BC Ministry of Social Development

Remember: Review your own needs!

  

Although, there does not seem to be an "official" policy in place about yearly reviews for PWD benefits, it appears that people are no longer being asked to come into the Ministry offices every year to prove they are still disabled.

While this is mostly a GOOD thing you must remember that as your health or living situations change, you may be eligible for an additional  supplement or benefit.  Even if you are not being asked to attend an office to do a yearly review, take the time to review your own needs.  It might be time to visit your local MEIA office and ask for a reveiw.

Get your free copy of Safe and Secure!!!

  

Safe and Secure is PLAN’s first book, which contains everything a family needs to know about future planning for a relative with a disability.  Families have told us that it is an invaluable resource. 

We have recently re-written the book (updated and with RDSP info) and the BC Government has pre-paid for your copy.

You can pick it up at your local London Drugs! (check the pharmacy department). 

 

I’ve inherited $10,000 but I am going to lose my BC Disability Assistance

  

BC Disability Assistance has long permitted people who recevie sums of money, such as an inheritance, to set it up in a trust and continue to receive their income and other benefits.  The problem is that setting up a trust is complicated and generally we don’t encourage people to do it themselves without visiting a lawyer (which has a cost).

NOW under some circumstances, people can deposit the inheritance in a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) (at no cost).

The person must qualify for the federal disability tax credit and be 59 years old or younger.

The RDSP is an exempt asset in BC (and all other provinces) and can be used for any purpose in bc (and MOST other provinces) without impacting Disability Assistance.

 For more information, visit www.rdsp.com

 

December is the month to see your dentist!

  

Persons with Disabilities on  provincial assistance have a maximum dental coverage limit of $1000 over two calendar years.  That means that many people have unused portions that they are unaware of. The administrative staff at the dental office calls Victoria with the individual’s Care Card number and can confirm whether or not there is any amount remaining.  It’s also a good time to get major work completed as they can possibly string two eligibility periods together.  So, for many it can be a "use it or lose it" situation!

AT Home >> to PWD benefits

  

If your child receives the At Home Program, they can transition directly to PWD benefits with only a short form to fill out.  This is much preferable to the regular application process – however – some people you may speak to at MEIA, MCFD, CLBC etc. may not be aware that this option is available.

Who do I Talk to About Red Tape in Social Services?

  

The person responsible for red tape is Rick Thorpe, Minister Responsible for Regulatory Reform. My sense is that the Business Community gets most of the attention but we should keep the Government aware of the need for regulatory reform within the social service sector. Maybe if they here from people it will eliminate the hoops people have to jump through to get services. To contact Mr. Thorpe e-mail him at Leah.Davidson@gov.bc.ca

Note:  see comment below

Follow Up Thank You Letters

  

Our daughter made an application to be on the C.A.Y.A (Communication for Young Adults for 19 to 35 year olds with a disability) program and waited for a whole year for services.  They apologized saying that she was still on the waitlist as I kept phoning and writing letters asking when she would be receiving services.  Because there was a period when there was a shortage of speech and language therapists, they were unable to hire and fill three positions.  Finally, she got accepted a year ago and received a DV4 voice output system that has made a world of difference to her that enables her to communicate.  I wrote a letter of thanks to them and was invited to attend the presentation of a 4.2 million dollar grant to C.A.Y.A. by the Minister of Employment & Income Assistance.

1.  Always keep your letters and be patient & persistent!

2.  Writing a follow up "thank you" letter goes a long way.