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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 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.  

Need additional financial assistance? Check out the social assistance program in BC.

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.

Find out if you qualify for the federal disability tax credit.

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 DatePeriod Covered
January 18, 2023February 2023
February 15, 2023March 2023
March 22, 2023April 2023
April 19, 2023May 2023
May 17, 2023June 2023
June 21, 2023July 2023
July 19, 2023August 2023
August 23, 2023September 2023
September 20, 2023October 2023
October 25, 2023November 2023
November 22, 2023December 2023
December 20, 2023January 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.

Find out if you can get a loan with the BC disability assistance.

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.

Need help caring for your child? Check out if you qualify for CCB

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.

Have a low income? Check out these tax tips for low-income earners.

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.

Check out how to apply for the hst/gst tax credit.

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.

General Supplements

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.

Do you have a medical emergency? Get a loan with these urgent cash loans.

Health Supplements

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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In Closing

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.

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 In his spare time, Matthew enjoys reading, geocaching, and spending time with his family and pets.

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