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Municipal Assistance Regulations

made under Section 18 of the
Social Assistance Act
R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 432
O.I.C. 81-665 (May 19, 1981), N.S. Reg. 76/81
as amended up to and including O.I.C. 1999-464 (Sept. 28, 1999), N.S. Reg. 93/99

1 In these regulations

(a) "Act" means Part II [Part I] of the Social Assistance Act;
[Note:   Part I of the Act was repealed by S.N.S. 1977, c. 63, s. 1; Part II was renumbered Part I as part of the statute revision of 1989.]

(b) "agency" means an organization approved by the Minister to provide Municipal Social Services;

(c) "applicant" means a person who applies for assistance under the Act;

(d) "assets" means cash, bonds, stocks, debentures or other assets that can be converted readily into cash and includes the beneficial interest in assets held in trust and available to be used for maintenance and may include the amount remaining to be paid under a mortgage or agreement for sale, or the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy;

(e) "assistance" means the provision of money, goods or services to a person in need, including

(i) items of basic requirement: food, clothing, shelter, fuel, utilities, household supplies and personal requirements,

(ii) items of special requirement: furniture, living allowances, moving allowances, special transportation, training allowances, special school requirements, special employment requirements, funeral and burial expenses and comforts allowances. The Director may approve other items of special requirement he deems essential to the well being of the recipient,

(iii) health care services: reasonable medical, surgical, obstetrical, dental, optical and nursing services which are not covered under the Hospital Insurance Plan or under the Medical Services Insurance Plan,

(iv) care in homes for special care,

(v) social services, including family counselling, homemakers, home care and home nursing services,

(vi) rehabilitation services;

(f) "child in voluntary care" means

(i) a child approved for placement or placed by a children's services agency under the Children's and Family Services Act in a facility or in the home of a person other than his natural parent or guardian, and whose parent or guardian is unable to support the child without assistance, or

(ii) a child who is placed in a home for special care and whose parent or guardian is unable to support the child without assistance;

(g) "Committee" means a Social Services Committee of a municipal unit or units appointed or acting pursuant to the Act;

(h) "dependent" means a person defined by the municipal social services policy as being dependent upon the applicant for the provision of food, clothing and shelter;

(i) "Director" means the Director of Municipal Social Services, Department of Social Services, Province of Nova Scotia;

(j) "home" means a home for special care as defined in the Homes for Special Care Act;

(k) "income" means earned income as defined by the municipal social services policy and includes unearned income as defined in these regulations;

(l) "income maintenance payment" means a payment made to a person by Canada or Nova Scotia in respect of loss or presumed loss of income by reason of unemployment, loss of the principal family provider, illness, disability or age;

(m) "municipal social services policy" means written directives relating to the granting of assistance issued by a Municipal Council and approved by the Minister;

(n) "recipient" means a person who qualifies for and receives assistance under the Act, these regulations and the municipal social services policy;

(o) "resident" means a person in need who is being cared for in a home;

(p) "Social Services Director" means a person

(i) appointed by a Committee with the approval of the Municipal Council and the Minister,

(ii) appointed by the Minister, or

(iii) approved by the Minister and appointed by an agency under the terms of a contract entered into between an agency and the Committee with the approval of the Municipal Council for the purpose of administering and managing all matters that are the responsibilities of Committees;

(q) "unearned income" shall include income maintenance payments such as Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension, Family Benefits, Workers' Compensation, War Veteran's Allowance, Unemployment Insurance, income from insurance, income from alimony and maintenance payments, income from stocks and bonds, income from training allowances, and any other income not directly resulting from employment.
Clause 1(q) amended: O.I.C. 84-321, N.S. Reg. 58/84.

Standards of administrative organization
2 (1) The Social Services Director of the Committee shall

(a) provide applications for assistance in the form prescribed or approved by the Minister;

(b) record on a budget form prescribed or approved by the Minister, the financial information required to be recorded on such budget form;

(c) determine the immediate and continuing eligibility of each applicant;

(d) provide assistance in accordance with the provisions of the Act, these regulations and the municipal social services policy;

(e) interview the applicant and keep a written summary on file of the interview;

(f) give the applicant a clear indication of his responsibility to inform the Social Services Director of any change in his circumstances;

(g) give the applicant notice of his right to appeal and a copy of the procedures for filing an appeal;

(h) require an applicant who is employable to produce acceptable evidence that he has made a reasonable effort to obtain employment;

(i) require an applicant to provide the information required to determine his eligibility for assistance;

(j) ensure that the applicant has no other reasonable source of income which can be used for his financial needs;

(k) grant assistance to those persons who are eligible effective

(i) the date of the application, if the person meets the eligibility requirements of the Act, these regulations and the municipal social services policy on that date, or

(ii) the day the person meets the eligibility requirements of the Act, the regulations, and the social services policy;

(l) review semi-annually a recipient's circumstances to determine if the recipient continues to be eligible for assistance and keep a written summary of the review on file;

(m) make available to the public at a reasonable cost the municipal social services policy;

(n) make available lists of persons who are receiving or have received assistance under Part II [Part I] of the Act only to those persons who require the information to perform their lawful duty;
[Note:   Part I of the Act was repealed by S.N.S. 1977, c. 63, s. 1; Part II was renumbered Part I as part of the statute revision of 1989.]

(o) permit all records and files relating to the granting of assistance and the claims for reimbursement to be reviewed by a person or persons authorized by the Minister to make such a review;

(p) comply with the procedures and practices prescribed by the Minister, the municipal unit, the Director or persons authorized to prescribe procedures and practices, as they pertain to financial procedures and internal controls.

(2) The Social Services Director may grant assistance in an emergency situation without complying with the requirements of clauses (a) to (l) inclusive of subsection (1).

3 (1) A municipal unit will be considered to have an organized social services department if

(a) the municipal unit has made provision to grant assistance through a municipal social services department established pursuant to Sections 20 or 22 of the Act;

(b) the person in charge of the social services department and other members of the staff who are engaged in social service work possess the qualifications prescribed in subsection (2);

(c) the office of the social services department is readily accessible and open during reasonable hours to applicants and recipients of assistance;

(d) the records of the social services department are kept in accordance with the requirements set out in these regulations or as directed by the Minister or the person designated by the Minister to administer the Act and these regulations;

(e) the social services department places emphasis on rehabilitation and social services;

(f) the appointment of the Social Services Director and of each member of the staff of the social services department who is engaged in social service work, has been approved by the Minister.

(2) The Social Service Director and every member of the staff of a social services department engaged in municipal social service work shall

(a) be in good physical and mental health;

(b) provide adequate references respecting character and suitability for the office;

(c) attend such courses of training as prescribed by the Minister and shall also either

(i) be an employee of the Municipal Social Services Department, the Provincial Department of Social Services or an agency and be a professionally trained social worker, or

(ii) have had work experience in an allied field, sufficient in the opinion of the Minister to qualify him for the office, and

(iii) have satisfactorily completed in-service training as prescribed by the Minister.

Standards of assistance
4 (1) Assistance shall be provided on the budget deficit system whereby a person's financial needs are calculated pursuant to these regulations and the municipal social services policy as approved pursuant to these regulations. Where the needs exceed the income, assistance shall be granted in the amount by which the needs are in excess of the income.
Subsection 4(1) replaced: O.I.C. 88-445, N.S. Reg. 97/88.

(2) For the purpose of calculating a person's budget deficit, the municipal unit will take into account the recipient's items of basic requirements as specified in the municipal social services policy and the income, assets and resources available to him to meet such requirements to provide adequately for himself or for himself and his dependents.

(3) The Director may permit, waive or modify the provisions regarding the calculation of the budget deficit where this would promote the rehabilitation of the applicant or recipient.

(4) The municipal unit shall obtain the approval of the director before granting assistance for the return of transients to their province of origin.

(5) Where a special needs allowance is granted pursuant to the Family Benefits Regulations, to a recipient who is blind, deaf, or who is disabled because of a spinal cord injury or its equivalent, the municipal unit shall not include the special needs allowance in the calculation of income.

(6) Income from the Child Tax Benefit component of the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the Nova Scotia Child Benefit and the Goods and Services Tax Credit shall not be considered as income for the purpose of these regulations.
Subsection 4(6) added: O.I.C. 84-321, N.S. Reg. 58/84; replaced O.I.C. 1998-473, N.S. Reg. 74/98.

(7) Financial compensation received by individuals pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding regarding Compensation for Survivors of Institutional Abuse shall not be considered as income or as an asset for the purpose of determining a personsí eligibility for assistance pursuant to the Act and these regulations but any income generated from the compensation shall be considered as income for the month in which it is received for the purpose of determining a personís eligibility for such assistance.
Subsection 4(7) added: O.I.C. 96-451, N.S. Reg. 106/96.

(8) Where

(a) assistance is paid to or on behalf of a person pursuant to the Act by the Minister on behalf of a municipality in respect of the obligations of the municipality under the Social Assistance Act;

(b) the person has been overpaid in respect of benefits paid to the person or on behalf of the person pursuant to the Family Benefits Act; and

(c) the person is no longer in receipt of benefits under the Family Benefits Act,

the Director may recalculate the assistance paid to the recipient by reducing the assistance paid to the recipient or on behalf of the recipient in such a manner and in such amounts as the Director or person acting on behalf of the Director may determine.
Subsection 4(8) added: O.I.C. 97-97, N.S. Reg. 16/97; replaced: O.I.C. 1999-464, N.S. Reg. 93/99.

Projected operational plan
5 (1) Each municipal unit shall prepare and submit to the Minister not later than September 15th in each year, a "projected operational plan" (hereinafter called the "plan") for the ensuing fiscal year, which shall include

(a) a list of all personnel, both professional and clerical, employed by the social services department stating the job title, employment experience, and salary of each employee as of June 30th and the proposed salary for the ensuing fiscal year;

(b) a list of each proposed new position to be filled during the ensuing fiscal year with the job title, qualifications, proposed salary and date the position is expected to be filled;

(c) a statement of the estimated operating costs of the social services department for the ensuing year, including all administrative expenses as defined in Section 6 of these regulations;

(d) a statement of the estimated income to the social services department for the ensuing year from all sources exclusive of the reimbursement for assistance costs and administrative expenses;

(e) a statement of the estimated costs of assistance to be expended during the ensuing year by the municipal unit;

(f) a copy of the municipal social services policy approved by the Council respecting the programs the municipal unit proposes to carry out during the ensuing year, including the application of assets and the scales of assistance approved by the Council to be granted to the applicants and recipients.

(2) A full and complete explanation shall accompany the financial statement.

(3) The Minister may approve or withhold approval of a plan or the costs set out in the plan, in whole or in part.

(4) Where the Minister approves the plan, he shall so advise the municipal unit.

(5) Where the Minister withholds approval of a plan, in whole or in part, he shall forthwith inform the municipal unit of the reasons why the plan was not approved, and shall give the municipal unit an opportunity to submit an amended or new plan for approval.

(6) Reimbursement shall not be made in respect to any expenditures made by a municipal unit under a plan which the Minister has not approved.

(7) Notwithstanding subsection (6), the Minister may reimburse a municipal unit for expenditures not provided for in the plan if the Minister is satisfied that the expenditures were reasonably necessary and could not reasonably have been foreseen or provided for in the plan.

(8) An application by a municipal unit for reimbursement by the Minister shall be in such form and contain such information as the Minister may prescribe.

Reimbursement - assistance and administration
6 (1) Where a municipal unit has an organized social services department, and complies with the standards of administrative organization and the standards of assistance set out in these regulations and the projected operational plan of the unit has been approved by the Minister, the Minister may reimburse the unit for assistance furnished to a person in need by paying to the unit a percentage of the amount furnished not greater than the percentage prescribed in Appendix "A" for the unit.
Subsection 6(1) replaced: O.I.C. 85-24, N.S. Reg. 16/85.

(2) Where a municipal unit does not have an organized social services department, but has complied with the standards of administrative organization except for Section 3 and the standards of assistance set out in these regulations, and the projected operational plan has been approved, the Minister may reimburse the unit for assistance granted to a person in need by paying to the unit sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the amount granted.

(3) Where a municipal unit has provided assistance to a person in an amount greater than the person's budget deficit, the Minister may reimburse the unit for the appropriate proportion of its expenditures if he is satisfied that in the circumstances the provision of the amount of assistance was necessary.

(4) Subject to these regulations, the Minister may reimburse a municipal unit with an organized social services department by paying to the unit in respect of its administrative expenses a percentage of the amount of such expenses not greater than the percentage prescribed in Appendix "A" for the unit.
Subsection 6(4) replaced: O.I.C. 85-24, N.S. Reg. 16/85.

(5) For the purpose of this Section, administrative expenses include payments made by a municipal unit or jointly by municipal units for any of the following expenses:

(a) the payment of salaries of members of the staff of the municipal unit, whether professional or clerical, for services performed in the administration of the social services department, at the rates not above those set out by the Department of Human Resources for similar positions;

(b) the payment of travelling expenses incurred in [the] administration of the social services department including

(i) operation and repairs of a motor vehicle owned by the municipal unit,

(ii) a standard mileage allowance or rate as approved by the Minister for the use of a motor vehicle owned by a member of the staff of the municipal unit,

(iii) taxi and bus fare, and

(iv) the purchase price of a motor vehicle owned by the municipal unit, where provision is made for the amortization of the purchase price over a reasonable period of time;

(c) the payment of the cost of necessary books and periodicals, printing, stationery, advertising, postage, expressage and the cost of necessary equipment and furnishings for a social services office;

(d) the payment by a municipal unit or jointly by municipal units to an approved agency or the Department of Community Services for the administration of the social services department of the unit or units;

(e) the payment of any other expenses that, in the opinion of the Minister, are reasonably required for the efficient and proper administration of the social services department; and

(f) the expenses incurred in attending such conferences or in-service training as are approved by the Minister.

(6) A municipal unit claiming reimbursement for assistance expenditures paid to persons in need shall submit a claim at least once a month and the claim for any month or part of a month shall be submitted within thirty days of the end of the period for which the claim is being made. The Minister may refuse to reimburse a municipal unit on claims which are not submitted within the time period prescribed in this subsection.

(7) No reimbursement will be provided for administrative expenses relating to salaries of social services department personnel whose appointment has not been made in accordance with the procedures established by the Minister.

(8) Where a municipal unit provides for the maintenance of a child in voluntary care as defined by the Children and Family Services Act, for a period of time which is consistent with that Act, the Minister may reimburse the unit by paying to the unit a percentage of the amount provided not greater than the percentage prescribed in Appendix "A" for the unit.
Subsection 6(8) replaced: O.I.C. 85-24, N.S. Reg. 16/85.

Subsection 6(9) repealed: O.I.C. 95-559, N.S. Reg. 113/95.

6A (1) A municipal unit shall pay a comforts allowance to persons in need residing in a home at the rate of $105.00 per month.

(2) Where a municipal unit does not comply with subsection (1), the Minister may provide the comforts allowance to the person in need and may deduct the cost thereof from any assistance payable to the municipal unit by the Minister.
Section 6A added: O.I.C. 82-1312, N.S. Reg. 222/82; replaced: O.I.C. 92-1246, N.S. Reg. 274/92.

Reimbursement - homes for special care and regional rehabilitation centres
7 (1) Subject to these regulations, where a municipal unit maintains a resident in a home, in whole or in part, the unit shall be responsible to pay the home on behalf of the resident the per diem fee rate which has been fixed, established or prescribed pursuant to the Homes for Special Care Act and regulations for each day the resident is maintained in the home where the unit has paid the said amount, the Minister shall reimburse the unit by paying to the unit a percentage of the amount which the unit paid the home, not less than 66 2/3 percent of the difference between the amount charged by the home and the revenue received by or on behalf of the resident from any source other than the municipal unit.
Subsection 7(1) replaced: O.I.C. 87-61, N.S. 14/87; amended: O.I.C. 91-45, N.S. Reg. 11/91.

(1A) For the purpose of subsection (1), revenue does not include revenue from the husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter of a resident in a home for the aged or a nursing home.

(1B) The reimbursement calculated pursuant to the provisions of subsections (1) and (1A) shall be reduced by the amount by which the total of the calculated reimbursement and the revenue received from all sources, including the revenue described in subsection (1A), exceeds the per diem rate approved by the Minister.
Subsections 7(1A) and (1B) added: O.I.C. 84-268, N.S. Reg. 44/84.

(2) Where the municipal unit of settlement pays a comforts allowance, not exceeding the monthly amount approved by the Minister to a person in need in a home for special care or in a hospital, the Minister may reimburse the municipal unit for sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the allowance if the balance in the person's comforts allowance account does not exceed the amount approved by the Minister.

(3) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Section, the Minister is not bound to reimburse a municipal unit for expenditures made for the purpose of maintaining a resident in a home or a centre unless he is satisfied that

(a) the person in respect of whom the expenditures were made is a person in need of placement in a home as determined by the classification committee established under the Homes for Special Care Act;

(b) the home where the person is maintained is a suitable place for the care of the person;

(c) the person is maintained in a home approved or licensed under the Homes for Special Care Act; and

(d) that medical, social services and financial assessment reports are completed as required by the Director.
Clause 7(3)(c) amended: O.I.C. 82-1120, N.S. Reg. 200/82.

(4) A municipal unit claiming reimbursement for assistance expenditures paid to persons in homes for special care shall submit a claim at least once a month and the claim for any month or part of a month shall be submitted within thirty days of the end of the period for which the claim is being made. The Minister may refuse to reimburse a municipal unit on claims which are not submitted within the time period prescribed in this subsection.

8 (1) For the purposes of this Section and Section 7, a "centre" is a Regional Rehabilitation Centre licensed under the Homes for Special Care Act and regulations as a Regional Rehabilitation Centre.

(2) Notwithstanding Section 7, the Minister shall reimburse the municipal unit operating a centre at one hundred percent of the difference between the per diem rate approved by the Minister for the centre and the revenue received by the municipal unit on the person's behalf from sources other than a municipal unit for each day that the person is maintained in the centre.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a person is deemed admitted to a centre as an approved resident as of the day the person actually becomes a resident in the centre and continues to be an approved resident until the date specified by the classification committee established under the Homes for Special Care Act as the discharge date.

(4) The classification committee shall, immediately following its decision respecting discharge, give written notice of the discharge date to the resident and the clerk of the municipality in which the resident has a settlement where the municipality may be responsible for maintenance and care of the resident.

(5) If a resident is not removed within thirty days of the discharge date, the municipality of settlement shall assume payment of one hundred percent of the cost of maintaining the resident.

(6) The expenses of conveying a person to a centre shall be paid

(a) by the municipal unit in which the person has a settlement; or

(b) by the Province where the person does not have a settlement in the Province.

General reimbursement requirements
9 The Minister may decide that a municipal unit is not eligible to receive reimbursement for expenditures incurred in providing assistance to persons in need if the municipal unit has granted assistance in a manner or an amount which is inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of the Canada Assistance Plan, the regulations and the policies made pursuant to the Canada Assistance Plan.

Commencement
10 These regulations shall come into force and apply on and after the 12th day of May, 1981.


Appendix "A" - Percentages prescribed pursuant to Section 6