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About Us

The Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) Advocates Network was initiated in 2006 through the West Central Women’s Resource Centre HOMES Program (The HOMES program mentors women in advocacy on housing and income security).

The purpose of the Network is:

1) to build the expertise and experience of advocates working with people who rely on EIA by sharing resources, strategies and information

2) to help community better understand EIA policies and procedures in Manitoba

3) to work together for improvements to the EIA program

The Network is made up of community members who are on EIA, and community agency staff and volunteers that support individuals living on EIA. The regular meetings create an opportunity to discuss policy changes, training opportunities, share resources and create joint materials.

Originally community agencies proposed creating a joint working group with government and community groups to address EIA policies. The Network creates opportunities for community groups to dialogue with government on EIA issues and continues to recommend a joint working group.

In 2008 a letter sent to the Manitoba Ombudsman, signed by 12 organizations outlining concerns about EIA, resulted in a one year systemic review of EIA in a report by the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman’s Report released in 2010 on EIA contained 68 recommendations, 51 that were accepted immediately and most have been implemented. The EIA Advocates Network continues to work to ensure all recommendations are implemented and the EIA program better meets the needs of Manitobans.

Main Activities:

1)     As of April 2014, the EIA Advocates Network continues to focus on 4 areas from the Ombudsman’s Report:

  • Rate Review and improvements to incomes of people on EIA
  • Fair Practices Office and respectful treatment of EIA participants
  • Disability redefinition and new disability supports
  • Better assessment and support for individuals transitioning from EIA to work

2)     EIA Navigating the System manual written by Community Financial Counselling Service. There are printed copies available for $25.00.

3)     The Manitoba Government staff in EIA share with the EIA Network and other interested community members the policy circulars or policy directives that all EIA staff receive. The circulars are available on our website.

4)     The EIA Advocacy Network has regular meetings twice a year with the Minister responsible for EIA. There are more frequent meetings with department staff.  Information about these meetings is available through our meeting minutes.

5)     The EIA and Mental Health Working Group has a series of monthly meetings with government to discuss accommodation by EIA of individuals coping with mental health issues.

6)     Regular EIA Advocates Network meetings and information sharing every 3rd Wednesday of every month at 10:00 am at 222 Furby Street.

7)     List of Advocates with various agencies that help EIA participants navigate EIA, take appeals to the Social Services Appeal Board and access support and resources to meet basic needs.

For more information contact

  1. Glen Downey permalink

    I recently had my teeth cleaned @ the dentist.. However, I was not told that I could have my teeth cleaned every year.. No one from your organisation has ever told me that. Therefore, I am intent on a broad self ad-vocation, whereas if a medical doctor has deemed me as not employable how will I live when my mother goes into a senior citizens home or worse.. Whereas, your organisation has never assured me regarding a safe and affordable place to live according to the U.N. Charter of Rights!!!

    Therefore, I am to the point that I have to act whereas, I am only allowed to make $6500.00 per year on C.P.P. and may earn up to $200.00 per month on E.I.A.??!!!

    I have been a consumer of your organisation for ten years and I have a wide vocabulary of how your organisation has treated me for this past tense!!

    Therefore, I am in a precarious position to self advocate whereas, I have the resources at my disposal to arouse help in my favour regarding my future Health and Welfare. After all it is in my opinion that I reserve the right to bring about a better near future life for myself given the complete disregard of any help from your organisation regarding any way to improve my well being.. It is a violation of basic human rights to have to live at this level of poverty, especially the fact is that E.I.A. has not increased in over 20 years..! And yet the poverty line in Canada is just under 30k..!!!!!! FUBAR..!!!!

    Whereas, I have had several workers? throughout my tenure with E.I.A. and I am convinced I have been neglected given my mental health diagnosis and have been ignored within the Censored Regime that is to me E.I.A.!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I would appreciate any help I can get..!!!

  2. Kerry permalink

    I am looking for someone to talk to about a medical struggle I am having with EIA. Please contact me as I have no clue how to fight for my rights in this area with EIA.

  3. Danielle Giesbrecht permalink

    I need to send a recommendation of commendation to my EIA worker who has helped me more than ANY other in the past 7 years. She goes above and beyond to help me feel human and has kept me alive! I want her bosses to give her high praises as she has set an example of how EVERY EIA counsellor should be..or at least try their best to follow her lead in dignity and humanity strength and empathy.!! Who do I contact to give this girl the high praise she deserves so much?

  4. Eva permalink

    Hello; I have been diagnosed with Inflammatory bowel disease since 1994. This disease is very different and at the same time share similar symptoms as Inflammatory bowel syndrome. I have been coping with the daily pain from IBD since 1991. Periodically I have been in and out of the workforce and many times had to quit my employment because of the on-going daily pain. My concern is this; I have been receiving EIA in the past couple of years and I was receiving disability allowance. However, yet again, the EIA medical panel has denied my disability payments and placed me on regular benefits. I don’t understand their logic. Do they not understand the Chronic Pain of this disease or at least know what the disease is about ? I require your assistance in appealing the medical board judgement and hope to overturn their former decision regarding my disability. I also have hypoglycemia, anemia, high cholesterol, depression, and sleep deprivation which is caused by the Chronic pain. My doctor has sent all the information as requested and still was denied. Please contact me by telephone: 204-615-7081 or email at: to set up an appointment with a counselor to review my case. Even my Social Worker at Rorie Street can’t believe I was denied.

    Thank You in advance and I hope to hear from you very soon.

    Eva Lavallee

  5. Joanne Middleton permalink

    Why do they not help people wanting to get a job and get off eia !! They put up so many road blocks your suppose to be able to make two hundred dollars over the 500.00 you get per month but that does not always happen !! It is very hard for some of these people and in this case an over age cfs child trying to get a job without any job experience !! She has mange to get one job however after the training at save on foods has been only getting two 4 hour shifts a month maybe a pick up shift but not more than 16 hours at best that is if someone phones in sick !! She found another job , not easy because now save on foods has you that it’s a conflict for u to work at Walmart or any other completion !! Plus they have now hired a bunch more cashiers saying they need more but employees are not getting any hours !So how do you get a job she has put out at least 400 resumes and now working with apprendhip mb job services not sure what u call them which was by chance as I was in seeing about my sons apprenticeship! To move on no one sent her there ! She managed to get a job at a meat deli but that too has no consistent hours and come fall will be even less!! She is trying to find a third job that might be year round but has had no luck !! Suddenly after saying her April rent had been paid at mb housing they have come back and said they took that back and she had to pay two months rent !! If we want people to get back to work why are we not supporting them instead of nickel and dining them to death !! Plus this constant fighting to get help to keep going to get on your feet !! I am shocked how little is done and with such difficulty , I can see why people don’t even try !! I have been helping this young girl and trust me without harvest she would not make it now they want withdraw service I’m completely amiss at what to do !!

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