Questions & Answers

Q: My net income barely covers my living expenses; can I get help with childcare? 

A: The Ministry of Children and Family Development offers a Child Care Subsidy Program. The Child Care Subsidy is a monthly payment that helps low and moderate income British Columbian families meet the costs of child care. The payments are made directly to the child care provider. You may be eligible for the program if you are working and earning a low or moderate income; are seeking work; are attending school or training in a jobs program; or have child care recommended by the Ministry of Children and Family Development as part of a risk reduction plan. You can find more information by visiting the ministry’s website(http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/subsidy_promo.htm).

Q: I am having a dispute with my landlord/tenant. Who can help me?
A: The Residential Tenancy Office provides information to tenants and landlords regarding their rights and responsibilities as established by the Residential Tenancy Act. There are four Residential Tenancy Offices in British Columbia that you can contact either in person, by telephone or by email.

Q: I applied for MSP premium assistance but have received a call and/or letter from a collection agency. What should I do?
A: Contact the collection agency and tell them you have applied for premium assistance. As long as you remain a resident of BC, your MSP coverage will not be cancelled. Visit MSP’s frequently asked questions for more information.

Q: I’m on disability benefits, am I required to work?
A: People with disabilities who are able to work are supported by employment programs that recognize the cyclical nature of some disabilities. Assistance is also available to those in need who are not expected to gain independence through employment.For more information, visit the Information for Persons with Disabilities section of the Ministry of Human Resources Web site.


Q: How do I get improvements such as crosswalks and stop lights in my neighbourhood?
A: Local road changes and improvements are the responsibility of your local government. To locate information about your local government, go to Civic Info BC.

Q: How do I apply for a student loan?
A: Student loans are available both provincially and federally for those who qualify. For information on how to apply for a student loan visit the StudentAid Web site, which also provides information on provincial and federal grants that may be available.

Q: I have a student loan. Can I receive additional income through the BC Employment & Assistance Program?
A: If you are currently receiving a student loan you are not eligible for income assistance through the BC Employment & Assistance Program. To find out more, visit the BC Employment & Assistance Program section on the Ministry of Human Resources Web site.

Q: Why must I register a birth and how do I do it?
A: By law, every birth in British Columbia must be registered with the Vital Statistics Agency to establish a permanent record.You can register a birth online at the Vital Statistics Agency’s Web site. You can also order a birth certificate through Vital Statistics; however, without registering a birth, you cannot obtain a birth certificate.


Q: I’m starting my own business, how do I register it?
A: Register your business online through OneStop Business Services. OneStop Buisness Services is offered by the Ministry of Small Business and Economic Development, in collaboration with federal and municipal partners.If you are registering your business in British Columbia you can use this service to complete multiple government applications at one time. You can also use this service to update your business’ address.

Q: I’m having difficulty reaching MSP, what can I do?
A: To find alternative ways to contact MSP, visit the frequently asked questions section of their Web site.

Q: My doctor has prescribed me a drug and Pharmacare will not pay for it; can you explain why?
A: PharmaCare has a list of prescription drugs approved for the treatment of various illnesses. A doctor will sometimes prescribe a different drug to treat your illness because he or she has found the approved drug does not work for you.In this case, the doctor must provide a Special Authority form to PharmaCare requesting approval of the drug as a substitute for the approved drug. On the form, the doctor must explain what drug has already been prescribed and why it was found to be unsuitable. Occasionally, a doctor will prescribe a drug that is fairly new on the market and has not yet been approved for PharmaCare coverage, or it has not been approved for use for your specific condition. Again, your doctor must send a Special Authority form to Pharmacare requesting coverage. For more information, go the PharmaCare Web site. For more information on the Special Authority process, click here.