Report says B.C. government broke own law in delaying benefit payments

VICTORIA - The B.C. government routinely missed legislated deadlines for providing benefits to some of the province's most vulnerable people, the ombudsperson has concluded.

Kim Carter's report released today says more than 900 people lost benefits they were entitled to receive because the government couldn't hit legislated time targets of 20 business days.

Carter says the delays started in 2009 and resulted in the Social Development and Social Innovation Ministry paying clients $350,000 in entitled benefits.

She says some of the cases involve weak and ill people waiting more than 30 days to receive needed vitamin and mineral supplements and others waiting more than 50 days for necessary dental work.

Carter says the ministry now agrees to improve the way it tracks and administers requests for client benefits.

The report says the payment delays started when the government centralized operations in Victoria.

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