Special benefits refer to assistance above and beyond the entitlement of clients to social assistance. For open cases, special benefits may be issued:
- on a one-issue basis or
- on an ongoing basis to the monthly assistance cheque. This would be for benefits issued to meet the clients' predetermined needs which will occur for a period of two or more consecutive months at fixed monthly rates. Ongoing benefits may be for a period of up to and including 12 months.
Case managers will determine the method of payment for these benefits by indicating whether it is to be added to the monthly cheque. If so, it will be added to the next assistance cheque issued to the client. Any payments required prior to that must be handled separately.
Payments should be made to the client as opposed to the vendor, whenever possible.
Special benefits are available when need is determined and the specific criteria for the particular benefit are met.
All requests for special benefits must be assessed to determine whether:
- the services or items requested are intended to meet critical emergency needs which, if not satisfied, would cause severe hardship.
- the client(s) have the means or alternative ways of obtaining the services or items requested.