6.8 Financial Resources


Recognition Counts! Program - SEED Winnipeg (PDF 116 KB)

6.8.1 Confirmation of Financial Resources

Section 3 of the Regulation requires that the applicant or participant, and the applicant's or participant's spouse, provide necessary information and evidence in support of the applications. Under normal circumstances, an applicant complies with this requirement by completing and signing the application form.
Confirmation of resources, such as earnings, property, savings, unemployment insurance benefits, pension benefits and disability benefits, may be required.
A signed authorization by the participant for release of information is part of the application form. This authorization is applicable to federal, provincial and municipal government authorities and to any other person, agency or organization. The information released is to be used by the department solely for determining or verifying eligibility for assistance and is confidential.

6.8.2 Bank Account Confirmation

Directors and designates should use discretion in determining which new and existing participants require bank account confirmations. Financial resources in bank accounts are to be confirmed only if there are reasons to believe that participants may be withholding information about their financial resources which would affect their eligibility.
In communicating with financial institutions, EIA offices may use program form letters or individual letters.
Procedures to confirm bank accounts
  1. Regardless of whether the participant has previously reported a bank account or not, the Department of Finance will be requested to provide the name and address of the bank(s) at which the participant has cashed two or more assistance cheques. To be able to provide this information, the Department of Finance requires:
    • Participant's name
    • Cheque numbers
    • Cheque issue dates
  2. Send appropriate confirmation letter(s) to the bank(s) identified by the Department of Finance.

6.8.3 Verifying Shelter Information



Rental Information (PDF 176 KB)
See section 19.1.6 entitled Confirming Rental Information.

6.8.4 Confirmation and Consideration of Liquid Assets

Most liquid assets considered by the program are accessible within the four-month conversion period permitted under section 4.2 of the Regulation. Although they may be described as "locked in" or "inaccessible" and subject to a financial penalty for early withdrawal, they are to be regarded as accessible. Exceptions are those investments described in their terms and conditions as "non-commutable, non-refundable and non-transferable". See section 14.3.1 for a description of liquid assets.
When an asset is represented as "inaccessible", the only acceptable proof of its inaccessibility is contained in the terms and conditions which are usually printed on the face of the investment contract itself.
After the terms and conditions of the asset have been examined, three courses of action are possible:
  1. The director or designate may determine that the asset is accessible and calculate the participant's eligibility accordingly.
  2. The director or designate may determine that the asset is inaccessible and does not fit the definition of "liquid assets". Eligibility and budget entitlement should be calculated as though the asset did not exist.

    A copy of the terms and conditions governing the investment is to be retained on the participant's file, with a Bring Forward (BF) for a few months before the asset's maturity date. The participant's action plan records the expectation that the asset will be liquefied upon maturity. If the participant is still enrolled on the BF date, EIA staff reminds the participant of this expectation.
  3. Where the value of the asset is within, or close to, the family's liquid asset exemption level and the participant would suffer a severe penalty for early withdrawal, or in other circumstances deemed exceptional, the director or designate may seek approval from the Minister's designate to enrol the participant, recording the reasons in case notes.

    Participants in these circumstances should be advised of their obligation to bring themselves within the normal liquid asset exemption level at the first opportunity, and that any additional liquid assets will be considered available for their maintenance and support.

Liquid Asset Exemption

The following liquid asset exemption levels apply to all case categories:

up to $4,000 per person on an EIA case, up to $16,000 per case.

Liquid asset exemption provisions are to be applied also, to applicants with verification of sustainable employment and who are financially eligible for income assistance and who are requiring only immediate assistance until the receipt of first pay.
For more on liquid assets, see section 14.3.

6.8.5 Confirmation of Trust Income and Assets



A "trust" is a legal arrangement in which a Trustee is given control over the trust property and assumes an obligation to deal with that property in accordance with the terms of the trust.
When an applicant or participant reports the existence of a trust fund, the following questions will assist in determining the appropriate treatment of that trust fund by the program:

1. Are payments being made to the beneficiary by the Trustee?

Section 8(1.1) of the Regulation requires Trustees to provide the program with information necessary to determine eligibility for assistance. Whether or not payments are being made to the beneficiary, the program is responsible to investigate the accessibility of the trust fund.
If payments are being made to the beneficiary, confirmation regarding the amount and frequency of the payments should be obtained from the Trustee upon initial application, and annually, in conjunction with the participant's annual review.
Any cash or in-kind payments made from the trust to, or on behalf of, an income assistance participant are considered unearned income, unless payments can be brought within one or more of the exclusions found in section 8 of the Regulation.

2. Is the trust fund legally accessible to the applicant or participant?

The distinction between "discretionary" and "non-discretionary" trusts is based on the amount of discretion given to the Trustee.
It is not possible to determine if a trust is "discretionary" or "non-discretionary" without reviewing the terms which govern the trust. A copy of the trust document should be obtained and, where there is doubt as to its interpretation, forwarded to Crown Counsel for a legal opinion.
Beneficiaries do not have an enforceable claim to property held in a discretionary trust. Unless there is an actual distribution of funds, a participant's interest in a discretionary trust does not constitute a financial resource for eligibility and/or assistance calculation purposes. In such cases, it is sufficient to contact the Trustee annually to request the current value of the trust fund, and a schedule of payments to the beneficiary, if any. (The participant's annual review provides a suitable opportunity for this purpose).

3. If the trust is a non-discretionary one, is the beneficiary an adult or a minor?

Adult beneficiaries of non-discretionary trusts are expected to pursue all reasonable steps to access the funds held on their behalf. Such funds are a non-exempted financial resource, unless the total value of the participant's trust funds and other liquid assets is within their liquid asset exemption. In the absence of approval from the Minister's designate under section 5(2) of the Regulation, there is no legislative authority to pay income assistance to an adult participant with non-discretionary trust assets in excess of this guideline, beyond the four-month conversion period.
Even with Ministerial approval, the participant's continuing attempts to gain access to the trust funds are to be monitored.

4. If the beneficiary of the non-discretionary trust is a minor, does the child's trust (or some portion of it) qualify for the $25,000.00 exemption?

To qualify for the minor trust exemption, all of the conditions described in section 8(1)(a)(vii) of the Regulation and discussed in greater detail in the liquid assets section (14.3.1) must be met.
Where an unexempted, non-discretionary trust for the benefit of a minor beneficiary causes total family assets to exceed the appropriate excluded level, the participant is expected to take all reasonable steps to gain access to the excess amount.
When unexempted trust funds are successfully accessed, the minor beneficiary is removed from the household's assistance budget until the household's total liquid assets (including the non-exempt trust funds) are brought within the allowable liquid asset level. When unexempted trust funds are not successfully accessed, approval must be obtained from the Minister's designate to continue assisting the minor. EIA staff monitor participants' ongoing efforts to gain access to the trust funds.
The current value of a minor's non-discretionary trust fund, and whether or not the fund is being accessed for his or her maintenance, is confirmed with the Trustee at the time of the participant's annual review and documented in case notes.

5. What happens if at some time the value of the child's non-discretionary trust assets exceed $25,000.00?

The amount in excess of $25,000.00 is to be considered a financial resource available to the participant. Staff are to ascertain whether all or some of the excess is exempt under section 8(1)(a) of the Regulation. If excess non-discretionary trust funds remain after all asset exemptions are applied, they are treated in the same manner as non-discretionary minor trust funds that do not qualify for an exemption (see point 4 above).

6.8.6 Real Property


6.8.7 Personal Property


6.8.8 Excess Assets


6.8.9 Applying Resources to Needs

Income received from sources such as pensions or earnings during one month shall be considered a resource for the following month, subject to policy in section 24.2.3 which refers to income received prior to application.

6.8.10 Property Sold, Transferred or Assigned Within Five Years of Application


6.8.11 Unearned Income


6.8.12 Treatment of Earned Income at Application

The earnings exemption as a work incentive available to applicants in all categories of eligibility at time of application is as follows:
  • Up to $200 of net monthly earnings, for each employed or self-employed household member.
If any non-exempted earnings remain on hand or on deposit after applying the earnings exemption described above, they are considered to be a liquid asset. For information on liquid asset exemptions including limits see section 6.8.4.
For more on earned income, see section 16.1.
For more on liquid assets exempted at application, see section 6.8.4.
For more on earning exemptions provisions after enrolment, see sections 16.1 to 16.2.
For detailed information regarding earned income see section 16.

6.8.13 Minimum Cash Grants

Where the applicant or participant is found eligible for a monthly assistance of between one cent and two dollars, the actual amount to be issued is two dollars.

6.8.14 Applicant's Debts

Assistance is provided to enable EIA participants to provide the basic necessities for themselves and members of their household. EIA is not responsible for applicants' debts, whether acquired before the EIA application or during enrolment. EIA does not assume responsibility for applicants' debts or provide funds to participants for this purpose.
The purpose of asking applicants to provide information regarding their debts is to enable the intake worker to assess how to best meet applicants' financial needs. For example, third party payments might be appropriate for applicants with a history of debts to landlords or utility providers. (For more on determining method of payment, see section 6.4.14).

6.8.15 Obligation to Pursue and Assign Benefits Potentially Available Under Other Acts or Programs


6.8.16 Application For Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Benefits

Under section 12.1 of the Regulation, applicants must make reasonable efforts to obtain the maximum amount of benefits available to them under other Acts or programs. Participants eligible for CPP benefits are expected to apply to receive them at age 60.

6.8.17 (deleted)


6.8.18 Manitoba Child Benefit and 55 Plus Benefits

A Manitoba Child Benefit or 55 PLUS benefit received in the 30 days before application will be treated as unearned income. (For more on unearned income, see section 15.2.2).
EIA participants are ineligible to receive benefits under either the Manitoba Child Benefit or 55 PLUS. The exception is EIA participants who are only receiving Health Services benefits.