Credit/rebate updates

The Provincial government recently made several announcements about new rebates/credits and changes to some types of assistance:

Assistance Extended for Ukrainians coming to British Columbia

BC Hydro Rebate

  • Eligible customers will receive a one-time BC Hydro credit between December and early 2023. This includes eligible customers who receive their electricity service from FortisBC or a municipal utility.
  • The credit does not need to be declared on provincial assistance recipients’ monthly reports. 

BC Affordability Tax Credit

  • Eligible individuals and families will automatically receive the new BC Affordability Credit through the Canada Revenue Agency.  
  • An eligible person with an income of up to $36,901 will receive the maximum amount of $410.
  • This Credit will need to be recorded on provincial assistance recipients’ monthly report under “all other income/money received”.
  • It is not considered income and is treated as exempt.  

Self Employment Program

  • The Self Employment Program (SEP) policy under “Deductions and Exemptions” now allows personal contributions for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to be deducted from gross income.

The government of Canada also recently announced two benefits administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Both benefits are not considered income and are treated as exempt:

Canada Dental Benefit

  • The interim Canada Dental Benefit is intended to help lower dental costs for eligible families earning less than $90,000 per year for children under 12 years old receiving dental care who do not have access to a private dental insurance plan.
  • Depending on family net income, a tax-free payment of $260, $390, or $650 is available for each eligible child.

One-Time Canada Housing Benefit

• The one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit aims to help low-income renters with the cost of renting by providing a maximum one-time payment of $500 for qualified applicants

Prosper Canada Launches Revamped Benefits Wayfinder

Prosper Canada has launched the newly revamped Disability Benefits Wayfinder (an online tool that makes it easier for Canadians with disabilities to identify and access government benefits) along with its companion the Disability Benefits Compass! DABC assisted in drafting the website, in partnership with Prosper Canada.


Disability Benefits Compass:

Read the media release for more information.


DABC Community Update: MSDPR Reinstates Minimum Shelter Allowance

June 2022

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction recently announced that they have reinstated the “minimum shelter allowance.”

Recipients of income assistance, disability assistance, and hardship assistance are eligible for a minimum shelter allowance based on family unit size [see Rate Table below].

The Ministry has clarified[1] that “policy and procedures have also been updated to reflect that a “place of residence” is not limited to living arrangements in places such as houses or apartments for the purposes of determining actual shelter costs.”

In some cases, actual shelter costs may be below the minimum shelter allowance. For example, a single individual who has actual shelter costs of $40 (fuel for heating) is entitled to the minimum shelter allowance for a single person ($75). If actual shelter costs are below the minimum shelter allowance, documentation of shelter arrangements and costs is not required.

The minimum shelter allowance is not provided to individuals residing in special care facilities as their shelter costs are paid for by the Ministry through facility user charges.

Shelter Allowance Rate Table

Size of Family UnitMinimum Shelter Allowance Maximum Shelter Allowance
1 person*$75$375
2 persons*$150$570
3 persons*$200$665
4 persons*$225$715
5 persons*$250$765
6 persons*$275$815
7 persons*$300$865


Download a copy of this Community Update here.