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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?

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