P.E.I. spends extra $1.1M on social assistance, disability support

Cost overruns of more than $1-million in P.E.I.'s social assistance and disability support programs in the 2014-15 fiscal year are being attributed to a higher number of cases.

More cases and higher average cost per case puts province in red

The province spent $1.1M more than was budgeted for social assistance and disability support. (iStock)

Cost overruns of more than $1-million in P.E.I.'s social assistance and disability support programs in the 2014-15 fiscal year are being attributed to a higher number of cases.

The P.E.I. cabinet recently approved a special warrant of $1,119,000 to cover the shortfall. Special warrants are issued when a department spends more money than was budgeted.

"We saw an increase in our caseload and our average cost per case in both the social assistance and the DSP," explained Lane Pineau, the director of finance with the Department of Family and Human Services. 

64 more people needed social assistance and disability support for a caseload of 5,058 Islanders in 2014-15, but Pineau said some of the cases were more complex and therefore cost more.

More than $617,000 of the overspending will be offset by an increase in revenue for provincial housing programs, he added. 

With files from Angela Walker

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