Social Development

Are you a member? Login for access to additional resources, information, and events:



The Band Social Development Worker (BSDW) works to provide social assistance and social
development for the Upper Similkameen Indian Band (USIB) to all on-reserve members or non-members
that are legally residing on USIB land. The BSDW delivers the Family Violence Program, Adult in
Home Care, and National Child Benefit Programs to the community, and will refer families and
individuals to support services as required. This is a non-judgemental position and one that focuses on
providing support to individuals who have fallen on hard times, while also assisting in making the
transition back to work a positive experience.

The BSDW partners with the Pre-Employment Program Case Worker and in collaboration assists clients to get paid training to remove obstacles that may interfere with obtaining sustainable work. Should you want further information about any of the above-mentioned programs please email or call the USIB Administration office at 250-292-8733. Alternatively, you can contact (PEP) or (OTDC).

Social Development Programs & Services

  • Income Assistance

    Income Assistance Provides: 

    • Basic on-reserve Income Assistance
    • Person with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB)
    • Persons with Disabilities (PWD)
    • Monthly Nutritional Supplement – Specific qualification requirements.
    • Adult In-Home Care (income tested)

    Basic Income Assistance: 

    Income assistance is temporary funds to assist with basic needs of food and shelter until one is able to regain financial independence.

    When calling to make an appointment please keep in mind it takes 7-10 business days to process a complete application. If forms or information are missing from the file, it will delay processing.

    Eligibility for Basic Income Assistance:

      • Must be between the ages of 19 and 64
      • Must provide proof of financial need
      • Live on one of the Upper Similkameen Indian Band Reserves
      • Applicant can be status or non-status, and does not need to be a band member

    How to Apply for Income Assistance:

    Call and make an appiontment 250.292.8733

    During the COVID-19 outbreak, we will only be contacting clients through phone and email to respect the Physical Distancing required to minimize the spread.

    You can pick up an application package at the Band Office. During the COVID-19 outbreak, you must call to schedule pickup of a package.

    Definition of Income: 

    Earned income – wages, rent payments to you, fishing, carving, self-employed income

    Unearned income – Employment Insurance (EI), honorariums, Workers Compensation payments, ICBC claims, Bingo or gambling winnings

    Keeping Your File Open: 

    • Hand in a signed Renewal slip (if you have a partner – they need to sign the form too)
    • Hand in a copy of your monthly active Employment Action Plan
    • If you get a notice from the IA worker about missing information, ensure the information is into worker ASAP so as not to delay monthly Income Assistance cheque
    • Update your worker on any changes to your situation or income

    Persons with Multiple Barriers (PPMB):

      • Must have an active Income Assistance file for 12 out of 15 consecutive months
      • The medical condition must exist for a minimum of 2 years
      • You will need to pickup the form from your Band Social Development Worker and return to him or her when completed by your doctor
      • The program will pay the service charge from the doctor so please make sure their billing information is completed
      • The file is reviewed every 2 years

    Persons with Disabilities (PWD):

    • Medical condition will exist for more than 2 years
    • Your Band Social Development worker will need to request the form

    When you get the form have your medical doctor fill in their section and you will need to complete your section. The program will pay the service charge from the doctor so please make sure his billing information is complete. When completed return to your BDSW for him or her to complete their section and mail out for adjudication. Watch the mail for the letter informing you of the decision.

    Employable clients = Employable clients are allowed to earn $400/month without it being deducted from your support/IA.

    Shelter Rates: 

    The shelter rate is equal to off reserve income assistance rates. The payment is for actual documented costs for:

        • Rent/mortgage payments
        • Hydro / Utilities
        • Heat
        • Basic telephone rental

Meet our Family Support Coordinator, Sally Holmes:

“As most of you know my name is Sally Holmes, I have 3 children. I live here in Hedley with my spouse Mark McRae and our youngest daughter Jodi McRae. We have lived in the community for 16 years now. I was born and raised here in Hedley and moved to Merritt, BC when I was 16, I lived there until I was 30 and then I moved home to raise my youngest daughter with my family. My mother is Alice Louie (Holmes) daughter to Ramona Nahumpchin. My Father is Dale Squakin, youngest of Manny & Hazel Squakin.

I will be working in the community as the Family Support Coordinator and Band Social Development Worker (BSDW). For the past 5 years I have been working for Okanagan Indian Band in Vernon as a Pre-employment Support worker. I have experience working with various age groups as my career has developed over years. I recently completed my Administrative Assistant Certification online, a goal I set a long time ago, which is something I am very proud of.

I look forward to seeing the growth and success within our community.”