DABC Community Update: Budget 2019 – Changes Impacting People with Disabilities

February 2019

Dear Community Partner,

BC’s Budget 2019 was released on February 19, and the provincial government has announced that it will be implementing several changes which will impact many British Columbians with disabilities.

Some of the key changes pertaining to people with disabilities and their families are:

  • Provincial disability (PWD and PPMB) and income assistance rates will be increased by $50 per month, effective April 1, 2019
  • A new B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit will be introduced in October 2020; it will allocate families living on low incomes with one child up to $1,600 per year, two children up to $2,600 and three children up to $3,400
  • $26 million will be invested in income and disability assistance enhancements to the B.C. Employment Assistance program, with the aim of lessening barriers to supports
  • $6 million per year will be put toward respite services for parents who provide care for children with disabilities. Waitlists will be reduced and the respite benefit will be increased by 10%.

Disability Alliance BC (DABC) is encouraged by these changes and welcomes any increase to disability and income assistance rates, but acknowledges that the increase is insufficient to meet the needs of many British Columbians living on disability and income supports.

DABC looks forward to learning more about the provincial government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, which will be introduced this spring.

To read more about Budget 2019, please read the provincial government’s press release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019FIN0019-000248. The full strategic plan is also available here: http://tinyurl.com/y26euf3r.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact our Advocacy Access Program by phone at 604-872-1278 or 1-800-663-1278 or by email at feedback@disabilityalliancebc.therightfitbc.org to talk to an advocate.