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Phase 2 Provincial Update
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The Employment Enhancement Program (EEP) and Job Creation Program (JCP) are sub- programs of PEI's Welfare Assistance Program and are available to residents throughout the province. Their primary focus is job creation with the private sector; however, placements are also made in both municipal and provincial governments, as well as with non-profit groups.
The EEP is designed to assist social assistance recipients by providing work and training opportunities that help remove barriers to employment. The JCP is aimed at assisting recipients to retain or learn new work skills through short-term employment as they move toward independence. In particular, the JCP provides an opportunity for clients to develop or re-learn work skills. PEI has five regional health authorities where staff deliver both programs. This provides a continuum of services focused on the needs of the client, rather than on the needs of the employer.
Initially, EEP and JCP were targeted to the heads of large families in order to effect the maximum possible reduction in welfare assistance payments. Now, however, all employable social assistance clients must participate in the programs. Within reason, participants can go through the programs at their own pace. There is a contractual understanding with each client and there are sanctions for non-compliance. Benefits are not provided for applicants who choose to leave their employment in order to qualify for social assistance or without regard for their ability to be self-supporting. Participants always have the right to appeal a decision to an independently appointed body.
Some clients with severe alcohol or mental problems are deemed to be unemployable. As well, when certain services stipulated by the programs cannot be provided, a participant can leave the programs without being penalized.
There is local autonomy in the design and implementation of the programs. Programs do not have regulations or policy manuals and they are seen by administrators as flexible and responsive to local needs. The program design takes into account the specific needs of women (some projects are geared to women as they re-enter the workforce), single parents, people with a disability and youth. While some projects are aimed at women, nothing has been developed to promote well-paid jobs specifically for women. The objective of the programs is to promote well-paid jobs for all clients.
The programs were designed to ensure that participants do not displace workers already holding paid jobs in the local economy.
The budget for 2000/01 was 30.00 million including EEP/JCP expenditures; total EEP/JCP expenditures for 2000/01 were $1.80 million. Spending for 2001/2002 is forecast at $1.80 million. In 1993-94, there were 6,400 clients in receipt of social assistance; in 2000/01, there were 4,200, with about half of these considered to be employable. In 2000/01, 2618 clients participated in EEP and JCP.
Group orientation sessions sometimes precede individual employability assessments, which usually take about one to one-and-a-half hours. The orientation sessions are held in the work sites of the regional health authorities. During individual intake, participants are informed about the objectives and requirements of the programs. Assistance and follow-up varies from one region to the next, but the province plans to place more emphasis on this aspect of the programs.
There is no formal evaluation tool for these programs, but a limited number of statistics on the programs are being collected, including participants= participation and performance. Findings to date have identified increasing numbers of single parents and of young, single employable males in receipt of social assistance.
Employment Enhancement Program (EEP), Job Creation Program (JCP)
The EEP and JCP are sub-programs of PEI=s Welfare Assistance Program and are available to residents throughout the province. Their primary focus is job creation with the private sector; however, placements are also made in both municipal and provincial governments, as well as with non-profit groups. In practice, the two programs have become one program and are viewed as such by the staff and participants.
Services offered include financial assistance, employment assessment, job creation, aptitude and interest testing, employment counselling, on-the-job training, and job search workshops.
The EEP is designed to assist social assistance recipients by providing work and training opportunities that help remove barriers to employment. The JCP is aimed at assisting social assistance recipients retain or learn new work skills through short-term employment as they move toward independence. In particular, the JCP provides an opportunity for participants to develop or re-learn work skills.
PEI has five Regional Health Authorities where staff deliver both programs. This provides a continuum of services focussed on the needs of the recipient, rather than on the needs of the employer.
The Programs have the following goals:
- reduce the social assistance caseload
- reduce the overall costs of social assistance
- get people off social assistance
- help social assistance recipients find employment. The philosophy of the programs became employment for everyone, rather than financial assistance for everyone.
- develop the short-term work skills of program participants
- make employment more attractive financially than social assistance
- promote lasting connections to the labour market
- reduce the rate at which people leave employment and return to social assistance
- reduce long-term dependence on social assistance. The province is providing more services at the front end, to lessen the need for long-term assistance.
- contribute to job creation
- promote economic development in the province
- improve fraud detection
- remove barriers to employment
- provide opportunities to develop or re-learn work skills.
The purpose of the programs is to assist people in finding work, thereby eliminating their need for financial assistance or reducing the amount of financial assistance they require. Guiding principles of the EEP and JCP are that
- work is important
- learning is lifelong
- all activities should promote the self-sufficiency of participants.
Both programs were originally developed in the early 1980s as a thinly veiled attempt at the policy level to upload welfare assistance recipients into the federal Unemployment Insurance system. In 1994, PEI instituted health and social assistance reforms designed to support the communities efforts to promote, protect and enhance the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being of their population, within the resources available to the community.
PEI recognized that it had to take a more active role in health promotion and illness prevention. If significant gains were to be made in improving population health status, then opportunities had to be pursued to find meaningful employment, improve income levels and develop self-sufficiency for their Financial Assistance clients.
The province developed specific strategies, including the following:
- Enhanced employment strategies to ensure better placement and training for clients to assist them to leave the system as quickly as possible.
- New educational approaches to provide learning in ways that better matched the client=s needs. This includes alternate service delivery models such as learning centres, co-location of services and partnerships with the federal government, provincial government and the private sector.
- Initiatives to obtain a more effective computerized, case management system to reduce the cost of administrative processes and improve the quality of services to clients.
- provincial Maintenance Enforcement Pilot Project to recover delinquent support payments for children and spouses.
- Administrative changes to allow better management and less abuse of the programs.
- These include expanding data matches, enhanced audit, verification and investigations, and insurance recoveries. With the advent of the five Regional Health Authorities, there are five differing perspectives on EEP and JCP B ranging from a high personal development approach focussing on long-term planning, education and skill building, to a quick hit or minimum investment and fast connection to the labour force, that is, an approach where any work is good work.
Reform in general, and the move to an agency and five regions in particular, were driven by the goal of efficiency, to some extent. The amalgamation of health services within a region was viewed as contributing to cross-sectoral cooperation, resulting in the more efficient and effective use of resources. The changes have generated some savings.
Prior to 1994, the provision of benefits was the overriding thrust of the Welfare Assistance Program. With the proclamation of the new Health and Community Services Act in 1994, the employment of individuals has gained equal prominence with the provision of benefits.
With the election of a new government in November 1996, more changes in welfare administration were implemented, and control of welfare services was centralized at the provincial level. In the spring of 1997, the government introduced legislation to give the Minister the authority to make changes in the number and sizes of the health regions (there are currently five). To date, no changes have been made in this regard.
The main activity of the programs is to get participants employed, often through the use of wage subsidies with private sector employers. As appropriate, and depending on the participant=s level of employability, activities also involve increasing the level of employability.
The following activities are covered by the programs:
- adult basic education/literacy training
- life skills training, but this type of activity is decreasing. The life skills training is also changing from a focus, for example, on personal hygiene to a focus on learning to take responsibility for oneself.
- parenting classes
- counselling for
- job stress
- family stress
- family violence, with referrals to community resources, as appropriate
- stress of balancing employment and family conflicts
- stress of balancing school and family conflicts
- substance abuse, with referrals to community resources, as appropriate
- job maintenance
- high-school completion
- post-secondary education
- university, but the province is moving away from this.
- job readiness training
- job search training
- career planning
- job referrals
- job maintenance
- workplace-based training (on-the-job training)
- paid work experience
- self-employment. While Section 4-8 of the Welfare Policy Manual deals with self- employment, there is no formal policy framework to encourage this type of activity.
- volunteer activities. These are encouraged.
- employability assessments. While many employability assessments are undertaken through EEP and JCP, from time to time and as appropriate, participants are referred to HRDC for more thorough assessments. These assessments often involve the expertise of Holland College.
During the assessment period, staff assess the participants as having one of the following:
- Low Support Needs Individuals have had a recent attachment to the workforce, a history of good work habits, marketable skills, a general awareness of their abilities and limitations, and they display confidence and motivation. The only barrier at this level is the lack of a job opportunity. For an individual with low support needs, the worker ensures that the participant is informed of all sources of potential job opportunities. Referrals are made to JCP/EEP workers to assist in identifying resources.
- Moderate Support Needs Individuals have one or more of the following characteristics: distant attachment to the workforce; sufficient education/training but lack of work experience; lack of job search skills or discouragement with the job search; lack of confidence and motivation; inability to present himself/herself well; and lack of social skills. For an individual with moderate support needs, the worker helps the participant to develop a case plan to overcome employment barriers. Existing resources which may be used include HRDC for courses to assist the participant in gaining appropriate social skills and self-confidence. Referrals are made to JCP/EEP workers for assessment and service needs determination to identify how to assist the individual in becoming more employable.
- High Support Needs Individuals have one or more of the following characteristics: lack of education/training; little or no work experience; poor work habits; no marketable skills; lack of motivation; history of dependency on financial assistance; lack of confidence; poor presentation; physical, medical, or familial barriers; and very poor relationship/social skills. For an individual with high support needs, the JCP/EEP worker thoroughly assesses the participant=s situation and begins an extensive employment preparation case plan to assist the participant to move to a more independent level of functioning.
Training and Educational Activities
The main thrust is on-the-job training, often involving the use of wage subsidies with employers. Training or educational activities have been developed specifically for these programs. Examples include upgrading and literacy programs developed specifically for social assistance recipients. The province is attempting to promote the notion of lifelong learning.
Depending on the region, employment programming ranges from getting people to work and thus eligible for EI benefits, to keeping individuals employed by aggressively pursuing any and all types of work for the participants. Over the past two years, more attention has been paid to assessments of employability. People are no longer labelled as unemployable, rather assessments focus on determining which barriers are preventing employment and what interventions are required to overcome these obstacles.
participant=s employability is determined through a service needs assessment process, and single parents are not automatically considered to be unemployable based on their children=s age(s). In practice, however, guidelines similar to those governing EI eligibility are used for all mothers, that is, they are not required to search for employment until one year after the birth of their child.
All types of occupations are available to participants in the programs. The jobs available range from full-time to part-time, short-term to long-term, and temporary to permanent; some have flexible work arrangements. For the most part, entry level jobs requiring a wide range of skill levels are available to participants, with pay levels of about $6.50 an hour, i.e., no less than the minimum wage.
The programs provide assistance in finding jobs such as identifying job openings, marketing participants to employers, arranging interviews for participants, and conducting interviews on behalf of employers.
Also included in the programs are measures to build strong links with local employers to help participants gain employment experience and find jobs. The quality of workers has improved in terms of their skills, experiences and their fit with employers= needs. Relationships with employers are improving as more time is spent matching participants with the needs of employers. Increasingly, employers involved in the programs are seeking the worker and not the subsidy.
Program Design and Implementation
Responsibility for Design
The province through the Departments of Health and Social Services, Education and Economic Development, and Tourism was responsible for designing the programs, in consultation with the following groups:
- program providers, the Regional Health Authorities
- welfare agencies
- non-profit and community organizations
- social assistance recipients
- the private sector
Responsibility for Implementation
The five Regional Health Authorities and non-profit or community organizations are responsible for implementing the programs.
In some of the regions, program workers have integrated functions, that is, their duties relate to financial assistance as well as the administration of the EEP and JCP. The province=s aim is to have all workers with integrated functions in the next year. Many workers are integrated or co-located with HRDC staff.
Local Flexibility in Program Design and Implementation
There is local autonomy or flexibility in the design and implementation of the programs. Programs do not have regulations or policy manuals, and they are seen by administrators as flexible and responsive to local needs.
Duration of the Program
EEP/JCP are ongoing programs. Within reason, participants can go through the programs at their own pace. There is a contractual understanding with each participant and there are sanctions for non-compliance.
Funding and Program Costs
Type and Amount of Financial Assistance for Participants
Financial assistance is provided to program participants on the basis of their eligibility for general social assistance. The following assistance is provided:
- wage supplements to employers
- training allowances
- compensation for job-related expenses. The Director may grant assistance, up to $100 in value, to pay for special clothing, mandatory licenses, fees or permits, and essential tools, where necessary to enable an applicant or beneficiary to commence employment and where the applicant or beneficiary is unable to provide such items.
- exemption from benefit reduction of a portion of employment earnings: exemptions of $50 per month for single individuals plus 10% of the remainder of their income, and $100 per month for families plus 10% of the remainder of their income
- removal of the limit on the number of hours that recipients are allowed to engage in paid work. There is no maximum.
- compensation for child-care expenses
- child care subsidies, subsidized day care
- transportation subsidies. The Director may grant assistance for transportation and relocation expenses when an allowance for such expenses is not included in any other assistance being granted to the applicant or beneficiary.
- moving expenses (see Transportation subsidies, above)
- supplemental health care
- dental care
- optical services to provide essential eye care, to a maximum of $50 for an optical assessment, a maximum of $115 for single vision lenses and frames, and a maximum of $145 for bifocal lenses and frames
- prosthetic devices
The Director may grant assistance to an applicant or beneficiary for special needs as described in this section, but where the value of this assistance is expected to exceed $1,000 over the fiscal year, the approval of the Deputy Minister must be obtained.
Deadlines and Subsidies
To reduce the immediate hardship that may be associated with starting employment or employment-related training, income received in the month in which the training or employment commenced is deferred as income for the next month
Participants can have additional sources of income and still remain in the programs, including income from the following:
- GST rebate
- Child Tax Credit
- income of dependent children in school
- casual earnings up to $50 per month
- some exemptions for those who are self-employed
If the participant's income, whether through EEP/JCP or not, does not cover their basic needs, it will be supplemented. There are many participants who work full-time and continue to be subsidized through social assistance because their wages are less than their basic needs.
Program participants' child support payments affect the amount of financial assistance they receive, however, the lack of predictability of child support payments is taken into account. As part of the Maintenance Enforcement Program, participants who receive court-ordered child support payments only sporadically sign an Assignment of Benefits Form. As a result, they receive social assistance, and the province assumes responsibility for collecting the child support payments owed.
Financial Incentives for Employers
The programs offer, if necessary, wage subsidies for employers to provide program participants with work experience and training. The following are guidelines for the amount of subsidies offered:
- on the job training with employers: 75% subsidy to a maximum of $4.88 per hour
- 100% subsidy or $6.50 per hour to non-profit organizations for job creation
- 50% or a maximum of $3.25 per hour for private sector job creation
Because these are guidelines only, the amounts can be exceeded or reduced at the discretion of field staff.
The budget for 2000/01 was $30.00 million including EEP/JCP expenditures; total EEP/JCP expenditures for 2000/01 were $1.80 million. Spending for 2001/02 is forecast at $1.80 million.
Funding can be increased or decreased for the following reasons:
- the economic climate changes
- the needs of the Region change
During the past three years, the welfare assistance budget has steadily decreased, but increased funding for the EEP/JCP has been reallocated from welfare assistance to these programs. There have been recent increases in staffing.
The following factors were taken into account in determining the overall budget for the programs:
- estimated take-up
- an assessment of past performance
- an examination of trends
- an assessment of economic growth
Subsidized Child Care
There are child care subsidies available to program participants under the general welfare assistance program. Participants can receive up to $19 per day per child, and for private day care, up to $80 per week for one child and $120 per week for two children.
There is no limit on the age and number of children covered; child care is covered until the children are deemed to be able to care for themselves. There are provisions for children with disabilities and children with other special needs. This assistance is provided through the Subsidized Child Care Program or, in the case of children with disabilities, the Family Support Program. The supply of child care spaces is sufficient to meet the needs of program participants who work regular Monday to Friday, day time hours. Clients who work evenings and weekends struggle to find appropriate child care.
Initially, EEP and JCP were targeted to the heads of large families, in order to effect the maximum possible reduction in welfare assistance payments, that is, to reduce welfare expenditures. Now, however, all social assistance recipients are eligible for the programs and must participate.
There is a general targeting of the programs to individuals who have a recent attachment to the workforce, a history of good work habits, marketable skills, an awareness of their abilities and limitations, and display confidence and motivation B that is, to individuals with low support needs who generally have a higher success rate in finding and maintaining employment. There are no specific programs for particular groups of participants.
fixed residency period is not required for program eligibility. However, persons with no established residence are considered to be transient and they may be provided with emergency assistance limited to a meal, overnight lodging in a hostel, or transportation out of the province.
To maintain eligibility for benefits, persons receiving social assistance are required to meet the following criteria:
accept employment when reasonable opportunities arise, or undergo training or treatment or both if necessary, to improve or restore their capacity to support themselves and their dependants.
accept reasonable employment or training offered by the Department so that they can support or improve their capacity to support themselves and their dependants.
in the case of a minor over age 15 on whose behalf assistance is paid, to attend school or accept employment leading towards self-support, unless there is a valid reason, acceptable to the Director, for not doing so.
In 1993-94, there were 6,400 people in receipt of social assistance; in 2000/01, there were 4,200, with about half of these considered to be employable. Reasons for the decrease in caseloads included the following:
- an improving economy
- different style or philosophy of delivery. Formerly, for example, it was thought to be unfair to force welfare recipients to work for the minimum wage; now, all work is believed to be meaningful.
- the development of a more efficient delivery system. For example, the system now enables the province to identify double dippers.
In 2000/01, 2618 individuals participated in EEP and JCP. All employable clients participate in the programs.
The types of information gathered about program participants include the following:
- demographic data
- education and training history
- employment history
- medical-social history
- child care needs and uses
- length of time in receipt of social assistance
- amount of monthly benefits
- barriers to employment such as those related to bonding and transportation
All social assistance recipients are interviewed and their service needs are determined in order to assess their employability. All those who are considered to be employable must participate in the program. People with low support needs tend to have higher success rates in finding and maintaining employment. Most of the participants are considered to have moderate support needs. People thought to be difficult or expensive to serve are not excluded from the program.
Nature of Participation
The unemployment rate in PEI is about 12%. People are motivated to accept any available training or employment placements, and there has been little difficulty getting individuals to accept the programs. Benefits are not provided to applicants if they decide to leave their employment in order to qualify for social assistance or without regard for their ability to be self-supporting. Participation in the programs is mandatory for all employable social assistance recipients.
In rare instances, some individuals with severe alcohol or mental problems are deemed to be unemployable. As well, when certain services stipulated by the programs cannot be provided, a participant can leave the programs without being penalized. An example would be someone requiring child care, who lived in a rural or isolated area and the job required them to work at night. Parent are not automatically considered to be either employable or unemployable based on the age of their children. In practice, however, guidelines similar to those governing Employment Insurance are used for mothers, that is, they are not required to search for work until one year after the birth of their child.
Participants always have the right to appeal a decision to an independently appointed body.
Orientation and Follow-up
Generally, intake assessments for financial assistance and employability are done simultaneously. Sometimes group information sessions precede individual employability assessments, which usually take about one to one and a half hours. The orientation sessions are held in the work sites of the Regional Health Authorities.
During intake, participants are informed about the objectives of the programs. Prior to beginning the application process, the worker clearly explains the program requirements.
Assistance and follow-up varies from one region to the next. The province believes that this is an important element of the service, and more emphasis is being placed on this aspect of the service.
Participants can appeal any matter pertaining to any aspect of the social assistance program, including their involvement in the EEP/JCP. There were just over 70 appeals last year.
Applicants or beneficiaries may request a hearing before the Appeals Board for the following reasons:
- they were not allowed to apply or reapply.
- their application for assistance was denied.
- the amount of assistance was cancelled, suspended, adjusted or withheld on grounds which are inconsistent with these regulations.
- the amount of assistance granted was inconsistent with these regulations.
Recipients are notified in writing about the appeal process when eligibility is determined. The Appeals Board consists of not less than seven members who are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Appointments are for a maximum of three years. Members may be reappointed. Members appointed to the Board have relevant experience in human services, and at least one member on the Board is a current recipient of welfare assistance.
In response to an appeal, the Board can
- dismiss the appeal.
- dismiss the appeal and order that the assistance be revoked or discontinued.
- allow the appeal and vary the order or direction made by the Director, but the Board cannot render a decision which results in a payment or award to the appellant that exceeds the amount specified in the regulations or approved departmental policies.
When a person appeals a decision to reduce, suspend or terminate their assistance, the assistance continues to be paid at the amount authorized as emergency assistance until such time as the Board submits its findings to the Director. When a person appeals a decision that refused to grant them assistance, no assistance is paid until the Board renders a decision on the appeal.
The Employment Base
Program Design Considerations
While the programs are available province-wide, perspectives on the EEP/JCP differ from one region to the next, due to different labour market conditions and differing community needs. The following provincial and regional economic conditions were taken into account in designing the programs:
- predominant economic activities
- current shifts in economic activities
- employment trends
- unemployment rates
The employment profile of each region was also taken into account when designing the programs. Resource-based industries, such as agriculture and fishing, and the service industry, including retail sales, clerical work, and unskilled and semi-skilled labour, predominate in PEI.
Most jobs are not full-time; if they are full-time jobs, it is usually seasonal work. Fifty per cent of participants who become employed get full-time/seasonal jobs. Most participants are employed at the minimum wage of $5.80 per hour. This will be raised to $6.00 per hour in January 2002.
The following considerations were part of the design of the programs:
- ensure that local job openings and skill requirements match the skills that program participants had or would develop during the programs.
- ensure that future local employment requirements were part of the program design.
- the unemployment rate of the geographic areas.
- the social assistance rate of the geographic areas. It was recognized that in order to provide an incentive, individuals must earn more from their employment than they would receive on social assistance.
Employment Equity, Targetting and Displacement
The program design takes into account the specific needs of the following groups:
- women : some projects are geared to women as they reenter the workforce.
- single parents
- disabled persons, but not to the same extent as women.
- youth : one project focussed on providing summer employment for children of long- term social assistance recipients.
While some projects are aimed at women, nothing has been developed to promote well-paid jobs specifically for women. The objective of the programs is to promote well-paid jobs for all participants.
The programs were designed to ensure that participants do not displace workers already holding paid jobs in the local economy. Brochures provided to prospective employers state this, and before Regional Health Authorities consider placing an individual with an employer, the employer must declare that they will not displace paid workers. In the rare cases where this does occur, that particular employer is not used again. The displacement of volunteers in the unpaid economy is not considered to be an issue in the province.
While the full impact of recent federal changes to the EI program has yet to be determined, data so far indicate that the changes have resulted in people applying for welfare sooner and staying on social assistance longer. There is more tracking by welfare staff now to ensure that individuals qualify for EI through EEP/JCP placements.
Integration of Community Resources
There are many community-based resources available that help support these programs, including counselling services, mental health and addiction services, family resource centres, and services provided by the Salvation Army. There are also community resources available to meet the needs of particular groups of participants, for example, resources for victims of spousal abuse, such as transition houses that offer shelter for women fleeing domestic violence, rape crisis centres, and self-help groups.
The province is working to ensure that there is no duplication of services in order to avoid confusion for program participants. Officials are examining the benefits of integrated services or single-window access, and the concept is under development. Co-location of the programs with HRDC offices is already occurring across the province.
While the demographic characteristics of social assistance recipients were not specifically taken into account when designing the programs, the programs are designed to have the flexibility to respond to each participants= differing needs. The establishment of the five Regional Health Authorities promotes this flexibility.
There is no formal evaluation tool for these programs, but a limited number of statistics on the programs are collected. Systems are being established to track participants and collect data province-wide. The provincial government, through the Department of Health and Social Services, is responsible for the overall analysis of the data.
No budget has been set aside for program evaluation at this time.
It is expected that a cost-benefit analysis of these programs will be part of the program evaluation. Cost-benefit information currently being collected includes the following:
- increases/decreases in caseloads
- numbers of placements
- caseload numbers
- duration on assistance
- frequency of re-application
Monetary and non-monetary costs and benefits are being measured ad hoc in some regions.
Data are being collected to track the following outcomes:
- the total number of participants who leave social assistance
- the total number of participants who get jobs
- the extent to which program participants retain the jobs they get
- the extent to which participants who leave social assistance for employment return to welfare
- the nature of the jobs obtained by program participants
- reoccurring seasonal
- the types of occupations obtained by program participants
- employment earnings
- family income
- EI eligibility
While the participant=s participation and performance in the programs are evaluated, their interest is not. Information about the types of programs most suitable to specific groups of participants is not captured.
Based on the data collected to date, the province is particularly concerned about the following:
- the increasing number of young, single employable males in receipt of social assistance.
- the increasing number of single parents in receipt of social assistance.
Labour Market Development Agreement
labour force development agreement was signed on April 26, 1997 with HRDC. It is expected that some aspects of the programs will be evaluated as a result of this agreement. The essence of the agreement is as follows:
- It is based on a co-management principle and on cooperation.
- In the first five years of the agreement, the federal government will spend $107 million from the EI account to support active employment measures.
- Both parties will work together to design and tailor labour market employment programs to meet the needs of communities, employers and the unemployed. The federal government will retain responsibility for EI-related active measures, as well as the National Employment Service.
Planned Changes and Directions
May 1, 2000 saw revisions to the Family Health Benefit program which provides assistance to low income families to help with the cost of purchasing medications. The new income ceiling for this program is $22,000 for a family with one child and an additional $2,000 for each additional child. Hence a family with 3 children would have an income ceiling of $26,000. The $13.00 co-pay on the cost of drugs was eliminated so the remaining cost to clients is the dispensing fee established by each retail pharmacy.
PEI will be implementing a new Disability Support Program in the fall of this year. This program will support individuals with a disability to work and still retain access to their disability related support benefits. This new program will see the removal of disability related supports from the Welfare Assistance program.
TITLE: Director of Welfare Assistance
Department of Health and Social Services
16 Garfield Street
PO Box 2000
E-MAIL: email@example.com TELEPHONE: (902) 368-6519 FAX: (902) 368- 6156 WEBSITE: www.gov.pe.ca