COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions during the COVID-19 crisis.

General

Why am I experiencing delays when contacting FMEP?

Based on orders from the Provincial Health Officer, staffing levels have been significantly reduced in our FMEP client offices.

Because of limited staff you will experience delays when:

  • Calling our offices
  • Waiting for a response to web messages or callback requests
  • Requesting to enrol in FMEP

Your understanding and patience is greatly appreciated during this time.

Have you limited enforcement action during this crisis?

We know this is a stressful time for all families in BC and that both parents may experience financial hardship during this public health crisis.

  • The payor is still required to support his or her children by paying the maintenance owing under the order or agreement
  • If the full amount due cannot be paid at once, partial payments should be made

We are limiting some of the actions taken by the program during this time. FMEP has temporarily stopped:

  • Issuing any new Credit Reports to credit reporting agencies
  • Issuing any Default Fees for missed or late payments
  • Proceeding with Driver’s Licence Cancellations

Other actions used by FMEP to collect unpaid maintenance are still available and may be considered on a case by case basis.

Will you attach the new federal CERB payments?

The federal government determines which emergency benefit a person qualifies for and depending on the benefit, it may be attachable by FMEP to satisfy a maintenance obligation.

Recipients

Will I continue to get payments? What if payments stop?

We will continue to send you any payments that are received at FMEP.

  • If payments stop, we will assess your case and take appropriate action to try to get your maintenance
  • Our efforts may be limited depending on the payor’s current circumstances, so please know there is no guarantee that we can collect your maintenance at this time

The payor is in another jurisdiction, will I still get payments?

We will continue to send you any payments that are received from the other maintenance enforcement program.

  • If payments stop, we still expect them to take appropriate action to try to get your maintenance.
  • Their efforts may be limited depending on the payor’s current circumstances, so please know there is no guarantee that they can collect your maintenance at this time.

Payors

I’m not able to send payments, what should I do?

You still are required to pay the amount owing under your order or agreement as FMEP does not have the authority to suspend or forgive your maintenance payments.

  • We understand you may have difficulty paying your maintenance payments in full and on time
  • If you are unable to pay the full amount due, we strongly encourage you to make partial payments and contact us about your situation

I’ve been laid off, what will happen now?

We encourage you to work out a payment arrangement with the program. Go to Voluntary Payment Arrangement to find out more.

  • If you fall behind on payments we must consider appropriate steps to ensure continued payment of the maintenance owing.
  • This may include issuing a Federal Interception that will re-direct a portion of any federal funds that you receive.
    • For example, a portion of any EI payments may be directed to FMEP for your maintenance obligations

Where can I get help changing my order or agreement?

A new process was recently launched for anyone wanting to change an order or agreement because of the impact of COVID-19. Go to the Family Justice website to find out more.

Attachees

Are payments still owing under the Notice of Attachment?

We continue to send the recipient any payments that are received at FMEP.

  • If money is still owing to the payor, please continue to send payments for the Notice of Attachment.
  • If the payor has been laid off or if no money is owing to the payor at this time, remember that the Notice of Attachment remains in place so deductions need to resume when there is money owing to the payor again.

How should payments be sent to FMEP?

If you are not already doing so, please send the Notice of Attachment payments using online banking. Go to Sending NOA Payments and see option 2.