As the cost of living rises in British Columbia, some individuals living with one form of disability or another find it very hard to meet their financial needs. The provincial government of British Columbia offers a financial social assistance and disability support program to low-income earning individuals or residents designated as Persons With Disabilities (PWD) who have difficulty meeting their basic needs and also need health support.
Not only does the British Columbia government provide financial assistance and disability support to these individuals, but there are also various supplemental benefits such as health and general support, as well as employment assistance that these eligible individuals can receive.
What Is The BC Disability Assistance?
The British Columbia Disability Assistance program is a government-sponsored program that provides financial aid and other essential support to individuals living in British Columbia who have been designated as Persons With Disabilities (PWD). The program's focus is to help them meet the costs of living expenses.
The program is issued by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to residents of British Columbia living with one form of significant mental or physical disability or another that impairs their ability to carry out daily tasks without help.
The BC Disability Assistance for Persons With Disabilities also provides employment assistance to eligible individuals to help them find work and earn a living.
BC Disability Assistance: PWD Benefit Payment Date 2023
The BC Disability Assistance payments are made monthly on the previous month. In other words, the benefit for July is paid in June; August is paid in July, and so on. You can choose to receive your PWD benefit payments through direct deposits or cheques.
For the 2023 benefit year, if you signed up for direct deposits, you will receive your PWD benefits on the following dates:
|Benefit Month||Payment date|
|January 2023||December 21, 2022|
|February||January 18, 2023|
|March||February 15, 2023|
|April||March 22, 2023|
|May||April 19, 2023|
|June||May 17, 2023|
|July||June 21, 2023|
|August||July 19, 2023|
|September||August 23, 2023|
|October||September 20, 2023|
|November||October 25, 2023|
|December||November 22, 2023|
|January 2024||December 20, 2023|
However, if you signed up to receive your PWD benefit payments by cheque, you will receive your payments by mail or, alternatively, you can pick them up from a government office yourself.
PWD benefit cheques are mailed out on the Sunday before the direct deposit payment date. This allows enough time for the cheques to get to the recipients before the due dates.
For the 2023 benefit year, if you choose to pick up your monthly payment cheques at your local welfare office, the cheques will be available on the following dates:
|Benefit Month||Payment date|
|January, 2023||December 17, 2022|
|February||January 14, 2023|
|March||February 11, 2023|
|April||March 18, 2023|
|May||April 15, 2023|
|June||May 10, 2023|
|July||June 15, 2023|
|August||July 12, 2023|
|September||August 16, 2023|
|October||September 20, 2023|
|November||October 21, 2023|
|December||November 18, 2023|
|January 2024||December 16,2023|
Related: If you have relatives in Ontario ,they may be interested in learning about ODSP payment dates.
BC Disability Assistance: PWD Benefits
The BC Disability Assistance program majorly provides monthly financial assistance to eligible residents. However, there are other benefits recipients may receive together with financial support. The benefits include:
Eligible individuals of the BC Disability Assistance can receive a monthly PWD benefit payment to help them cover the costs of living necessities.
The amount paid is made up of two parts:
- Support Allowance
- Shelter Allowance
Individuals with disabilities may also receive other supplemental benefits besides the financial support they already receive. Supplemental benefits aim to help you cover extra costs related to your disability or disabilities.
The supplemental benefits are divided into two categories:
- General supplements
- Health supplements
The general supplements provide financial assistance payments to cover the costs of expenses such as coverage for:
|Camp fees||Bus passes|
|Christmas expenses||Crisis or emergency expenses|
|Cooperative housing membership share fees||Family maintenance fees|
|Funeral costs||Guide dog and service dog expenses|
|Moving or relocation expenses||Pre-natal shelter costs|
|ID card fees||Lost or stolen cheque replacements|
|School startup expenses||Security costs|
|Travel expenses||Utility security bills|
The health supplements provide monthly financial assistance to cover health-related costs for recipients with severe disabilities that cause continuous deterioration of their health.
Under the health supplements, you may receive coverage for any of the following:
|Alcohol and drug residential treatments||Alternative hearing assistance|
|Dental services||Diet-related expenses|
|Extended medical therapies||Hearing instruments|
|Infant formula||Medical supply and equipment|
|Medical transportation||Natal supplements|
|Nutritional supplements||Optical services|
Recipients of the BC Disability Assistance may also receive employment support through WorkBC. The WorkBC program helps eligible individuals find jobs and work to earn a living.
The program also enables eligible individuals to:
- Find the skills they need to enter the workforce
- Learn necessary skills or undergo skills training and job education
- Gain support to help them get used to the working environment and adapt to it due to their disabilities or impairments
- Gain some work experience
- Find a new job
- Start and expand a business
BC Disability Assistance: PWD Benefits Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to receive the PWD benefits, you must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a significant and severe mental or physical disability or impairment that should last for more than two years
- Be significantly impaired in your ability to carry out daily activities due to your disability or medical condition
- Need help or assistance from another person, assistive device, or service animal with your daily activities due to your disability
- Meet the financial requirements (more on that below)
The BC Disability Assistance has some income and asset requirements and criteria you must meet to be eligible to receive the monthly benefits.
The asset limits and thresholds are as follows:
|Family Unit||Asset Limits and Thresholds|
|A single individual with a PWD designation||$100,000|
|Couple or family with one person having the PWD designation||$100,000|
|Couple with both spouses or partners having the PWD designation||$200,000|
Some assets are considered exempt and don't contribute to the abovementioned limits. These exemptions include:
- Personal property with cash value
- Household equipment
- Assets held in trust
- Your home
- A Retirement Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) payment
- One vehicle
You must also meet certain income criteria, limits, and thresholds to qualify for the benefit payments. The income thresholds and limits are as follows:
|Family Unit||Income Thresholds and Limits|
|A single individual with a PWD designation||$15,000|
|A couple where one spouse or partner has the PWD designation||$18,000|
|Couple with both spouses or partners having the PWD designation||$30,000|
As before, there are certain sources of income that are exempt from these requirements. This includes any income in cash earned through:
- A job or working
- Renting out a room in the house you live in
- Providing room and boarding to other people
- Replacement payments from the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) for temporary wage loss
- Refunded pension plan payments
You will not receive any PWD assistance benefit payment if:
- Your annual income is greater than the given limits or thresholds.
- Your monthly income is more than the monthly PWD benefit payment amounts you receive.
However, even in these cases, you may still receive some medical and transportation benefits, and you will not lose your PWD designation.
BC Disability Assistance: How Much Can You Receive In PWD Benefits?
The amount of money you may be eligible to receive for financial support depends on the following:
- Your family unit's size.
- Whether or not another person in your family has the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) designation.
The BC Disability Assistance amount you may be eligible to receive as Support Allowance is as follows:
|Family Unit Size||I||II||III||IV|
The different categories I to IV are defined thus:
I – Single individuals, spouses or common-law partners, and two-parent families where one spouse or partner is designated as a person with disabilities and the other spouse or partner is not designated as a person with disabilities and is under 65 years old.
II – Spouses or common-law partners and two-parent families where both partners are designated as Persons With Disabilities (PWD).
III – Single-parent families where a single parent is a person with a disability.
IV – Spouses or common-law partners and two-parent families where one spouse or partner is a person with disabilities and the other partner is not a person with disabilities and is 65 years or older.
The PWD benefit amount you may be eligible to receive for shelter allowance is as follows:
|Family Unit Size||Minimum Shelter Allowance||Maximum Shelter Allowance|
If the shelter cost is less than the minimum Shelter Allowance, the recipient will receive the minimum shelter allowance. For more than seven family members, the minimum shelter allowance increases by an additional $25 for each additional dependent. On the other hand, the maximum Shelter Allowance increases by $50 for each additional dependent.
If you are living in a room and board arrangement, the amount you may receive each month is:
- $60 per adult plus
- $40 per child plus
- $127 per person having the PWD designation plus
- $52 as a transportation supplement for the bus pass fee
In total, the amount received for Shelter Allowance for a single parent with a single child and one person having the PWD designation living in a room and board arrangement is $279 per month. This helps Canadians with low income cover child care and other essential expenses.
How To Apply For The PWD Benefits
The application process is in two parts:
- You need to prove you meet the financial eligibility requirements
- You need to complete the PWD designation application
How To Apply For The PWD Designation Application
You can contact the Ministry to request an application. The PWD Designation application package consists of three sections.
- The first section, which is the applicant portion, is to be completed by the applicant.
- The second section, which is the medical report portion, is to be completed by the applicant's doctor, nurse, or health practitioner.
- The third section, which is the assessor report portion, is to be completed by a licensed health practitioner or professional.
After completing and submitting your application, the application will be reviewed, and you will be notified of your eligibility status for the PWD designation.
However, if you are involved in other programs, you may be able to apply for the PWD benefits using a simplified PWD application process. For example, you may be eligible to apply using the simplified application process if you already receive benefits from:
- Community Living BC (CLBC)
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development at Home program
- BC PharmaCare Plan P – Palliative Care Benefits
- Canada Pension Plan – Disability Benefits
In this case, you will not have to complete the full PWD application process. The shorter PWD application form you will complete will allow the Ministry to check and confirm your eligibility status for any of these programs.
You may also access the simplified PWD application process if you:
- Are 17 to 19 years old
- Have a confirmed mental or intellectual disability
For help or inquiry, call the Ministry at 1-866-866-0800 (toll-free) or visit your local Service BC office.
People With Persistent Multiple Barriers To Employment (PMBE) Benefits
Individuals with Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment (PMBE) may be able to receive additional support to enable them to overcome their barriers to employment and become more financially independent.
Some eligible barriers to employment may include the following:
- A homeless situation (which could be a current situation or happened within the past year)
- Being a victim of domestic violence, which may be currently or in the last six months
- Requiring training in the English language
- Lack of basic employment skills
- Being incarcerated or having a criminal record
- Having limited education, such as less than a Grade 12 education level
- Being a recipient of emergency health, mental health, and addiction services many times during the last 12 months
The support also allows eligible individuals to receive other assistance benefits like Disability Assistance. To receive the PMBE benefits, you must:
- Be a recipient of income assistance or hardship assistance
- Have an eligible disability or medical condition that significantly impairs your ability to work
- Have one or more eligible barriers to employment
The health condition you may have should either:
- Have lasted for at least a year and may continue for two years or more
- Have occurred many times during the past year and may persist for two years or more
Eligible individuals for the PMBE benefits may receive:
- Additional amounts for support allowances
- An exemption from working or looking for a job
- Additional health benefits
- An income exemption of $900 per month without any decrease in your benefit amount
Monthly Nutritional Supplement
The Monthly Nutritional Supplement (MNS) is offered to eligible individuals who have the PWD designation and also receive disability assistance.
The Monthly Nutritional Supplement (MNS) is given to British Columbia residents living with a severe and prolonged medical condition that causes serious and progressive deterioration of the health of the individual with signs of wastage.
The Monthly Nutritional Supplement is aimed at preventing or stopping the individual from being in danger by providing necessary, essential, and specified items to supplement the regular nutritional needs.
If you are eligible to receive the Monthly Nutritional Supplement (MNS), you may receive:
- Up to $165 per month for dietary items
- Up to $40 per month for vitamins or minerals
In total, you will receive up to $205 per month in Monthly Nutritional Supplements.
FAQs On PWD Benefits Payment Dates
Is BC Disability Assistance taxable?
No, the BC Disability Assistance is not taxable, and you do not have to include it as income in your tax returns when filing your taxes. You also do not owe taxes deductible from the PWD benefits you receive.
How much is the Christmas Bonus for Disability in BC?
The Christmas bonus for disability in BC is $35 per year if you are single with no dependents, $70 per year if you are a couple without dependents and $70 per year if you are a parent or couple and have dependent children. You will also receive up to $10 for each dependent child.
How much can you have in assets on disability in BC?
The amount of assets you can have on disability in BC is up to $100,000 if you are single or have a spouse or partner, and one partner has the PWD designation. If you have a spouse or partner, and both you and your partner are Persons With Disabilities (PWD), the asset threshold is $200,000.
Does inheritance affect disability benefits in BC?
No, inheritances do not affect disability benefits in BC because they are exempt both as income and as assets up to the allowable limit of $100,000 for assets and $15,000 for income if you are single. However, you must show the inheritance on your monthly report to the Ministry.
Can you work while on disability in BC?
Yes, you can work while on disability in BC. The PWD benefit program also provides employment support through WorkBC to work and earn a living. Furthermore, the income earned from working up to a certain amount does not affect the monthly benefit amount you receive.
The BC Disability Assistance is a program funded by the British Columbia provincial government that aims to provide income support, health benefits, and other essential benefits to support individuals designated as Persons With Disabilities (PWD). The program also provides additional benefits and supports to eligible individuals for shelter allowances and other supplemental benefits. Eligible individuals may also receive employment support from the program through WorkBC to enable them to learn a skill, find a job, keep the job and be eventually financially stable. However, if you earn income, you should submit a monthly report to the Ministry, especially if you have reached your annual limit, to keep receiving the benefits.