This program, funded by the Government of Canada, is designed to help 'Non-EI Eligible' persons with permanent mental or physical disabilities that limits daily activity prepare for and obtain employment or self-employment. It also assists people to develop the skills they need to keep a new job. The intent of the program is to assist people with disabilities who normally have had little or no labour force attachment and who therefore do not qualify for assistance under the Employment Insurance (EI) program. The operating principle will be; where clients are eligible for other programming, the Opportunities Fund will function as an alternative measure for cases where there is no comparable intervention easily accessible for the client.
The Opportunities Fund supports a variety of activities that help people with disabilities overcome the barriers they may face as they enter the job market. Eligible activities include:
Skills for Employment - help participants get the basic to advanced job skills training they need to enter the job market. Participants must provide a detailed application that includes labour market research, a course description, current income and projected training costs. Financial assistance may be provided to participants to cover the following costs: Living Allowance, Tuition, Other Instructional (books etc), Dependant care, Disability needs, Transportation, Other personal supports (footwear etc), Living away from home.
Self-Employment - help participants get the support and entrepreneurial training they need to start their own business. Financial assistance may be provided to participants for: Living Allowance, Entrepreneurial Instruction, Other Instructional (books etc), Dependant care, Disability needs, Transportation, Other personal supports (footwear etc), Living away from home. (Disability needs and other personal supports do not include the costs of computers or other capital costs related to establishing or maintaining a business).
Wage Subsidies - are those that encourage employers to hire people with disabilities. Funding is available to employers who hire people with disabilities. Helping individuals to integrate into the workplace through services that meet their special needs. Financial assistance may be provided to participants for: Dependant care, Disability needs, Other personal supports (footwear etc), Transportation. Employers: Participant Wages, Participant MERCs and costs associated to accommodating Persons with Disabilities.
To be eligible for assistance from the Opportunities Fund, an individual must:
- self identify as having a permanent physical or mental disability that limits daily activity;
- be unemployed or working less than an average of 20 hours per week;
- be legally entitled to work in Canada; and
- be in need of assistance to prepare to enter the job market, to find a job, to get a job or become self-employed.
Normally, to qualify for assistance, individuals must NOT be currently eligible for federal employment programs offered under Part II of the Employment Insurance Act (or similar provincial or territorial programs). In addition, individuals must not have received Employment Insurance benefits within 36 months of their request for assistance or maternity or parental benefits within 60 months of their request. However they must be referred by an Employment Assistance Service (EAS) Provider.
Kopar Administration is pleased to offer this program through our Prince George office, however people from 100 Mile House to the BC/Yukon border and from Haida Gwaii to the Alberta border are welcome to participate. Feel free to contact us for more information.
Funding for this program provided by the Government of Canada
The Employment Program of British Columbia is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia