Living with a disability can come with a lot of financial difficulties. Besides the added costs associated with your disability, such as medical equipment, it might be difficult or impossible for you to work. This means that you cannot earn a stable income for yourself. In British Columbia, the government offers payments to help offset some of the financial difficulties that come with living with a disability. These payments are known as BC Disability Assistance.
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What Is The BC Disability Assistance Program?
The BC Disability Assistance Program provides monthly disability assistance payments to people with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Designation. The BC government assesses if a person qualifies for this designation, and if so, designates them as such.
Besides the monthly disability assistance payments, the program also provides financial supplements. These supplements can help with the cost of living expenses, such as a bus pass, and with the cost of medical expenses, such as nutritional expenses.
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The amount of money you receive in your monthly payment depends on whether you’re working or not, whether you are married or not, how many children you have, and whether one or both spouses in a marriage have the Persons with Disabilities Designation. You can still work and receive the full amount of a BC Disability Assistance payment, but you must earn under a certain amount per year.
British Columbia Disability Assistance Payment Dates 2023
BC Disability Assistance is paid out monthly.
|Payment Date||Period Covered|
|January 18, 2023||February 2023|
|February 15, 2023||March 2023|
|March 22, 2023||April 2023|
|April 19, 2023||May 2023|
|May 17, 2023||June 2023|
|June 21, 2023||July 2023|
|July 19, 2023||August 2023|
|August 23, 2023||September 2023|
|September 20, 2023||October 2023|
|October 25, 2023||November 2023|
|November 22, 2023||December 2023|
|December 20, 2023||January 2024|
How Much Can You Get Through BC Disability Assistance?
While you can still earn money through BC Disability Assistance if you’re working or have other sources of income, you will get the most money if your only source of income is BC Disability Assistance. The amount of money you receive depends on whether you’re working or not, whether you are married or not, how many children you have, and whether one or both spouses in a marriage have the Persons with Disabilities Designation. You can get a minimum of $1,358.50 a month and a maximum of $2,143.50 a month.
Annual Earning Exemption
If you are working, there is an income threshold, known as an annual earning exemption, where you can still get a full BC Disability Assistance payment. To qualify for full monthly payments, you must earn under $15,000 a year if you are a single person with the Persons with Disabilities Designation. In a two-adult family where one person has the Persons with Disabilities Designation, you must earn under $18,000 a year. If both adults have this designation in such a family, that family can earn a maximum of $30,000 a year.
Once you reach the annual earning exemption limit, any money you earn is deducted dollar for dollar from your assistance payment.
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Eligibility Requirements For The BC Disability Assistance
To receive BC Disability Assistance, you must meet certain eligibility criteria.
You must meet certain requirements, be the age of majority in BC, which is 18, be seriously limited in your ability to perform day-to-day living activities, have a severe physical or mental impairment that is likely to last for two or more years, and require assistance with day-to-day living activities from another person, an assistive device, or an assistance animal.
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Before you can receive disability assistance, you must meet income and asset criteria. Certain assets, such as liquid cash, personally owned property that can be turned into liquid cash, or personal interest in a trust, are exempt. Generally, the exemption limits are $100,000 for a person or family where one adult has the Persons with Disabilities Designation or $200,000 for a family where both adults have the Persons with Disabilities Designation. Some assets don’t count toward this limit, such as your home or one vehicle.
If you have a trust or are setting up a trust, you must disclose it when you’re applying for BC Disability Assistance. The trust will be reviewed and must be approved before it can qualify for an exemption.
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How To Apply For BC Disability Assistance
To apply for BC Disability Assistance, you must show that you meet the financial eligibility to receive assistance and complete the Persons with Disabilities Designation Application.
This application has three sections. As the applicant, you fill out the applicant section. For the medical report section, your doctor or nurse practitioner fills it out. A prescribed professional, such as a doctor, registered nurse, or social worker, fills out the assessor report section.
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Receiving The BC Disability Assistance Payment
You can receive the BC Disability Assistance Payment by cheque. You can also sign up to receive it by direct deposit.
You must fill out a Direct Deposit Request form, attach a void personal cheque, and submit it to get your payment by direct deposit.
Additional Disability Support In British Columbia
If you are eligible to receive the BC Disability Assistance Payment, there is additional disability support and additional money available to you.
There are a number of general supplements available, such as a bus pass and a guide dog and service dog allowance. These supplements include:
- Bus pass: You can either get a bus pass or money equivalent to the value of a bus pass added to your monthly disability assistance payment.
- Crisis supplement: You can get a payment to help you with emergency situations that affect you or your family’s health or safety.
- Guide dog and service dog allowance: This supplement will help you with costs associated with a guide dog or service dog team.
- Identification fees: You can receive money to acquire any government-issued identification you may need.
- Security deposit: You can get money to help you pay for a security deposit and a pet damage deposit. Note that you will have to pay this money back.
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There are a number of health supplements available as well. The supplements include:
- Infant formula: You can get money for children under 12 months of age for infant formula if they cannot breastfeed.
- Monthly nutritional supplement: This supplement is intended to provide those with a severe medical condition with vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional items to supplement a regular diet.
- Natal supplement: Pregnant people receiving assistance or those who have an infant less than seven months old may get an extra $45 added to their monthly disability assistance payment.
- Optical: Certain kinds of assistance also entitle you to free optical services.
- Tube feeding: This supplement helps you with costs if you must primarily get your nutrition via tube feeding.
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BC Disability Assistance is a program available to designated Persons with Disabilities. It comprises a monthly payment and, depending on your situation, certain financial supplements. You must first apply and be assessed to be a Person with Disabilities to receive payments from this program. The purpose of the BC Disability Assistance Program is ultimately to help offset the expenses of living with a disability and to provide people with disabilities with more independence.