Social insurance: benefit seekers advised to seek their relatives

Faced with increasing delays over the past few months, Service Canada has suggested that benefit applicants seek help from loved ones, for example to pay for groceries, while waiting for their file to be processed, a request that could surprise many already find themselves in a precarious situation.

« It’s ridiculous! Service Canada is asking people if they can find help when it is up to Service Canada to process their file as quickly as possible!” exclaimed the director-general of the Mouvement Action Chômage Lac-Saint-Jean. , France Simard.

« It doesn’t make sense to suggest that someone go on social assistance or liquidate their RRSPs in the meantime, » lamented the general manager of L’ASTUSE du Saguenay, Sylvain Bergeron. The organization precisely accompanies applicants for unemployment benefits and social assistance.

Last September, Ottawa withdrew temporary measures put in place to speed up the review of applications. The delays are already accumulating, to the point where officials have invited claimants to find personal solutions, until Service Canada’s decision.

« A woman whose file had been dragging on for 6 or 8 months sold her house to pay her terms, » ​​said Mr. Bergeron.

“There is more and more distress and people who are angry with Service Canada. We suggest that they borrow when many are already taken by the throat,” noted France Simard.

The complexity of a file can delay its examination, noted the Mouvement Action Chômage Lac-Saint-Jean. A voluntary departure linked to harassment, for example, will require several months of investigation.

“The investigators want to know if such a departure was justifiable. It can take a year before the trial, and during this time, the person does not receive a benefit, ”explained Ms. Simard.

Demonstrators turned to Bloc Québécois Mario Simard on Tuesday morning to demand other changes to employment insurance, in order to make the system more accessible to women, especially pregnant women. Among the group, Jessica Soucy, illegally dismissed on the last day of her maternity leave, without being entitled to employment insurance.


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