Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale

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Rights and obligations

This section describes your rights and your obligations in matters of recovery.


Review

The claim notice specifies that the claim can be contested. You have 90 days, from the date you receive the claim, to submit an application for review. The required form is available from your Services Québec office .

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Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ)

If you disagree with the decision made following the review, you may file an appeal with the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ)Link to external site. within 60 days of receiving the notice of decision. The TAQ decision is final.

However, immediately after the time period allowed to submit an application for review or to appeal the review with the Tribunal administratif du Québec expires, you are obligated to repay the amounts claimed, in accordance with the terms of repayment.

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Repayment

You can reimburse the amount claimed as soon as you receive the claim notice.

When the deadline to contest a claim or claims has expired, the ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale issues a claim certificate. This document allows the Ministère to use the means stipulated by regulation to recover the amounts claimed.

The certificate also allows the Ministère to collect interest and fees on the amounts owing.

If you received financial assistance from the Ministère while waiting to receive assistance (e.g. CNESST or SAAQ benefits), you must reimburse the full amount of conditional assistance claimed (realization of a right) by the Ministère as soon as you receive the other assistance.

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Terms and conditions of repayment

Claims concerning conditional financial assistance, paid to individuals who are entitled to amounts from another organization but have not yet received them, are payable immediately and in full. Other types of claims must be repaid as follows:

If you are receiving financial assistance from the Ministère:

  • An amount is deducted (monthly in the case of last-resort financial assistance or every two weeks in the case of an employment assistance allowance issued by Emploi-Québec) from the amount to which you are entitled.
  • The amount withheld cannot exceed 50% of amount of financial assistance.
  • Withholdings are suspended for a person taking part in the Aim for Employment measure or their spouse.
  • If you are receiving more than one kind of financial assistance under the programs indicated above, only one of these amounts will be subject to withholdings.

To find out the amounts withheld, see the table below.

Amounts withheld
 

Last-resort financial assistance (monthly)

Employment-assistance allowance
(weekly)
No misrepresentation
$56
$13
One instance of misrepresentation
$112
$26
More than one instance of misrepresentation
$224
$52
Special cases*
$22
N/A

* Special cases:

  • A person in a shelter or a foster home
  • A person whose spouse is a student
  • A person who is placed in a social rehabilitation centre
  • A person under 18 who has a dependent child and who is sheltered in an institution

Note: People who are only entitled to a claim slip (drug card) under last-resort financial assistance programs are not considered to be receiving financial assistance.

If you are not receiving any financial assistance from the Ministère

If you are unable to repay the total amount, you must pay, every month and according to certain conditions, an amount that will allow you to repay your debt within a maximum of 36 months following the issuance of the claim certificate. Otherwise, a repayment agreement can be established according to your actual capacity to pay. However, the monthly amount cannot be lower than the withholding on the assistance paid by one of the last-resort financial assistance programs. The repayment can then be made on a monthly, bimonthly, biweekly or weekly basis. Contact a recovery officer to determine the terms of repayment. 

Under certain conditions, the Ministère can be required to protect their claim by taking out a legal hypotec (legal mortgage). The establishment of a legal mortgage takes place separately from the negotiating of a repayment agreement.

Every three months, the Ministère will send you an account balance to allow you to know the change in the amount to be repaid.

Please keep in mind that concluding and honouring an agreement is always preferable to legal proceedings. Moreover, when there is no misrepresentation, an agreement that is honoured avoids interest charges.

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Other means of recovering debts

The Ministère may resort to other means to recover amounts owed to it

Withholding of amounts by Revenu Québec

Whether or not you are receiving financial assistance from the Ministère, the following amounts that could be owed to you by Revenu Québec may be withheld to repay the sums you owe to the Ministère:

  • Amounts owed to you as income tax refunds can be entirely withheld, or up to the balance of your debt.
  • Amounts owed to you as solidarity tax credit payments are withheld entirely or partially (50%) , depending on your annual household income.

If you are receiving last-resort financial assistance, the amount withheld from a solidarity tax credit payment cannot exceed half the amount of the payment.

Legal proceedings

The Ministère can resort to the following legal recourses:

  • Legal hypotec (legal mortgage)
  • Garnishment of income
  • Seizure of bank accounts and financial investments
  • Seizure of property and real estate

To exercise a legal recourse, a certificate is filed with the court registry and costs are charged to the debtor’s account. Also, a file is opened at the courthouse and this information then becomes public.

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Order of priority for repayments

The Ministère establishes an order for allocating payments that takes into account the rights of the debtor as provided under the Québec Civil Code.

Allocation of repayments is done in a specified order and to the advantage of the debtor.

Unless the debtor indicates a different method in writing, repayments are allocated as follows:

  1. Charges for misrepresentation:
    • Individual interest
    • Solidary interest
    • Individual capital
    • Solidary capital
  2. Administrative fees for returned cheques (interest, then capital)
  3. Recovery charges (interest, then capital)
  4. Legal fees (capital)
  5. Claims for misrepresentation
    • Interest owed individually
    • Interest owed solidarily
    • Capital owed individually
    • Capital owed solidarily
  6. Claims for debts incurred after September 1981, without misrepresentation:
    • Interest owed individually
    • Interest owed solidarily
    • Capital owed individually
    • Capital owed solidarily
  7. Claims for debts incurred before September 1981:
    • Interest
    • Capital
  8. Claims for services not provided.

When there are several claims of the same nature (for misrepresentation or claims other than misrepresentation), older debts are given priority. Receipts are allocated to individual claims before being allocated to claims owed solidarily.

Please note that payments may not be allocated to the capital before charges and interest have been paid. Also, the choice as to the order of allocation does not apply to legal and administrative charges.

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Shared payments

The sharing of payments allows the Department to divide a payment between two distinct files.

The shared amount is considered as having been paid by the person benefiting from the sharing, as if that person had personally paid the amount.
The Ministère, unless otherwise specified, divides the amount withheld from the last-resort financial assistance equally between the debtor members of a same recipient family, so that each month, the amount of the debt of each debtor is reduced.

A debtor may allocate part of their payments to repay the debt of their spouse (solidarily liable or not). When the members of a same family decide on such a choice, written confirmation from each person concerned is required.

Before registering or changing the sharing method, the officer must obtain the written authorization of the debtor by having them complete the Request for application of payment form, unless the sharing is purely administrative.

Last update: 2022-02-15 Top of Page

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