Community Update: Increased Crisis Supplement for People Receiving Provincial Income and Disability Assistance
Effective December 1, 2018, the province of BC has introduced several positive changes to Crisis Supplements for people in receipt of Income Assistance, the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefit, and the Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment (PPMB) benefit. The changes are as follows:
- The maximum monthly supplement available per person for food has increased from $20 to $40; and
- There is no longer an annual maximum cap on the amount of Crisis Supplements an individual is eligible to receive. The maximum monthly Crisis Supplement for food and shelter and the maximum annual Crisis Supplement for clothing remains in place.
To qualify, a family in receipt of Income Assistance, PWD or PPMB must demonstrate:
- It is needed to meet an unexpected expense or obtain an item unexpectedly needed;
- There are no resources available to meet the expense; and
- Failure to meet the expense would result in imminent danger to the physical health of a person in the family or the removal of a child under the Child, Family and Community Service Act.
Crisis Supplements are not available to cover the costs of any healthcare goods or services.
Disability Alliance BC acknowledges that these improvements to the Crisis Supplement were much needed and represent a positive step forward. However, we remain concerned that the monthly and annual limits for Crisis Supplements for food, shelter, and clothing remain too low considering the rising costs of living across the province. Robust supports during crises for people living in poverty are a critical component of any effective poverty reduction strategy. As such, we strongly encourage government to take additional measures to protect the safety and well-being of vulnerable people in BC.