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Considered Liquid Assets

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					     LAST-RESORT FINANCIAL
     ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
              AND
         LIQUID ASSETS
   (CASH AND NEGOTIABLE ASSETS)



• When you apply for the Social Assistance
  Program or the Social Solidarity Program
• When you are a social assistance or social
  solidarity recipient
• When you save in an individual development
  account
Your liquid assets = a resource
When you apply for last-resort financial assistance under
the Social Assistance Program or the Social Solidarity
Program, the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité
sociale evaluates your resources, including your cash and
the value of your assets. These are referred to as your
“liquid assets”.
Liquid assets are any sums of money or assets negotiable
in the short-term (savings bonds, securities, debts due,
term deposits, etc.) owned by you or your family. Your
liquid assets are taken into account in the Department’s
decision to approve or refuse your application for
assistance and to calculate your benefit, where applicable.
However, some liquid assets are excluded from the benefit
calculation. Under the Individual and Family Assistance
Regulation, these amounts may be fully or partially
excluded for a limited or unlimited period.


Your liquid assets are used to:
• v determine your eligibility on the date your application
  is received by the Department (applies only to the Social
  Assistance Program);
• calculate the amount of the benefit you will be granted
  for the month in which you apply for the Social
  Assistance Program or the Social Solidarity Program;
• calculate the benefit amount for subsequent months.




                              1
Calculation to determine eligibility
(applies to the Social Assistance Program
only)
When you apply for Social Assistance Program benefits,
the Department evaluates your eligibility based on your           Table 1
liquid assets on the date your application is received. This      Maximum liquid assets allowed on the date the
is known as the “eligibility test”.                               application for the Social Assistance Program is received
The eligibility test does not apply if you are eligible for the
Social Solidarity Program, i.e. if you or your spouse can                 Adults                 Minor                  Maximum
prove that you have a severely limited capacity for                                            dependent                 allowed
employment. In this case, the Department calculates the                                         children1
amount of the benefit for the month of application and for
                                                                             1                       0                      $852
the following months.
Outstanding cheques and preauthorized payments                               1                       1                    $1 218
intended to pay rent, electricity or heating are deducted                    1                       2                    $1 443 2
from your liquid assets, provided they are cashable in the
month in which you apply.                                                    2                       0                    $1 267
Some amounts are fully or partially excluded from the                        2                       1                    $1 511
liquid asset calculation for a limited or unlimited period
(e.g. amounts a dependent child may have accumulated                         2                       2                    $1 736 2
through paid work). Other amounts are excluded up to              Spouse of student                                         $852 3
$60 000 (e.g. amounts held in a registered retirement
savings plan (RRSP) or a registered education savings plan        Independent adult sheltered
                                                                  or living in an establishment
(RESP)).                                                          while awaiting social
The eligibility test consists in comparing your liquid assets     reintegration, or minor
                                                                  sheltered with child                                      $852
on the application date with the amount determined by
the Regulation (see Table 1). This amount varies according
to family composition or individual status.


                                                                  1. An amount of $165 is added to the basic exclusions for each
                                                                     dependent child who receives a supplement for handicapped children
                                                                     from the Régie des rentes du Québec. This amount does not apply to
                                                                     minors sheltered with child in a rehabilitation centre or hospital.
                                                                  2. An amount of $225 is added for a third dependent child and for each
                                                                     subsequent child.
                                                                  3. For persons whose spouse is enrolled in vocational training or post-
                                                                     secondary education, an amount of $244 is added for the first
                                                                     dependent child and $225 is added for each subsequent child.




                              2                                                                     3
If you benefit only from the claim slip (drug card) granted
for a limited period in order, among other things, to
participate in an employment-assistance measure or to
encourage your return to work, and you re-apply for the
Social Assistance Program, higher maximum liquid assets
amounts are provided (see Table 2).                           Table 2
                                                              Maximum liquid assets allowed on the date the
                                                              application for the Social Assistance Program is received
                                                              (for persons holding a claim slip granted for a limited
                                                              period)


                                                                      Adults                 Minor                  Maximum
                                                                                           dependent                 allowed
                                                                                            children1
                                                                         1                       0                    $2 500
                                                                         1                       1                    $5 366
                                                                         1                       2                    $5 591 2
                                                                         2                       0                    $5 000
                                                                         2                       1                    $5 244
                                                                         2                       2                    $5 469 2
                                                              Spouse of student                                       $2 500 3
                                                              Independent adult sheltered
                                                              or living in an establishment
                                                              while awaiting social
                                                              reintegration, or minor
                                                              sheltered with child                                    $2 500




                                                              1. An amount of $165 is added to the basic exclusions for each
                                                                 dependent child who receives a supplement for handicapped children
                                                                 from the Régie des rentes du Québec. This amount does not apply to
                                                                 minors sheltered with child in a rehabilitation centre or hospital.
                                                              2. An amount of $225 is added for a third dependent child and for each
                                                                 subsequent child.
                                                              3. For persons whose spouse is enrolled in vocational training or post-
                                                                 secondary education, an amount of $244 is added for the first
                                                                 dependent child and $225 is added for each subsequent child.

                            4                                                                   5
If, the day you apply, your total liquid assets exceed this
amount, you are not eligible for the program. This means
you must submit a new application. However, this
application can be filed only as of the first working day of
the month following your first application. For example, a
person who submitted an application for assistance on
February 1 and who is declared ineligible due to surplus
liquid assets can re-apply only as of the first working day
in March.
If the sum of your liquid assets is equal to or less than this
amount, you are eligible to the program. The Department
calculates the amount of your benefit for the month of
application and for the following month, according to
your specific circumstances and resources.
                                                                 Example 1
                                                                 Family of two adults and one child who possess liquid
                                                                 assets of $800 on the application date
                                                                 Liquid assets                                    $800

                                                                 Minus outstanding cheques                      -$500
                                                                 (rent, electricity, heating)

                                                                 Liquid assets considered
                                                                 for eligibility test                             $300

                                                                 This family’s liquid assets are less than the maximum
                                                                 provided for under the Regulation ($1511). The applica-
                                                                 tion will therefore be studied. Next, the benefit is
                                                                 calculated for the month of application and the
                                                                 following month.




                              6                                                             7
Calculation of the benefit for the
month of application (applies to the
Social Assistance Program and the Social
Solidarity Program)
The amount of the benefit corresponding to your
situation, as mentioned in examples 2 and 3, is calculated
based on the number of days remaining in the month of
application, minus your resources, i.e. your liquid assets,
income from various sources (work income, Commission de
la santé et de la sécurité du travail indemnity, etc.) and the
calculated value of your property. However, where
applicable, the following are subtracted from your liquid
assets:
• income already considered for the month of application;
• outstanding cheques and preauthorized payments
  intended to pay rent, electricity or heating are deducted
  from your liquid assets, provided they are cashable in the     Table 3
  month in which you apply;                                      Amount subtracted from liquid assets possessed the
• amounts excluded fully or partially for a limited or an        month of application1
  unlimited period;
• an exemption that varies by family composition or                      Adults                 Minor                Maximum
  individual status (see Table 3).                                                            dependent              allowed2
                                                                                               children2

                                                                           1                      1                     $366
                                                                           1                      2                     $591 3
                                                                           2                      1                     $244
                                                                          2                       2                     $469 3
                                                                 Spouse of student                1                     $244 3




                                                                 1. This exemption does not apply to minors sheltered with child in a
                                                                    rehabilitation centre or hospital.
                                                                 2. An amount of $165 is added to the basic exclusions for each
                                                                    dependent child who receives a supplement for handicapped children
                                                                    from the Régie des rentes du Québec.
                                                                 3. An amount of $225 is added for each subsequent child.




                              8                                                                   9
Applicable only to the Social
Solidarity Program:
• An additional amount corresponding to the basic
  exemption of $2 500 for an independent adult (including
  minors sheltered with child and spouses of student) or
  $5 000 for a family;                                                   Example 2
                                                                         Family of two adults admitted to the Social Solidarity
• Amounts partially excluded, i.e. those held in an RRSP or              Program
  RESP, to a maximum of $130 000,1 including amounts
                                                                         Social Solidarity Allowance
  received as an inheritance during the time the adult or                and Québec Sales Tax (QST)
  family received last-resort assistance or benefited from a             (if application is submitted
  claim slip.2 People who receive amounts of money as an                 before the 1st of the month)                          $1 266.67
  inheritance may benefit from the exemption if they were                Minus income                                          - $100.00
  recipients or claim slip holders if they received these sums
                                                                                                                               $1 166.67
  within the six months preceding their application.
                                                                                               LIQUID ASSET CALCULATION
• An amount of $147 for each child of full age studying in
  a general education secondary school.                                  Step 1
                                                                         Amounts held in an RRSP                    $4 000
                                                                         Amounts received as an inheritance
See example 2.                                                           (if the amounts were received if the
                                                                         benefits or claim slip was granted
                                                                         within the six months prededing
                                                                         their application)                        $10 000
                                                                         Minus partial exemptions
                                                                         (maximum $130 000)                      - $130 000
                                                                         Total                                            $0


                                                                         Step 2
                                                                         Liquid assets on the application date      $6 000
                                                                         Minus outstanding cheques
                                                                         (rent, electricity, heating)               - $500
                                                                         Minus income already considered             - $100
                                                                         Minus basic exemption                     - $5 000
                                                                         Liquid assets considered                     $400 - $400.00

                                                                         Benefit for the month of application                   $766.67




1. This amount ($130 000) may also include the value of real estate.
2. The claim slip (drug card) is the one granted for a limited period,
   among other things to participate in an employment-assistance
   measure or to promote a return to work.

                                    10                                                                      11
Applicable only to the Social
Assistance Program:
• Amounts partially excluded, i.e. those held in an RRSP or
  RESP, to a maximum of $60 000.

                                                                        Example 3
See example 3.                                                          Family of two adults without a limited capacity for
                                                                        employment admitted to the Social Assistance Program

Even if you are eligible for the Social Assistance Program              Basic benefit and Québec Sales Tax (QST)             $877.67
or the Social Solidarity Program, you may not receive                   (if the application is submitted
benefits the month in which you applied. This occurs when               on the 1st of the month)
the amount of your resources (liquid assets, property,                  Minus income                                        - $100.00
income and benefits) is higher than the amount of the                                                                        $777.67
benefit you would have received for the month, given the
                                                                                          LIQUID ASSET CALCULATION
number of days you were eligible and the exemptions that
applied.                                                                Step 1

If you benefit only from the claim slip (drug card) granted             Amounts held in an RRSP                    $1000
for a limited period and you re-apply for the Social                    Less partial exemptions
Assistance Program or the Social Solidarity Program, more               (maximum $60 000)                       - $60 000
flexible rules apply for the month in which you apply. To               Total                                         $0
benefit from these rules, however, you must meet certain
criteria.3
                                                                        Step 2
                                                                        Liquid assets on application date           $200
                                                                        Minus outstanding cheques
                                                                        (rent, electricity, heating)                - $50
                                                                        Minus income already considered            - $100


                                                                        Liquid assets considered                     $50    - $50.00
                                                                        Benefit for month of application                     $727.67




3. Sheltered adults and sheltered minors with child may also benefit
   from these more flexible conditions if they meet certain criteria.

                                   12                                                                      13
For the months following the month you applied                           Applicable only to the Social Solidarity Program:
for financial assistance under a last-resort                             • Amounts partially excluded, i.e. those held in an RRSP or
financial assistance program, what is the maximum                          RESP, to a maximum of $130 000,1 including amounts
amount of liquid assets allowed before your benefit                        received as an inheritance when the adult or family
is reduced?                                                                received last-resort assistance or benefited from a claim
                                                                           slip.2
For the months following the month you applied for a
last-resort financial assistance program, you may possess a              Applicable only to the Social Assistance Program:
certain amount of liquid assets, depending on your                       • Amounts partially excluded, i.e. those held in an RRSP or
situation, without having your benefits reduced. These are                 RESP, to a maximum of $60 000.
the so-called ‘basic exemptions’ provided for in the
Regulation. They are as follows.


For the Social Assistance Program:
  $1 500 for an independent adult1
   $2 500 for a family
For the Social Solidarity Program:
  $2 500 for an independent adult1
   $5 000 for a family



Other amounts are also excluded for the months following
the month of application:
• amounts excluded in full for a limited or unlimited
  period;
• a certain amount (see Table 3) for each dependent minor
  child;
• an amount of $147 for each child of full age studying in
  a general education secondary school.




                                                                         1. This amount ($130 000) may also include the value of real estate.
                                                                         2. The claim slip (drug card) is the one granted for a limited period,
1. This amount also applies minors sheltered with child and to spouses       among other things to participate in an employment-assistance
   of a student.                                                             measure or to promote a return to work.

                                   14                                                                        15
Saving in an individual development                              How can you save in an individual development
account                                                          account?
An exemption to help you save up for a special                   There are two options for saving in an individual
project                                                          development account: an individual savings plan or an
                                                                 institutional savings plan.
Under certain conditions, you can benefit from an
exemption in calculating your liquid assets. This                • Individual savings plan
exemption allows you to deposit your money in an open              For an individual savings plan, you are the only one who
account in a financial institution for a special project. This     deposits amounts in your account.
is the so-called ‘individual development account’.               • Institutional savings plan
                                                                   For an institutional savings plan, an organization
What is an individual development account?                         contributes financially to your account on the condition
It is an account opened at a financial institution whose           that you also deposit certain amounts.
accrued amounts must be used exclusively by you or a
member of your family to:                                        Who can open an individual development
                                                                 account?
• participate in a training project;
                                                                 • Any adult who is a social assistance or social solidarity
• purchase work instruments or equipment needed to hold
                                                                   recipient.
  employment;
                                                                 • Holders of claim slips granted for a limited period, among
• create self-employment or start up a business;
                                                                   other things to participate in an employment-assistance
• purchase or repair a residence;                                  measure or to promote a return to work.
• purchase an automobile.                                        An individual development account can be registered
You can save up for more than one of the above projects.         under the name of one adult only. Each adult in a family
                                                                 can open his/her own individual development account.
The individual development account may be a savings
                                                                 However, individual development accounts may not be
account, a term deposit or an investment in a financial
                                                                 opened in the name of dependent children.
institution that operates in Canada. For all options, the
account must be clearly identified as an individual              For individual savings plans, savings must begin during a
development account.                                             month in which last-resort financial assistance benefits or
                                                                 a claim slip were granted.
The amount saved in this account may be built up
gradually or deposited in bigger quantities, for example,        For institutional savings plans, savings can begin at any
through money received as a gift.                                time.
                                                                 What is the maximum amount that can be saved
                                                                 in an individual development account?
                                                                 You can accumulate up to $5 000. In the case of a family
                                                                 made up of two adult recipients, each recipient can
                                                                 contribute up to $5 000.




                              16                                                               17
How are individual development account amounts
considered in calculating your liquid assets?
Individual development account amounts of up to $5 000
are excluded from the benefit calculation up to the overall
$60 000 exemption for the Social Assistance Program or
the $130 000 exemption applicable to the Social Solidarity
Program.
For example, a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP),
grant or loan earmarked for creating self-employment are
considered liquid assets in the same way as amounts
deposited into individual development accounts. The
overall value of these types of liquid assets are excluded up
to $60 000 for the Social Assistance Program and
$130 000 for the Social Solidarity Program.                     Example 4
                                                                Independent adult admitted to the Social Assistance
See examples 4, 5 and 6.                                        Program with the following liquid assets:
                                                                                LIQUID ASSET CALCULATION
                                                                Overall exemption                               $60 000
                                                                     Minus liquid assets
                                                                     RRSP                           $50 000
                                                                     Other types of liquid
                                                                     assets excluded                 $1 000

                                                                Total liquid assets                 $51 000   - $51 000
                                                                Remaining exemption                              $9 000

                                                                Maximum amount a person
                                                                may deposit in his/her individual
                                                                development account                              $5 000

                                                                If the person deposits an amount
                                                                that exceeds the maximum allowed,
                                                                the liquid assets exceeding the basic
                                                                exemption of $1 500 will be considered
                                                                in calculating the benefit. The basic
                                                                exemption does not apply for the
                                                                month of application.




                             18                                                                19
Example 5
Independent adult admitted to the Social Assistance
Program with the following liquid assets:

                LIQUID ASSET CALCULATION
Overall exemption                                 $60 000
     Minus liquid assets
     RRSP:                             $56 000
     Other types of liquid
     assets excluded                    $1 000
Total liquid assets                    $57 000   -$57 000
Remaining exemption                               $ 3 000   Example 6
Maximum amount a person
may deposit in his/her individual
                                                            Family of two adults admitted to the Social Solidarity
development account                                $3 000   Program with the following liquid assets:

If the person deposits more than                                             LIQUID ASSET CALCULATION
$3 000 in the account, the liquid                           Overall exemption for the family                     $130 000
assets exceeding the basic exemption                           Minus liquid assets
of $1 500 will be considered in                                RRSP:                                  $123 000
calculating the benefit. The basic                             Other types of liquid
exemption does not apply for the                               assets excluded                          $5 500
month of application.
                                                            Total liquid assets                       $128 000 -$128 500
                                                            Remaining exemption                                   $1 500

                                                            Maximum amount the two adults
                                                            combined may deposit in their
                                                            individual development accounts.                       $1 500

                                                            If one of these two people has
                                                            $1 000 in an individual development
                                                            account, the other person may save
                                                            $500 in his/her account.

                                                            However, if their combined savings
                                                            exceed $1 500, 2% of the difference
                                                            will be considered in calculating their
                                                            benefit and the basic exemptions
                                                            will not apply.




                              20                                                            21
What happens if you re-apply for last-resort                   If you use these amounts for other purpose, they will be
financial assistance after you have stopped                    considered in full in calculating your monthly benefit and
receiving employment assistance for a certain                  the basic exemptions will not apply.
time?                                                          You could be asked to provide the Department with the
                                                               monthly statements for your individual development
If, when you re-apply for assistance under a last-resort
                                                               account.
financial assistance program, you already have an
individual development account, the amounts deposited
into the account over the five years preceding the new
                                                               If your liquid assets exceed the total
application will be exempted from the calculation of your
                                                               exemptions
liquid assets.                                                 If you think that on the last day of the month your liquid
                                                               assets will exceed the total exemptions provided for in the
This rule does not apply to an institutional savings plan in
                                                               Regulation (surplus liquid assets), you should know that
which case the amounts accrued are excluded up to the
                                                               your benefit for the following month could be affected.
allowable maximum regardless of the period preceding the
time you re-apply.                                             Having or spending surplus liquid assets
Are there certain obligations when you have an                 If you have surplus liquid assets, the amount that exceeds
individual development account?                                the maximum to which you are entitled on the last day of
                                                               the month will be included in the calculation of your
Yes. When you open an individual development account,
                                                               employment-assistance benefit for the following month.
you must inform your local employment centre (CLE) in
                                                               Your benefit will therefore be reduced by the amount of
writing:
                                                               your surplus liquid assets. In some cases, your benefit
• before the first deposit, at the latest on the last day of   could even be cancelled.
  the month following the first deposit, for an individual
                                                               It is critical that you inform your officer of any surplus
  savings plan;
                                                               liquid assets, otherwise a claim could be issued for the
• as soon as possible, for an institutional savings plan.      repayment of benefits overpaid. Note that you must not
The required form is available at your local employment        squander or cede your liquid assets and you must dispose
centre (CLE).                                                  of them reasonably and responsibly, otherwise your benefit
                                                               could be refused, reduced, cancelled or reclaimed.
Can you make withdrawals from an individual
development account?
You can make withdrawals from your individual
development account. However, the amounts withdrawn
must be used exclusively for the project(s) you have
committed to carrying out, as approved by the Ministère
de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale.




                              22                                                           23
Inform your officer and keep your documents
If you have or foresee having surplus liquid assets, it is
important to inform your CLE officer as quickly as
possible. The officer will give you the relevant information
required.
It is also important to save or give your officer all
documents indicating the source of any amounts received
other than last-resort financial benefits, such as your bank
book or credit union book, the sales contract for an item,
or a statement from a financial institution indicating
withdrawals from an RRSP or RESP.
Keep your receipts and other documents showing how you
spent your surplus liquid assets, since your officer may ask
for them.




                            24
For further information
Contact your local employment centre (CLE) or
the Bureau des renseignements et plaintes of the
Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, at
the following numbers:
• If you live in the Québec City area
  418 643-4721
• Elsewhere in Québec, toll-free
  1 888 643-4721
www.mess.gouv.qc.ca

                                                        This paper is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. A-628 (2007-02)




Note
This general information document cannot be
used for legal interpretation purposes and does
not replace the provisions of the legislation and
regulations referred to. The information contained
in this document applied in January 2007.

				
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