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Disability Alliance BC

Premier John Horgan has announced a monthly increase of $100 to BC disability and income assistance rates. This change begins September 20th 2017 (October benefits). The maximum rate for support and shelter for a single person will be:

  • $710 (Income Assistance)
  • $757 (Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment – PPMB)
  • $1081 (Persons with Disabilities with a bus pass – PWD)
  • $1133 (Persons with Disabilities without a bus pass – PWD)

Families with two adults who both have the PWD designation will receive a $200 monthly increase. This is the first increase to income assistance rates in a decade despite the rapidly rising cost of living across the province.

Disability Alliance BC applauds the new government’s fast implementation of these much needed increases.

Additional Information

The new Minister responsible for disability benefits and income assistance (Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction) is the Honourable Shane Simpson.

While there has been no formal announcement, Minister Simpson’s mandate letter from the Premier directs him to implement a $200 monthly increase to the earnings exemption for assistance recipients and restore the BC Bus Pass program.

There has also been no announcement about an increase for people receiving Room and Board benefits, or the Comforts Allowance.

We have no further information about these changes at this time.

If you have any questions about this announcement please feel free to contact Sam Turcott, Advocacy Access Program Director at 604-872-1278 or 1-800-663-1278.

For a PDF of this memo, click here

POVERTY LAW ADVOCATE – FULL TIME – 3 MONTHS

This temporary position reports to the Manager of The Advocacy Centre. The Poverty Law Advocate provides individual advocacy, legal and resource information and community education in the areas of income assistance, disability benefits, tenancy, debt and other legal issues people living in poverty may face.

For a full description of the job requirements and how to apply, click here.

Looking beyond the numbers to focus on real-life stories, Sharing Our Realities: Life on Disability Assistance in British Columbia finds a remarkable consensus between people with disabilities, income assistance workers, and even the findings of the government’s own disability consultation about what ails the system and what is needed to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

“The message is that we don’t have enough for basics like food and shelter,” said Frank, who receives disability assistance, “and this makes our disabilities worse. We are losing our health. We are losing our homes. We are losing our lives. This is a crisis.”

Read the full report here

The report is co-authored by Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods (CAN) and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and co-sponsored by the BC Disability Caucus, BCGEU, Together Against Poverty Society and Raise the Rates.

Looking for housing in the Castlegar area? Here are some tips.

TEETH

West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic Society offers low cost dental care to low income individuals and families.

For a pamphlet about TEETH, click here

For an application, please click here.

For fees, click here.

An advocate from The Advocacy Centre visits Castlegar and Trail every month.

The advocate can discuss income assistance, disability income assistance, landlord/tenant problems (with tenants), family law information, and accessing Legal Services information and resources.

Advocacy Centre schedule for Summer 2017

Microsoft Word - An advocate from The Advocacy Centre visits Castlegar and Trail every month.jpg_page_1

For a printable copy of this schedule, click here.

The program is for single-family homeowners, renters and housing societies that serve low-income communities. Homes can be a single family home, townhouse, duplex or mobile home.

The ECAP Program is a FREE Program for FortisBC customers with a certain income eligibility. If approved for the program, our Program Delivery Agents will install FREE energy saving products, plus a personalized home evaluation.

Click HERE for more information.

The program is completely FREE and has two phases.

The first phase the agent would do the home evaluation, personal advice on how to save energy and they would install the following:

  • energy-saving light bulbs
  • faucet aerators for the kitchen and bathroom
  • water-efficient showerheads
  • water heater pipe wrap
  • exterior door weather-stripping

If eligible, the customer might be eligible for the second phase.

That may include:

  • an ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerator
  • attic, wall and/or crawlspace insulation
  • a high-efficiency natural gas furnace