When the proposed regulation modifying the Individual and Family Assistance Act was published in the National Assembly’s Gazette officielle du Québec on February 27, 2013, Portage was concerned by the article that proposed, among other things, to limit individuals’ eligibility for special benefits if they are seeking residential treatment for substance abuse rehabilitation. Along with several other substance abuse rehabilitation organisations, Portage sent a letter to the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, requesting that changes be made in order to better protect our clients.
The collective voice was heard. The Minister of Employment and Social
Solidarity reviewed the proposed regulation, and the changes made were
significant enough that Portage clients are no longer affected by them.
For people suffering from serious substance abuse problems, the optimal length of stay in residential therapy is six months. If the proposed regulation were to be implemented, limiting eligibility for special benefits to a maximum of twice per year for up to ninety days, it would have deprived certain Portage clients of part of their income. Furthermore, limiting the duration of treatment could prevent some people from seeking the care they desperately need, and could even lead to premature withdrawal from a treatment program.