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Lifetime ban on fraudulent welfare claimants; limits on BC assistance. (Child And Family).

VICTORIA -- British Columbia is joining Ontario in imposing a lifetime ban from social assistance for any person convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada of defrauding the system.

Employable recipients will be eligible to receive assistance only for two years out of five under new legislation introduced in April. New applicants must be financially independent for at least two years before they are eligible to apply, unless they are disabled, have children or are fleeing abuse.

Human Resources Minister Murray Coell introduced two new bills. The Employment and Assistance Act will require employable people to enter into an employment plan that outlines the actions they will take to get a job. Assistance for people with long-term physical, mental and cognitive disabilities will be provided under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act.

While most employable recipients leave social assistance within six months, about two-thirds return within two years, Coell said. The government said it will spend $300 million over three years job placement and job training programs. Employment supports will also be available for people with disabilities who are able to work full or part time, Coell said.

The employment and assistance act also replaces the current multi-level appeal process with a single Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal. 250-387-1412
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Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CBRI
Date:May 13, 2002
Words:211
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