VICTORIA - The B.C. government is making the transition to employment easier for families with children who receive income assistance by doubling their monthly income exemption from $200 to $400 a month and increasing it from $300 to $500 a month for families who have a child with a disability.
Effective Sept. 1, 2015, these changes won’t affect their income assistance rates and these families will also be able to keep their basic health supplement coverage for a full year when they leave income assistance for employment. Health supplements give families access to dental, optical and Ministry of Health MSP and Pharmacare programs.
Over the last few years, the Province has made a number of significant changes to the BC Employment and Income Assistance program that are helping people improve their futures and keep more of their hard-earned money.
Today’s policy announcement builds on these previous significant changes, including:
- In 2012, earnings exemptions for people on disability assistance increased from $500 to $800 a month and in January 2015, B.C. became the first province in Canada to annualize those earnings exemptions up to $9,600 a year. This means that a single person on disability can keep more of the money they earn by calculating it annually instead of on a monthly basis.
- In Budget 2015, the Province made child-support payments fully exempt for families receiving income and disability assistance; a change that will provide an additional $32 million over the next three years for 3,200 families and 5,400 children.
More than 10,600 families on income assistance are expected to benefit from the new earnings exemptions.
With more than one million jobs expected in the province over the next decade, all British Columbians should have an opportunity to take advantage of this economic growth. By increasing earning exemptions, parents on income assistance are encouraged to pursue employment, even part-time work, which will help them move toward independence and fully participate in B.C.’s diverse economy.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell -
“We know that people who can work want to be self-sufficient, support their families and contribute to their communities. Giving people the opportunity to keep more of what they earn without affecting their assistance will make a real difference for people and help reduce the barriers they face as they transition to employment.”
Janet Austin, CEO, YWCA Metro Vancouver -
“An increase to the earnings exemption makes it more financially viable for single mothers to access full- or part-time work - helping to alleviate their financial anxiety, reduce their social isolation, provide the basic necessities - like food and clothing - for their children, and ultimately work towards economic independence.
“Our goal at YWCA Metro Vancouver, through the integrated programs and services we offer, is to help single mothers build better futures for themselves and their children. This announcement is great news for the thousands of families throughout our province who struggle every day to provide for their children.”
- Earnings exemptions allow eligible income assistance and disability assistance clients to earn income (up to a monthly limit) in addition to shelter and support assistance.
- These exemptions offer individuals a better opportunity to get job skills and experience to transition to employment, take advantage of short-term or temporary work, and better provide for their families while receiving assistance.
For more information on the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more on annualized earnings exemptions:
For more information on the exemption of child support payments:
Director of Communications
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
250 882-0918 (mobile)
Government of British Columbia (facebook.com)
Government Organization ●40,934 Likes
Families on assistance get more support.
BC is making the transition to employment easier for families with who receive income assistance by doubling monthly income exemptions from $200 to $400/month and $300 to $50/month for families who have children with disabilities. http://ow.ly/Kaxe1