Forms of Assistance
The Fund is always ready to assist applicants by giving them helpful advice in re-arranging their personal affairs and by assistance in applying to proper Government, other Public Agencies or private sources for aid to which the applicant may be entitled. There are many cases which do not reach the proper authorities simply because the person in need is not aware of the correct steps to follow, or where the individual is reluctant to apply for the relief to which he/she may be entitled.
Loans are interest free, and repayable at a rate which can be handled by the applicant without causing hardship.
When financial assistance is considered necessary this is accomplished by means of a grant or loan. It is not deemed to be equitable to make an outright grant where the applicant is able to solve his/her difficulties over a period of time with the aid of a loan, nor is it desirable to ask the applicant to repay a loan where such repayment would cause hardship or prevent him from achieving a sound financial position from where he can carry on without further assistance. The decision to make a grant, or loan, is based on all the circumstances shown in the application, supported by the investigator’s report and recommendation.
Types of Assistance
- Ordinary necessities of life e.g., clothing, shelter, moving expenses, and purchase of essential furniture / appliances may be considered; (limited to necessary items only);
- Dental only basic dentistry required to maintain the health of the individual will be considered;
- Medical optical, surgical and prosthetic services / cost will be considered;
- Fire hardship caused by fire, complete replacement of home, household effects or personal possessions cannot be made; assistance which can be given is designed to relieve immediate hardship and to reestablishment in satisfactory accommodations;
- Car repairs limited to essential repairs only, provided it can be shown that there is no other means of transport and the use of a car is a necessity;
- Funeral applicants should be urged to restrict their requests for funeral services to the most economical requirements; funeral expenses may be considered to a maximum of $5,200.00. The amount paid shall be based on the ability of an applicant to pay, CPP / QPP death benefit, insurance policies or other assets. Assistance for the purchase of a cemetery plot, opening/closing, and marker will be considered separately.
- Debt Assistance is intended to place the applicant in a sound financial position from where he / she can carry on without further assistance. Assistance is not usually made when the applicant is in a position to obtain assistance from other sources; or, where it is clear that no permanent solution is possible as a result of one-time assistance.
- Home Repair / Improvement only necessary repairs are considered and such assistance is in the form of an interest free loan, which may require a lien on the property, repayable at a rate commensurate with the applicants’ surplus income. One-time repairs may be considered if the individual is living close to the established economic level.
- Property / Personal Taxes may be considered but it must be shown that the applicant is able to pay future taxes when due.
- Travel assistance may be considered for travel cost in connection with serious illness or death in the family; but it must be established that their presence is essential, either for legal purposes, or as an aid to the person who is ill. Costs to take up employment may be considered when employment is guaranteed.
- Other areas where assistance has been considered within the guidelines of distress are moving expenses, interim assistance in the areas of arrears of mortgage, rent, utilities, fuel, etc.
- Insurances among the normal expenses of living these days are the cost of auto and home insurance. Applications for assistance will be considered where it can be shown that coverage in the past has been maintained and future coverage can be met.
Assistance not allowed
- Pension / Allowances the Fund is unable to provide assistance of a continuing nature such as a fixed allowance over a period of time, or a pension, nor can the Fund undertake to fully support any applicant. Assistance is intended to place applicants in a position where they can solve their current difficulties and carry on without further aid from the Fund.
- Business Debt the Fund cannot be considered an economic buffer to relieve distress by the payment of debts resulting from failure of a business venture. In situations of this kind the applicant is advised to obtain legal advice with a view towards satisfying his creditors through the normal process of law. Assistance cannot be given towards the setting up of a business.
- Bankruptcy the Fund is unable to assist financially because of a bankruptcy of a business. The Bankruptcy Act provides for relief under such circumstances. In certain cases, and if specially requested, the Fund will consider applications for assistance in paying fees of a Trustee where “personal” bankruptcy is the only reasonable solution.
- Real Estate the Fund is unable to assist with the purchase of homes or real estate;
- Insurances among the normal expenses of living these days are the costs of fire, medical, hospital and life insurance. applications for assistance to relieve distress caused by fire, sickness or death, must therefore receive special attention and the decision of the Fund to render assistance will be based on the ability of the applicant to pay for insurances and failure to do so may be taken into consideration.
Click here for Eligibility criteria