Thursday, February 09, 2006

B.C. Government Increases Earnings Exemptions for People with Disabilities

The British Columbia ministry of Employment and Income Assistance has recently increased the amount that people with disabilities receiving income assistance in British Columbia may earn before they lose any of their benefits. According to the Ministry's press release issued last week:
Beginning March 1, 2006, income assistance clients receiving Persons with Disabilities or Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers support will be able to earn up to $500 each month in addition to receiving their full shelter and support payment from the government, Employment and Income Assistance Minister Claude Richmond announced today.

Today's announcement meets government's commitment to raise the earnings exemption for these clients and marks the third increase since 2001, when the exemption for Persons with Disabilities was $200 per month. The latest increase to the earnings exemption for Persons with Disabilities clients brings it from $400 to $500 per month - a 150 per cent increase overall. This follows government's decision early last year to increase disability assistance by $70 to $856 a month - the highest rate increase in B.C.'s history, providing the third highest rate of assistance available in Canada for persons with disabilities.

The full press release is here.

The announcement is an improvement, but even for those who can earn an additional $500 per month, it would still be pretty tough to get by in British Columbia on $1356 per month total income.

I have previously written about using trusts to provide for disabled beneficiaries here.

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