Social assistance: medical reports must be studied attentively | Protecteur du Citoyen
September 16, 2019

Social assistance: medical reports must be studied attentively

Corps

Femme regardant un ordinateur en se tenant le cou

The complaint

A citizen who received social assistance wanted her temporarily limited capacity for employment recognized. The Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale refused. She complained to the Québec Ombudsman.

The investigation

  • A citizen grappling with a physical health problem was getting social assistance benefits.
  • For some time, she had felt that her condition as worsening. She wanted to be recognized as having a temporarily limited capacity for employment. This would have increased her benefit amount.
  • To back up her application, she sent the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale a medical report.
  • After processing the file, the Department considered that the citizen was fit to work. It therefore denied her request.
  • Rather than applying for review, the citizen turned to the Québec Ombudsman.
  • The Québec Ombudsman’s investigation showed that the Department had not studied the citizen’s medical report properly. The document had indeed indicated that she could work, but only a few hours a week. 

The result

The Department was quick to admit its mistake. It agreed to recognize the citizen’s temporarily limited capacity for employment. As a result, her benefit amount was increased. She also received the supplementary amount she should have gotten in the months after the Department’s refusal. Lastly, the employee behind the problem was informed of the mistake he had made in processing the application.


The Québec Ombudsman ensures that your rights are upheld in your dealings with Québec public services. Are you dissatisfied with the services of a Government of Québec department or agency? Or with those of a health and social services network institution (2nd level of recourse)? File a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman by calling 1-800-463-5070 or use our online complaint form.