Community Update: Changes to PWD application process

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Dear Community Partner,

Beginning September 2016, new measures will be introduced which will make it easier for some people to apply for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation:

Streamlined Application Process for Prescribed Classes

Individuals enrolled in the following programs:

–      BC Pharma Care Plan P (Palliative Care Benefits);

–      Ministry of Children and Family Development At Home Program;

–      Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) Programs; and

–      Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits;

Will be able to apply for the PWD designation using a 2 page form instead of the current 28 page application.  The process for applicants will be as follows:

–      Individuals applying for the PWD designation as a member of a prescribed class will self-identify as belonging to a prescribed class during the Self-Serve Assessment and Application;

–      The applicant will then proceed through the intake process and as part of the intake package of documents, they will be given the PWD Designation – Prescribed Class Application to complete in lieu of the 28 page PWD application;

–      The applicant will select the applicable prescribed class and be required to provide the Ministry with the consent to contact the specified agency to verify eligibility;

–      Upon confirmation of eligibility for PWD designation under a prescribed class the Ministry will send the individual an approval letter

–      If the applicant is found to be ineligible for PWD designation under a prescribed class the applicant will have the right to request a reconsideration of the decision or they may choose to submit a standard PWD application

Individuals applying for the PWD designation who do not fall within one of the prescribed classes will still be required to complete a standard 28 page PWD application.

New Role for Nurse Practitioners in the PWD Application Process

In addition, nurse practitioners will be allowed to complete section 2 of the PWD Designation Application, which previously could only be completed by a medical doctor.  Nurses already have the authority to complete section 3 of the PWD Designation Application and this change will allow them to assist their patients with either or both sections of the application.

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

DABC Community Update Re: PWD Rates

DABC Community Update Re PWD Rates (1)-page-001DABC Community Update Re PWD Rates (1)-page-002

Community Update: September 1st increase to PWD benefit rates and changes to the Bus Pass Program

Dear Community Partner,

The February 16th 2016 provincial budget contained some significant changes for people receiving the Persons with Disabilities benefit (PWD) which will start on September 1st 2016. Below is a description of the changes taken from communications from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSDSI):

  • People with the PWD designation will receive a $77 per month increase to their support allowance.
  • PWD recipients will no longer be able to purchase an annual bus pass for a $45 annual fee.
  • PWD recipients who want to continue receiving a subsidized bus pass through the Ministry will pay $52 per month, plus an annual $45 administration fee. The $52 will be deducted from people’s monthly cheque.
  • After September 1st, individuals who decide they don’t want to have the $52 a month bus pass can turn it in at any time and get the $77 increase for the following months.
  • PWD clients who qualify for the Special Transportation Subsidy (STS) will no longer receive an annual lump payment. They will receive the $77 a month increase: $66 of this amount will replace the STS annual lump sum payment.
  • PWD clients who have been receiving the STS annual payment will have a pro-rated amount in their April cheque. It will be pro-rated for 5 months (April – August).
  • There is no change to the BC Bus Pass Program for low-income seniors or for income assistance recipients aged 60-64. The Ministry will continue to provide a subsidized pass to eligible seniors for the annual $45 administration fee.

Rate amounts after September 2016 (single person; we have no information about couples and family rates):

$983.42          (no bus pass or Special Transportation Subsidy)

$931.42          (with bus pass)

$983.42          (includes Special Transportation Subsidy)

This information is as we understand the September 1st 2016 changes. We will update this as we receive more information.

Disability Alliance BC (DABC) is very disappointed with these changes. This rate increase is clearly inadequate and we are concerned about the impact the elimination of the $45 annual bus pass program will have for PWD recipients.

Jane Dyson, Executive Director

Robin Loxton, Advocacy Access Program Director