BC: Three-Generation Families

“Three-generation families are considered a family unit and are subject to the same eligibility rules and are eligible for the same rates and supplements as other family units.” With the lack of affordable housing, this doesn’t help anyone and the government could change this now. Click here to learn more.

Policy

Effective: October 1, 2012

Three-generation family policy applies to families who reside together and include at least:

  • A parent who is eligible for income, hardship or disability assistance,
  • A parenting dependent child (PDC), and
  • A child of a PDC

Note: This policy does not apply if the parent has custody or guardianship of the PDC’s child.  In this circumstance, the PDC’s child would be considered a dependent child of the parent.

Three-generation families are considered a family unit and are subject to the same eligibility rules and are eligible for the same rates and supplements as other family units.

Provision of Assistance

If a PDC is under age 16 and residing with their parent who is on assistance, both the PDC and their child would be added to the parent’s case as dependent children.

If a PDC is between the ages of 16 and 18 (inclusive) and is residing with their parent who is on assistance, there are two options:

  • Both the PDC and their child would be added to the parent’s case as dependent children, OR
  • The PDC could apply for assistance on their own case with their child while continuing to live with the parent.

Factors to Consider for 16-18 year olds

To make the assessment for 16-18 year olds, consider the following:

  • rates
  • client category
  • eligibility for supplements
  • employment obligations
  • income exemptions, including earnings exemptions

These factors are not exhaustive, ultimately, staff and family should work together, with Ministry of Children Family Development where required, to determine the most appropriate option for the family unit.  Authority for eligibility decisions, including which option to provide, rests with the ministry.

A Ministry of Children and Family Development referral is required when:

  • there are child protection concerns regarding an applicant for assistance who is under 19 years of age OR
  • the applicant for assistance is under 17 years of age (underage assistance)

[see Related Links – Protection of Children]

[For three-generation families who receive Ministry of Children and Family Development payments under the CFCSA, see Scenario 3 and Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions.]

Scenarios

In the following scenarios, we are assuming:

  • Families include 3 key members that live together: the parent, the PDC, and the PDC’s child.
  • The parent is on assistance.
  • The PDC has custody/guardianship of their child.

Scenario 1:

  • A 15 year old PDC and her child are living with her biological mother.
  • The PDC’s mother is on disability assistance.
  • There is no Ministry of Children and Family Development involvement and no child protection concerns.
  • The PDC and her child would be dependent children on the mother’s case.
  • Disability assistance and supplements would be provided to all members of the family unit, including the PDC and her baby as a unit 3.

Scenario 2:

  • A 17-year old PDC and her baby are living with her biological mother.
  • The PDC’s mother is on income assistance and has employment obligations.
  • The PDC is attending high school and has a part-time job earning $300/mo.
  • There is no Ministry of Children and Family Development involvement or child protection concerns.
  • The family states they want the mother to care for the PDC’s baby while the PDC is in school and at work.  They do not want the PDC to be on assistance.
  • The ministry can provide assistance and supplements for the PDC and baby in one of two ways:
    • The PDC and baby would be dependants on the mother’s case
      • Family would be eligible for unit 3 support and shelter.
      • The mother would have no employment obligations (child under 3).
      • PDC’s income would be fully exempt as she is attending school.
    • PDC applies as single parent with one child
      • The mother would be eligible for unit 1 support and shelter and would be required to seek employment.
      • PDC and her child would be eligible for unit 2 support and shelter.
      • PDC would have no employment obligations while her child is under 3. The PDC would be eligible for a $200 earnings exemption (remaining $100 income deducted from cheque)

Scenario 3:

  • A 17-year-old PDC and her baby are living with her aunt who has legal custody of the PDC.
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development provides the aunt with a monthly payment to care for the PDC.  The Ministry of Children and Family Development does not provide support for the baby.
  • The ministry can provide assistance and supplements for the family in one of two ways:
    • The baby would be a dependent child on the aunt’s case. When issuing assistance the family unit would be eligible as unit 2.  No assistance would be issued for the PDC (as payment is provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development).
      OR
    • PDC applies as single parent
      • The aunt would be eligible for unit 1 support and shelter.
      • PDC would be eligible for unit 2 support and shelter minus the Ministry of Children and Family Development  payment (paid to aunt).

[For information on the treatment of Ministry of Children and Family Development  payments, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions – Policy – Ministry of Children and Family Development.]

Scenario 4: 

  • A 17-year-old PDC and her baby are living with her biological mother.
  • The 17-year-old boyfriend of the PDC is living in the home.
  • The ministry can provide assistance and supplements for the family in one of two ways:
    • The PDC and baby can be added to the parents’ case.
      • The boyfriend cannot be added to the case, and could only be eligible for assistance as a single person (see Underage Applicants). The boyfriend can continue to live in the home.
        OR
      • The PDC, the baby and the boyfriend could apply as a unit 3 and continue to live in the home.
        • The mother could apply as a unit 1.

[see Related Links – Underage Applicants]

[For further information on steps to follow on Three-Generation Families, see Procedures – Three-Generation Families.]

 

Procedures

Effective: September 1, 2015

If a parent [see Definition] is in receipt of income assistance, disability assistance, or hardship assistance and has a parenting dependent child (PDC) residing with them, staff follow these steps:

  1. If required, confirm the birth of the PDC’s child.  [For more information on establishing proof of identity, see Related Links – Identification Requirements.]
  2. Assess eligibility under the Three-Generation Families Policy:
    1. When the PDC is under 16 years of age, add the PDC’s child to the parent’s family unit by adding the child as a “Contact” and entering relationship as a “grandson” or a “granddaughter”
    2. When the PDC is between 16-18 years of age, assess which option is the most appropriate:
  • Include the PDC’s child in the parent’s family unit by adding the child as a “Contact” and entering relationship as a “grandson” or a “granddaughter”;

    OR

  • PDC applies on their own case with their child while continuing to live with the parent.
  1. To make the assessment for 16-18 year olds, staff must consider the following:
    • rates
    • client category
    • eligibility for supplements
    • employment obligations
    • income exemptions, including earnings exemptions

These factors are not exhaustive; ultimately, staff and family should work together to determine the most appropriate option for the family unit.  Authority for eligibility decisions, including which option to provide, rests with the ministry.  [For scenarios, see Policy – Three-Generation Families.]

  1. Conduct eligibility review, including
  • Confirm receipt of any Ministry of Children and Family Development payments, and all other eligibility criteria have been met.  [see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions – Policy – Ministry of Children and Family Development] [For scenarios, see Policy – Three-Generation Families.]

    Once Ministry of Children and Family Development  payments have been confirmed, the ministry can provide assistance and supplements for the family in one of two ways:

    • If the PDC and baby are dependent children on the parent’s case, remove the PDC as a subject from their parent’s case. Do not provide assistance for the PDC as payment is provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development ;

      OR

  • If the PDC applies as single parent, issue support and shelter to the parent for unit 1.
  • Issue support and shelter to the PDC for a unit 2 minus the Ministry of Children and Family Development payment (paid to parent).

  • Confirm receipt of Family Bonus.  [For more information on the Family Bonus Supplements, see Related Links – Family Bonus Supplement – Policy and Procedures.  For information on treatment of Family Bonus payments, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions – Policy – Family Bonus.]
  1. Set a notification prior to the PDC’s 19th birthday to review any changes in the family unit.

Note: When a PDC turns 19, the system will alert staff that the PDC will be aging out as a dependent child. At that time, an eligibility review will need to take place to determine whether the parent will have legal custody/guardianship of the grandchild or if the PDC will be leaving the case with their child.

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