Guideline: The organization provides required support to the person to gain, manage and utilize personal financial resources.
People can easily access their personal monies and control their own financial affairs in accordance with their wishes.
Where assistance is required and provided, that assistance is provided only to the extent the person requires and is shaped by the wishes, dreams and preferences of the person.
What does this look like?
The organization acknowledges the impact and prevalence of poverty for people living with disabilities and the significant role that having enough resources to meet your basic needs plays in quality of life.
The organization supports each person to maximize their income through meaningful employment whenever possible or available.
The organization is knowledgeable and adept at accessing other financial assistance programs that may be accessible to people served to increase their available resources or assistance.
The person and their family/support network are informed at the beginning of services of costs or fees that they are responsible for and those the organization covers through the person’s Community Living disABILITY Services (CLDS) funding.
Organizations may provide assistance in managing finances when the person requires this. The assistance is provided in a manner that ensures the person maintains as much control over their money and personal affairs as possible. The assistance needed, who is responsible and how they will gain direction from the person, is documented in the person’s Support Plan.
Where people need support to manage their financial affairs, who will support them is set out in an annual Financial Plan. Funds are accounted and managed as per the policy “Management of Personal Funds – CLDS”
If the organization takes responsibility for the funds of persons served, it implements written procedures that define:
- How the persons served will give informed consent for the expenditures of funds
- How the person will access their records
- How funds will be segregated and maintained for accounting purposes
- What safeguards are in place to ensure that funds are used for the designated and appropriate purposes
- How monthly reconciliation is provided to the persons served at least monthly
- How personal financial management is audited within the organization.
Even when the organization is not involved in supporting finances, but they become aware of concerns related to coercion or exploitation, they immediately report these concerns to the person’s CLDS social worker or Substitute Decision Maker.
The person is supported to comply with reporting requirements dictated by provincial or federal governments such as reporting income, paying taxes, etc.
The person along with their family/support network is supported and encouraged to create an annual budget to outline their minimum basic needs and direct how they want this to be utilized.
The organization is knowledgeable and assists the person to understand their options to save their funds in a RDSP or other protected fund.
The organization provides support and advocacy as needed to assist the person to create, use and manage a bank account.
Staff receive training in supporting someone to manage their own personal finances, when and how it is appropriate to provide assistance and how to do so while still ensuring that the person maintains as much control as possible.
How would you know this is happening? (Evidence)
What you see in systems:
- Where the organization is responsible for managing someone’s finances, robust, transparent and up to date documentation is available.
- Support plans contain information on the support required for someone to manage their finances.
What you see in actions:
- At minimum, people have adequate resources to meet their basic needs. Preferably, people have access to discretionary funds through employment opportunities. Where that is not currently available, people are aware of and assisted to access financial assistance programs.
- Staff are competent and confident in how to balance providing assistance when required to manage finances and enabling people to direct the use of their funds. They are aware of all reporting and recording requirements for financial accounting.
Resources to support achieving guideline:
- Sample Financial Management processes – [To be added soon]
- Management of Personal Funds Policy – CLDS Personal Banking Information Sheet (PDF 652KB)
- Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities
- Employment and Income Assistance Program (EIA) for Persons with Disabilities
- Disability Trusts & Registered Disability Savings Plan
- Rent Assist Program
- My Money Lessons – Sample
- UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Right to adequate standard of living