Changes Effective December 1 2015 for people receiving the Persons with Disabilities benefit (PWD)

The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation has made the following changes:

  • Increased the asset limit for single persons from $5,000 to $100,000. Couples where both adults have PWD now have a $200,000 asset limit, up from $10,000. This means people receiving PWD can have these amounts in savings and still be eligible for benefits.
  • Exempted gifts, including recurring gifts, as income. “Exempted gifts” means that gifts will not effect your cheque; for example, you could receive $50 a month from a family member or friend and it will not make any difference to your assistance.
  • Exempted education and training allowances, scholarships, grants and bursaries (student loans are still only exempt up to the amount of the student’s education and daycare costs). This means that people receiving PWD will be able to receive training allowances etc. without it effecting their cheques.
  • Removed the annual $8,000 “independent living” spending limit on trusts. This means that people who hold trusts can now take out as much as they want every year.