The Public Guardian and Trustee and youth in care
If you are in the continuing care of the province of BC, then you have a property guardian called the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT). As your property guardian, we are here to look out for your legal and financial interests.
What does this really mean?
Instead of social workers, we have Guardianship and Trust Officers (GTOs). They apply for financial benefits you may be entitled to collect. For example, if your parent receives Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefits or has passed away, you might be eligible to receive these benefits too!
If you are eligible, you can receive these monthly payments up to age 18. While you are in school after age 18, you can continue to receive them up to age 25.
We will apply for and receive these on your behalf and any other benefits that you may be eligible for. To do this, your GTO may ask you, your social worker, your foster parents or any other important adult who helps you, to share information.
Help with legal issues
If you are injured or involved in an accident while in the continuing care of the province, your social worker will share this information with us. Injuries can be from car accidents, accidents at school, physical or sexual assaults, or other kinds of injury or harm.
We review the information to find out if there might be a legal claim to make on your behalf.
What happens to your money?
If we receive financial benefits or money from a claim for you, we will hold it in a trust account that earns interest every month. When you turn 19, we will release any funds held in trust to you.
Under special circumstances, we may release money early from your trust fund for specific items or activities that are not paid for by your social worker or anyone else.
To find out more, you or your social worker can contact us to discuss your needs.
What happens when you turn 19?
First, you will need a bank account. We can work with you and your social worker or any other trusted adult in your life to help you build a plan that is right for you to manage your money and to set and reach financial goals. Your GTO would like to meet with you as early as possible to come up with a plan.
If you are not sure what you want to do, or you are not feeling ready to receive your money, at 19, you can consent to have the PGT continue to hold your funds until you are ready, up until your 27th birthday.
IDENTIFICATION: The PGT may have your ID! Check in with your social worker or contact us directly to learn more.
INCOME TAXES: If you have a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the PGT will begin filing your income taxes when you are 16 and will continue filing them for you until the plan is transferred to you.
Contact the PGT with any questions at 604-775-3480 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you leave your cell phone number, they can call or text you.
Or, you can call Toll free through Service BC – dial the number for your area and ask for the Public Guardian and Trustee (office hours 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday).