The following per diems apply for Women’s Resource Centres and alternate accommodation: 
 
All Women's Resources Centres* (effective April 1, 2005):
Basic rate:

$18.09 per adult

$ 9.69 per child

*Women's Safe Haven Resource Service, Flin Flon $29.76
 
Emergency refuge in alternate accommodation when the shelter is not able to accommodate the abused person:
        • facilities (e.g. YWCA)
          (*Note:* There is an expectation that the most inexpensive safe accommodation should be approved and that the number of rooms approved should be appropriate to the family size.)
 South  North
Breakfast:  $3.60  $4.00
Lunch: $5.30  $5.80
Dinner:  $8.30  $9.10
 
 
  1. Transportation:
When abused persons accessing crisis intervention facilities do not have transportation to the facility, transportation to the facility by the least expensive mode that is available and safe should be approved. Transportation for medical and legal appointments while the abused person is residing at the facility should be similarly approved. When the abused person leaves the crisis facility and is unable to access transportation, the cost of transportation to a residence in the same community, or to a residence in another Manitoba community, should be approved. Requests for out-of-province transportation should be referred to the EIA Liaison. Transportation costs should be approved in accordance with the policy in section 22.3.1 and should be granted as a health need.
  1. Telephone Costs:
Only telephone costs necessary to arrange admission to the facility and for medical and legal appointments should be approved as a health need. Toll free numbers are to be used where applicable.
  1. Health Costs:
The costs of emergency health needs and essential prescription drugs should be approved. Abused persons residing in a Crisis facility are not eligible for an EIA Health Services card or for non-emergency health needs, such as regular dental appointments (see section 22 - Health Needs for additional information). 
 
Any persons with treaty status will receive non-insured health benefits from First Nations Inuit Health (FNIH).  Non-insured health benefits from FNIH include prescription drugs, dental and optical products and services, as well as medical equipment and emergency health transportation including ambulance and travel outside the community.
  1. Child Care Costs:
Costs of child care may be approved when the abused parent is either temporarily unable to care for the child or requires time for medical or legal appointments. However, there is an expectation that the abused parent first seek child care arrangements that are not associated with any cost. Approved costs should be granted as a health need.
  1. Clothing (including child care needs such as diapers):
When the abused person does not have access to clothing or to child care, consideration should be given to grant funds to meet immediate needs. In situations when the shelter has exhausted either its supply of diapers or the abused person’s own supply, the EIA program will pay $3.00 per day for necessary diapers for infants up to the age of three years.
  1. Personal Needs:
Personal needs assistance for abused adults of $1.90 per day should be approved. The first two days should be paid on the first day of the stay. This will overcome the problem of not being able to issue a purchase voucher for $1.90 when the abused person only stays one day. No overpayment exists when two-day assistance is issued when the abused person stays only one day.
  1. Securing a Living Arrangement in the Community:
The establishment of a secure living arrangement may involve changing or strengthening the locks on the existing residence, moving to a new residence, and/or obtaining a protection order and a telephone to enforce the order. These costs may be approved for abused persons accessing crisis intervention facilities who are EIA participants, or who are eligible for income assistance, under a category other than 5(1)(i). The appropriate EIA Office will approve these costs as necessary with EIA participant cases requiring assistance to secure a living arrangement but not requiring ongoing assistance. When the cost for securing a living arrangement in the community is for rent (including a security deposit), the costs should be met as a rental need. When the cost is for a telephone, the cost should be met as a health need. All other costs for securing a living arrangement should be met as special needs. 
  1. Other Needs:
Requests to meet other identified needs may be approved by the director or designate, subject to any relevant policy.

9.3.4 Payment Considerations 

  1. Payments directly to facilities:
Payments for per diems and personal needs will be made directly to the facility on the basis of an approved billing invoice. When a facility incurs costs without prior departmental approval, reimbursement will occur only when the costs were: (1) for transportation and telephone charges to effect an admission and the EIA worker was satisfied that the policy was applied; and (2) emergency health needs that occurred after office hours. These costs will be included with the per diem and personal needs costs on the Crisis Facility Invoice. Receipts should accompany the billing form with the exception of telephone charges for which a bill is not readily available.
  1. Payments directly to abused persons:
Any other payments approved by the EIA Liaison will be made to the abused participant. Payments must not be made at the abused person’s residence unless requested by the individual. In this case, the worker will have to obtain the address because the abused person’s address is not recorded in the system or on the form.
  1. Payments to providers of alternate accommodations:
Notwithstanding part (ii) above, when a facility is full and alternate accommodation is used, in accordance with policy, the costs may be paid directly to the alternate facility, such as, YWCA or a hotel.
  1. Payment to 5(1)(i) applicants who are members of an existing income assistance household:
Crisis facility payments are considered as an essential expense, therefore, they should not be considered as duplicate assistance when the abused person is a member of an income assistance household. Overpayments will not be assessed even though the abused participant may have already received assistance for food and shelter for the period spent at a crisis facility.
 
In cases where the abused person is from an income assistance household and does not return to that household, the budget for the original income assistance household should be adjusted effective the first of the month following the month in which the abused person and any dependants left the household. If the abused person and dependants return to the household before the first of the month, no budget adjustments should be made. 
  1. Extensions:
Extensions may be requested and approved if:
    1. Safety remains an immediate concern.
      • A protection plan is being developed and the abused person needs to remain in the shelter until specific supports are in place.
      • Required legal work is not completed (e.g., protection order in place, temporary custody of children established).
      • Critical support network is not yet established (e.g. child care, housing, homemaking services or personal care are arranged).
      • Financial support for the family is not secured.
    1. The abused person’s situation has not stabilized sufficiently to enable the development, or implementation of, an effective protection plan.

    9.3.5 Employment Expectations

    Participants in crisis facilities are not subject to employment expectations.
     
    When abused participants leave the facility, employability is assessed at intake for the regular EIA program. Where employment expectations would normally apply, employment expectations may be deferred based on the abused participant’s situation. (See also section 6.5.3 for "Deferral of Employment Expectations").