Ministère du Travail, 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.


Repayment

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

However, once the deadline for applying for a review of the claim or for contesting the review decision before the Tribunal administratif du Québec has expired, you must repay the claim according to the terms and conditions described below.

When a deadline has expired, the ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale issues a claim certificate indicating your name, address and the amount to be repaid. This document allows the Department to use the means stipulated by regulation to recover the amounts claimed. It also allows the Department to collect interest and fees on the amounts owing.

If you receive financial assistance from the ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale while waiting to receive assistance (e.g. CNESST or SAAQ pension), you must reimburse the full amount of conditional assistance claimed by the Department as soon as you receive the other assistance.

Note

The information contained in this section may not be used for legal interpretation purposes and does not replace the provisions of the appropriate acts and regulations. The most recent update dates from February 2002.

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Terms and conditions of repayment

Conditional financial assistance is paid to individuals who are entitled to amounts from another organization that have not yet been paid. Claims for such assistance are payable immediately and in full. Other types of claims must be repaid as follows:

If you receive 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. See Table 1 for the amounts deducted from benefits.
  • If you receive more than one kind of financial assistance under the programs indicated above, the deduction is applied to only one of them.
Table 1: Debt payments deducted from benefits
 

Last-resort financial assistance (per month)

Employment- assistance allowance
(weekly)
No misrepresentation
$56
$13
Misrepresentation
$112
$26
More than one case of misrepresentation statement
$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

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If you receive financial assistance paid by the ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale

You are entitled to pay each month subject to certain terms and conditions an amount that is sufficient to repay your debt within 36 months at most. However, this monthly amount may not be lower than the amount deducted from last-resort financial assistance benefits.

If your financial resources do not allow you to comply with the above-mentioned rules, a repayment agreement reflecting your true capacity to pay can be reached.

Contact a claim officer to determine a repayment plan.

Where conditions apply, the Ministère is obliged to protect its right to be paid by taking out a mortgage.

A conventional mortgage is one that is taken with the consent of the debtor. Such mortgage is the result of a deed signed by the debtor and by the creditor (MTESS). It gives the creditor a guarantee of repayment of its claim in case of the death of the debtor, sale of the property, or refinancing of the property.

The taking out of a mortgage is independent of the negotiation of a repayment agreement, but will usually be proposed to the debtor at the time the agreement is negotiated.

Every two months, the Ministère will send you a statement indicating the amount outstanding.

Remember that honouring a repayment agreement is preferable to legal action and/or substantial recovery fees. Furthermore, if no misrepresentation is involved, complying with the repayment agreement means no interest charges.

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

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Other means of recovering debts

The MTESS may also use other means to recover amounts owed to it.

Withholding of amounts by Revenu Québec

Amounts payable to you by Revenu Québec can be withheld to repay amounts you owe to the ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, whether or not you are receiving financial assistance from the Ministère. This means that income tax refunds and solidarity tax credit payments can be withheld in order to reimburse amounts you owe to the Ministère. Amounts payable by Revenu Québec are withheld until you have repaid your debt in full.

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 measures

If you fail to comply with the rules for repayment, the MTESS may call on the following types of legal remedy:

  • Judicial hypothec (legal mortgage)
  • Garnishment of wages
  • Seizure of bank accounts and financial investments
  • Seizure of property and real estate

To exercise 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 palais de justice and this information then becomes public.

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Order of priority for repayments

The Department 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:

  • for various costs (costs resulting from misrepresentation, administrative costs, recovery costs, legal costs);
  • for claims for misrepresentation (allocation is to interest charges before allocation to the capital);
  • for claims other than for misrepresentation (allocation is to interest charges before allocation to the capital);

Repayment amounts are allocated to individual claims before being allocated to solidarily liable claims.

Please note that payments may not be allocated to the capital before interest owed and arrears 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 such person had personally paid the amount.

The Department, unless indication to the contrary, divides equally between the debtor members of a same recipient family the amount withheld, so that each month, the amount withheld from the financial assistance reduces the amount of the debt of each debtor.

A debtor may allocate part of his or her payments to repay the debt (solidarily liable or not) of his or her spouse. 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 him or her complete the appropriate form, unless the sharing is purely administrative.

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Review

As indicated in the claim notice, the claim may be contested. You have 90 days from the date you receive the claim to file an application for review. The appropriate form can be obtained from your local employment centre (CLE)Open in a new window..

For more information on applications for review, consult the Reviewing a Decision pamphlet at any CLE.

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. Forms for this purpose are available at TAQ offices. The TAQ decision is final.

Last update: 2016-04-11 Top of Page

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