Nine social services agencies in BC are banding together asking the provincial ombudsman to investigate how the government administers social assistance.
Lobat Sadrehashemi with the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre filed the complaint.
She says applying for social assistance is arduous at best: a 90 screen online application, where many people in need don’t have computers, or aren’t computer literate.
“And there’s no dedicated ministry assistance with completing that application. So what we’ve heard is public libraries having to help people. Security guards at ministry offices trying to help people do the forms, and that’s just not acceptable.
Sadrehashemi they’ve also heard staff at service centres turning people away telling them to go apply online.
Says the move to a central call centre and online services has been happening while government has closed down 14 applications centres across BC.