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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 troublesome or impossible for you to work.

In British Columbia, the government offers payments to help offset some of the financial difficulties that come with living with a disability. These payments come from the Disability Assistance program in BC.  

Key Points

  • The Disability Assistance Program in BC provides monthly payments to qualifying individuals who need financial or medical support.
  • You must meet income requirements and be classified as a Person With Disabilities (PWD) to be eligible for this assistance.
  • Payments can be as high as $2,423.50, depending on your living situation.
  • Benefit payments are made on a monthly basis.

What Is The Disability Assistance Program In BC?

The BC Disability Assistance Program provides monthly disability assistance payments to people with the 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, such as a bus pass and nutritional expenses. 

Eligibility Requirements For The BC Disability Assistance

To receive BC Disability Assistance, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Meet financial eligibility based on your living situation
  • Have a long-term severe physical or mental impairment
  • Be unable to fully perform day-to-day activities
  • Need help with daily activities from a caregiver, a medical device, or a service animal

How Much Can You Get Through BC Disability Assistance?

The amount of money you receive in your monthly payment depends on the following:

  • Employment status
  • Marital status
  • Number of children
  • Whether one or both spouses in a marriage have the Persons with Disabilities Designation

Maximum Disability Assistance Payment Amounts

The maximum disability assistance payments are as follows:

StatusMaximum Monthly Benefit
Single$1,483.50
Single with one child$1,828.50
Couple, both with Persons with Disabilities designation and no children$2,423.50
Couple, both with Persons with Disabilities designation and one child$2,268.50
Persons living in a Community Living BC funded residence$1,483.50 (From this, you pay Community Living BC service provider $841.13/month for basic living costs)

Can You Work And Get Disability Assistance In BC?

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.

Once you reach the annual earning exemption limit, any money you earn is deducted dollar for dollar from your assistance payment. However, you can keep all the money that you earn yourself. 

As of January 1, 2024, the annual income exemption limits are as follows:

  • Single persons with the Persons with Disabilities designation: $16,200/year
  • Families with 2 adults where only one person has the Persons with Disabilities designation: $19,440/year
  • Families where both adults have the Persons with Disabilities designation: $32,400/year

British Columbia Disability Assistance Payment Dates 2024

BC Disability Assistance is paid out monthly on the following dates in 2024:

Payment CoveredPayment Date
February 2024January 17, 2024
March 2024February 14, 2024
April 2024March 20, 2024
May 2024April 17, 2024
June 2024May 15, 2024
July 2024June 19, 2024
August 2024July 17, 2024
September 2024August 21, 2024
October 2024September 18, 2024
November 2024October 23, 2024
December 2024November 20, 2024
January 2025December 18, 2024

How Will You Receive The BC Disability Assistance Payment?

You can receive the BC Disability Assistance Payment by cheque or 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.

How To Apply For BC Disability Assistance

You can apply for the Disability Assistance program in BC by using the My Self Serve (MySS) portal

Disability Assistance Application Process

  1. You must show that you meet the financial eligibility to receive assistance.
  2. You will need to complete the Persons with Disabilities Designation Application, which includes 3 sections:
  • Section 1. This section must be filled out by the applicant.
  • Section 2. This section is filled out by a doctor or nurse practitioner.
  • Section 3. This section is filled out by a prescribed professional, such as a physician, registered nurse, or social worker.

Simplified Persons with Disabilities Designation Application

if you’re already participating in certain programs, you may be able to use the simplified Persons with Disabilities designation application. This process has a much shorter application form. If you are part of any of the programs below, call 1-866-866-0800 to request the simplified application form. 

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) – Disability Benefits
  • Community Living BC (CLBC)
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development At Home Program
  • BC PharmaCare Plan P – Palliative Care Benefits

Are Payments From The BC Disability Assistance Program Taxable?

If you have been classified as a Person With Disability by the BC government and are eligible for disability assistance benefits, you do not need to pay taxes on these payments. You will receive a T5007 slip that will determine how much you received in disability assistance payments during the year. 

The income shown on this slip is not taxable, but you must still include the amounts in your net income. These amounts are then reported on line 115 of a T1, and may be deducted on line 250.

Additional Disability Support In British Columbia

If you are eligible to receive the BC Disability Assistance Payment, you may be able to receive additional disability support through the program such as.

General Supplements

Each supplement has its own eligibility criteria. If you qualify you can receive financial help for various costs such as: 

  • Bus passes: 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.

Health Supplements

There are a number of health supplements available as well, including the following:

  • 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 7 months old may get extra money 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.

Dental And Optical Coverage

If you are eligible for disability assistance, you may qualify to have basic optical and dental costs covered. 

  • Dental Coverage – You and your spouse can receive basic dental coverage up to $1,000 for 2 calendar years. Children under the age of 19 in households on disability assistance may qualify for up to $2,000 for 2 calendar years.
  • Optical Coverage – You may also be covered for basic optical coverage such as routine optical exams, and new lenses.

Other Disability Benefits Programs You Can Apply For In BC

The federal government also offers several disability benefits to those who qualify, including the following:

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefits – The CPP Disability Benefit is a taxable benefit that you may qualify for if you are under the age of 65 and have a disability that prevents you from working. 

Child Disability Benefit (CDB) – The CDB is a tax-free monthly payment for families who care for children under the age of 18 who are suffering from a severe and long-term medical impairment.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Children’s Benefits – The CPP Children’s Benefit is a monthly payment made to the dependent children of those who receive CPP disability benefits and are caring for eligible dependent children under 25 years of age. 

Disability Benefits For Veterans – This benefit is a tax-free payment made to eligible veterans who have suffered an illness or injury due to their service. The payments are designed to help cover the cost of supporting your well-being.

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – The RDSP is a long-term savings plan designed to help people who are approved for the Disability Tax Credit. The federal government can help with these savings by contributing to your plan.

Disability Tax Credit (DTC) – The DTC is a non-refundable tax credit available to Canadians with disabilities or their supporting families. The credit is meant to reduce the amount of income tax you may have to pay, which can then offset the costs associated with your disability. 

Final Thoughts

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. As long as you continue to meet eligibility requirements, you can use the assistance payments to bridge the financial gap. 

BC Disability Program FAQs

What happens if I reach my annual exemption income limit?

If you reach and exceed your annual limit, you’ll no longer get assistance payments. However, you may still be eligible to receive medical and transportation benefits.

How long can you stay on disability in BC?

You may continue to be eligible for disability assistance as long as you are unable to work due to a prolonged, severe medical ailment and meet all other eligibility criteria.

Can I still receive disability assistance if I move out of the province?

The BC Disability Assistance program is available to BC residents. You may not qualify for these specific benefits if you move out of the province. That said, each province has a disability assistance program that you may be eligible for once you settle there. In addition, the federal government provides disability programs to help out financially.

Will an inheritance affect my disability assistance payments?

Inheritances are exempt as income up to your asset level. As such, the funds won’t be deducted from your disability assistance. However, you have to declare the inheritance to the Ministry.
Matthew Taylor avatar on Loans Canada
Matthew Taylor

Matthew joined the Loans Canada writing team in 2021 while was finishing up a Bachelor's degree at the University of Saskatchewan. It was there that he discovered his love of writing. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Canadian Student Review and NewEngineer.com. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys reading, geocaching, and spending time with his family and pets.

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