For the second year in a row, government is increasing disability assistance rates by investing $199 million over three years.
This investment is in addition to the $170 million announced last year to increase disability rates. It will benefit about 107,000 people with the persons with a disability (PWD) designation.
As of April 1, 2017, disability assistance rates will rise by $50 per month, or an annual total of $600. Once the increase takes effect, a single person with the PWD designation will receive $1,033 per month in disability assistance, up from $983. A couple in which both are PWDs will receive an additional $100 per month, for a total of $1,773.
The increase in disability assistance rates complements a number of changes the Province has made over the last few years to further support people with disabilities, including:
- Raising asset levels for people with the PWD designation to the highest level in Canada (along with Alberta);
- Annualizing earnings exemptions to $9,600 per year, so people with disabilities can have more flexibility in their work schedule;
- Exempting child maintenance and federal Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits for people receiving income or disability assistance; and,
- Launching the Single Parent Employment Initiative to reduce barriers to employment for single parents on income or disability assistance. Since its launch in September 2015, more than 4,375 single parents have become involved in the initiative and more than 830 have already found employment.
The increase also supports Accessibility 2024, government’s 10-year action plan to make B.C. the most progressive jurisdiction in Canada for people with disabilities and continues government’s ongoing efforts to remove barriers for people with disabilities.