The Benefits of Tax Filing
Many people receiving PWD and PPMB will be eligible for the credits and benefits listed below; however, whether you receive them and the amount you receive will depend on your specific circumstances.
The money you receive from these benefits will not usually affect your PWD or PPMB assistance cheque.
The purpose of the GST/HST credit is to offset the amount that people living on low-incomes pay in sales tax over the course of the year. The amount you receive for your GST/HST credit varies based on your income, but most people with income between $5,000 and $30,000 per year will receive money from the credit. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) estimates that someone with an income of $10,872 ($906/month) in 2013 would receive $77.93, paid four times a year for a total of $311. As we have mentioned, the actual amount you receive will depend on your particular circumstances.
BC Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit (BCLICATC)
The purpose of this credit is to offset the impact of carbon taxes on people living on a low-income. The BCLICATC is combined with the payment of the GST/HST credit four times a year. The maximum amount of the credit for individuals between July 2015 and June 2016 is $115.50 for the year.
Provincial Sales Tax Credit (PST Credit)
The BC sales tax credit has been re-introduced to complement the re-introduction of the provincial sales tax (PST) effective for 2013 and later years. You can claim up to $75 for yourself and for a cohabiting spouse. You have to apply for the credit using a British Columbia Credits form.
Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB)
The WITB is for people with low incomes who have employment income. If you receive PWD or PPMB and have also worked throughout the year, you may be eligible for the WITB. The calculation of the WITB is somewhat complex. Social assistance payments such as PWD and PPMB benefits limit the amount of WITB payments you can receive.
However, people who receive the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and also qualify for the WITB may qualify for an additional WITB disability supplement. As a person receiving PWD or PPMB benefits, it’s much more likely you will benefit from the WITB if you also qualify for this disability supplement.
Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
The CCTB is a series of interconnected tax benefits designed to help people who have low or modest incomes with dependent children. The child tax benefit can be broken down into:
- Basic Monthly Amount
- National Child Benefit Supplement
- BC Family Bonus
- BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit
The CCTB is paid monthly. If you share custody of your children, you may or may not be eligible to claim the CCTB. The amount you receive will depend on several factors including the number of children you have, the age of your children, and your family income. CRA estimates a parent from BC with income of $10,872 and one child under 6 years old is eligible to receive up to $367.49 per month.
Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
The RDSP was started by the Federal Government in 2007. It is an innovative way for people with disabilities and their families to save for their future. You need to apply for and qualify for the DTC in order to open an RDSP. Opening an RDSP can take a bit of time, but the potential benefits are substantial. If you open an RDSP, you can be eligible to receive grants and bonds from the government of up to $90,000 over your lifetime, but you must file your income taxes to receive the grants and bonds.
You can make contributions to an RDSP until you turn 59 but you stop being eligible for grants and bonds when you turn 49. RDSPs are also a great choice for people receiving disability assistance since money in an RDSP should not affect your eligibility. Please see our resources page for links to DABC’s information on the RDSP.