British Columbians who have serious financial difficulties and cannot meet their basic needs may qualify for income assistance.
Individuals requiring financial support who have also been designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD) may be eligible for disability assistance and supplemental support over and beyond what is available through income assistance.
There are minimum financial, health, and age requirements you must meet to qualify for income assistance benefits in B.C.
This article covers the eligibility criteria for PWD, how to apply, and B.C. disability cheque dates in 2023.
PWD Payment Dates 2023
Income and disability assistance payments in British Columbia fall on the same dates, and the BC PWD payment dates in 2023 are as follows:
- January 18, 2023
- February 15, 2023
- March 22, 2023
- April 19, 2023
- May 17, 2023
- June 21, 2023
- July 19, 2023
- August 23, 2023
- September 20, 2023
- October 25, 2023
- November 22, 2023
- December 20, 2023
You can receive your income assistance via direct deposit to your bank account. The deposit is completed by the date shown above.
Alternatively, you can pick up your cheque at your local ministry office or have it mailed to you.
B.C. disability cheque dates for 2023, i.e. when they are delivered to the office, are:
- January 16, 2023
- February 13, 2023
- March 20, 2023
- April 17, 2023
- May 15, 2023
- June 19, 2023
- July 17, 2023
- August 21, 2023
- September 18, 2023
- October 23, 2023
- November 20, 2023
- December 18, 2023
Welfare payments occur in advance. For example, you receive payment for February 2023 in January 2023.
Related: B.C. Child Benefits Explained.
What are PWD Benefits?
A person with Disabilities (PWD) in B.C. who needs financial or health supports may qualify for disability assistance.
Your benefit amount varies depending on the size of your family and how many people have been designated as PWD.
Eligible individuals may also qualify for supplemental benefits, including:
General Supplements: Bus pass, clothing, Co-op housing share purchase, Christmas expenses, service dog, transportation, prenatal shelter, and security deposit costs.
Health Supplements: Dental, special diets, extended medical therapies, infant formula, medical supplies, nutritional supplements, orthotics, and more.
Related: BCTESG Grants.
Who Qualifies for B.C. PWD Benefits?
To qualify for PWD benefits in B.C., you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Meet the financial eligibility (explained further below)
- Suffer from a severe physical or mental impairment that will likely continue for 2 years or longer
- Be unable to perform daily living activities due to your disability
- Require assistance to perform daily living activities from a person, animal, or assistive device
PWD Income and Assets Eligibility
The PWD benefit is means-tested, and you must meet certain income and assets thresholds to qualify.
Assets that are exempt from deciding your eligibility include your primary residence, clothing, RDSP, one vehicle, business tools, prepaid funeral costs, GST credit, Canada Child Benefit, RESP funds, and some others.
The value of non-exempt assets is considered when assessing your eligibility for PWD benefits. That said, there are asset limits below which you may still qualify.
For example, a family that has one person with PWD designation can have up to $100,000 worth of non-exempt assets.
A couple who both have the PWD designation can have up to $200,000 and receive disability benefits.
Related: B.C. Income Tax Brackets.
How To Apply For B.C. Disability Assistance
You can start the process online using the My Self Serve portal. The site also includes a tool to check whether you meet the financial eligibility criteria.
Applicants must also complete the Persons with Disabilities Application.
This application form has a medical report section that must be completed by a doctor or nurse practitioner and an assessor report section completed by a prescribed professional.
For assistance, you can call 1-866-866-0800 toll-free or visit a Service BC location.
Ministry offices are available in Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Thompson-Okanagan, and several other communities.
If you already have a program account with the B.C. government or are a teen (aged 17.5 to 19 years old) with an intellectual disability, you may be able to use a simplified application.
Related: Minimum Wage in Canada.
How Much PWD Benefit Will You Get?
The British Columbia government recently increased the amount of disability benefit and income assistance by $175 per month.
In general, how much you receive depends on your family’s size and how many family members are designated as Persons with Disabilities.
The effective rates as of May 2022 are:
|Unit Size||A||B||C||D||Max. Shelter Benefit|
The amounts in the table are paid out monthly. For example, a single person with PWD designation will receive a maximum of $1,358.50 (i.e. $983.50 + $375).
For a couple on disability assistance, the monthly benefit is $2,423.50 (assuming no children, i.e. $1,853.50 + $570).
Families with more than 7 people get an extra $50 for each additional dependent.
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Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment (PPMB) Benefits
The Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment Benefit (PPMB) is different from disability assistance (PWD).
It is provided to individuals who are unable to work due to a health condition that has been present for 1 year and is likely to continue for 2 or more years, and other barriers to employment such as homelessness, domestic violence, a lack of education, etc.
This benefit may serve as a stopgap until the recipient is eligible for PWD benefits.
BC Disability Cheque Date FAQs
No. There is no information about a potential increase in the BC PWD rates in 2023. That said, there have been several calls to increase disability rates to account for inflation.
A single person who is eligible for PWD benefits can receive up to $1,358.50 per month. If you and your spouse qualify for PWD designation and have no children, the maximum PWD benefit is $2,423.50. You will receive $1703.50 monthly if you are a single parent with one child.