Archives for Services for People with a Physical Disability

Tax Preparation Clinics in Your Community

  

For people with a disability the BC Coalition for People with a Disability is hosting free tax preparation clinics. Please see THE BCCPWD BLOG for more information.

The Canada Revenue Agency also lists all the  Community Volunteer Income Tax Program locations in Canada at:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/vlntr/menu-eng.html

Trouble navigating the disability system?

  

Our Disability Benefits Navigator allows you to quickly find what you might be missing: http://www.abilitytax.ca/navigator/home.html

 

 

 

 

IEPs… What do I need to know?

  

*updated 2012*

The IEP (Individual Education Plan)is an important way to get input into your child’s education. The important thing to know is that as a parent have a right to participate in the IEP process.

An IEP has three stages:

  1. developing and writing the plan
  2. implementing and evaluating the plan
  3. reporting on student progress toward the goals in the plan

This is an evolving process: as the student’s needs change, the IEP should change.  

Your school district will most likely have a "template" for the IEP that they would prefer to use.  Remember, these are just guides to make the process easier.  Ask for a change if you do not like the template that is offerred.

 

Learn about Student Support Services in your district:
Student support services could include: learning assistance, counseling, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language services. However, these may or may not be applicable to your child.

Different school districts may name or deliver their support services in slightly different ways. For information on school district services start by looking at your district website:

http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/schools/bcmap.htm

 

The Basics of the IEP:

The British Columbia Ministry of Education provides some basic information about IEPs that you can reference to get started.  There is also a Ministy resource page that has some disability specific suggestions and guidelines. Make sure you understand the difference between adaptations and modifications.

Some good basic guides:

BC Association for Community Living Parent’s Handbook on Inclusive Education.

BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils: Individual
Education Plans A Guide for Parents

BC Ministry of Education: A Resource Guide for Teachers

Making the IEP work:

The core of the IEP is the goals. Once there is an IEP in place, you also need to think about what your child needs to support the outcomes in the IEP in terms of support: Education Assistant (EA), speech therapy, augmentative communication resources or behaviour and communication support.

Go to the IEP meeting prepared by knowing what you want and be prepared to ask for it. You may have to request a formal meeting to resolve differences.

 


Make your RDSP Contribution early this year !

  

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was introduced by the
government of Canada to help families and people with disabilities save
for their long-term financial security.

The benefits of saving in an RDSP:

Contributions to an RDSP are not tax-deductible, but they grow within
the plan on a tax-deferred basis. In addition, contributions may be
eligible for the Canada Disability Savings Grant (the grant) and the
plan may be eligible for the Canada Disability Savings Bond (the bond).
The grant provides matching contributions; no contributions are required
for lower income individuals/families to receive the bond. Together,
they could add up to $90,000 to your RDSP.

There is a lifetime contribution limit of $200,000 per beneficiary and no annual contribution limit.

Note that withdrawals trigger the repayment of any grant or bond received during the previous 10 years.

Making the most of your RDSP:

Here are some age-related strategies that may help you maximize the value of your plan, depending on your circumstances.

When the beneficiary is a young child:

  • Make contributions that attract the grant as early as possible, to
    maximize tax-deferred growth and to minimize the effect of the grant
    “clawback” — if a withdrawal is made, any grant payments received in the previous 10 years must be paid back.
  • Try to make an annual contribution large enough to attract the
    maximum matching grant contributions. The earlier you start, the better chance you will have of reaching the maximum grant amount of $70,000.
  • The tax-deferred status of contributions makes the RDSP an ideal
    way to invest in long-term solutions like a growth oriented mutual fund.

When the beneficiary is a young adult:

  • Try to contribute every year because the grant and bond cannot be
    received following the year the beneficiary turns age 49.  Even if there is no intention to contribute, the bond can be maximized simply by opening the plan early enough.
  • Upon reaching the age of majority, a beneficiary who is capable of
    managing his or her own finances can become the holder of his or her
    own plan. This isn’t compulsory, however. If you are the parent and have been the holder while the beneficiary was a minor, you can continue as holder.
  • At this stage, an investment solution that strikes the right balance
    between growth and safety may make sense depending on when withdrawals are planned.

When the beneficiary is a mature adult (40+):

  • Contributions to an RDSP do not qualify for grant contributions
    following the year the beneficiary turns 49. In addition, plans are not
    eligible for the bond after this time.  But beneficiaries can still
    benefit from tax-deferred growth by contributing up until the year they turn age 59.
  • Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments (LDAPs ***See explanation below) can begin at any age but must begin by the end of the year in which the
    beneficiary turns age 60. Consider waiting at least 10 years after the
    final grant and bond have been received into the plan before requesting LDAPs; otherwise, the grant and bond payments received in the previous 10 years will have to be returned to the government.
  • The portion of the LDAP consisting of grant, bond and investment
    income is taxable at the beneficiary’s marginal rate, which may
    influence the decision to begin payments. For example, if the
    beneficiary’s marginal tax rate is likely to decrease at retirement age,
    it may be advantageous to delay LDAPs until that time.
  • More conservative investment options, including those that generate
    regular tax-efficient income while providing some growth to offset
    inflation, should be considered as payments from the RDSP must begin.

Have an opinion about BC Children’s Hospital? Get involved!

  
Volunteer in Your Pajamas!  Become a Part of Our Virtual Focus Group!
  • Email communication only.
  • Projects take no longer than 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Contribute at your leisure – day or night.
  • Only choose projects you want to participate in.
  • All comments and identity will be anonymous (unless you give permission to use your information) when we share the results of our surveys with various departments / administration.
  • Withdraw from the group at any time.
  • Be confident that your child’s care will not be affected by your participation in or withdrawal from our group.
Why Should I Join?
  • Help the Partners in Care Family Advisory to give a broad family perspective of hospital issues and initiatives.
  • Help the Partners in Care Family Advisory effect change with regard to hospital programs and decisions made by hospital administration.
  • Gain satisfaction in knowing by your family voice you can make a difference in the services that BCCH provides.
  • Have the joy of "giving back".
  • Know that you’re helping make the hospital a better place for other families.
  • Please join us as a Virtual Focus Group Member and use your experience to benefit all patients and families who use BC Children’s Hospital!
For more information about Partners in Care and about your role as a Virtual Focus Group Family Member please contact the Partners in Care Family Liaison:
Susan Greig 
BC Children’s Hospital
Room 3D19, 4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC  V6H 3V4
Phone:  604-875-2345  Ext. 5391 
Email: sgreig@cw.bc.ca
See also the Partners in Care (PiC) blogsite at:

Income Through Self Employment

  

Do you have a product or service that you would like to start or advertise or share?  Go to the Disability Foundation website at www.abcoop.org (Abilities Business Cooperative) to join for free.  This co-op promotes people with disabilities who want to generate income through self-employment.  Also, check out the other organizations that you can become involved in such as Disabled Sailing, Disabled Gardening, Tetra, or Adapted Music at www.disabilityfoundation.org. 

Summer Camp fun!

  

There are many possibilities for children of all abilities to enjoy summer camp.  The best-known one is the Easter Seals Summer Camp, but there are many more options for both day and overnight camp opportunities. 

ACT BC‘s Summer Camp List is one of the most comprehensive for children with special needs. 

Also find complete listings of  BCCA accredited camps at the BC Camping Association website.  They have a good list of hints and tips, including this one, "…the people who direct the camp are far more important than the equipment, buildings, and facilities advertised."

Many Disability-centred non-profits also sponsor summer camps for children with specific disabilities.  Check out the organization that supports your child’s disability and see what they may be offering this year.  For example the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC offers funding for children with CP to attend camp and the Canadian Cancer Society has Camp Goodtimes for children and teens living with cancer.

Travelling by bus in BC and Canada?

  

Pacific Coach Lines (travel between Victoria, Vancouver and Whistler) has a limited number of wheelchair lift equipped coaches in its fleet. For passengers who require service with the wheelchair lift equipped coach reservations must be made AT LEAST 48 hours in advance of the trip to guarantee accessible service. For Health and Safety reasons motorized scooters cannot be loaded, unloaded or securely fastened within the baggage bays.

For passengers who use mobility aids but are able to board the coach with some assistance and store their mobility aid under the coach, phone Pacific Coach Lines at least 24 hours before departure to request assistance and be at the depot no less than 30 minutes prior to departure for boarding.

For more detailed information on these services, please contact customer service:

1-800-661-1725 (toll free) or 604-662-7575

 

GREYHOUND BUS LINES  (travel across BC, Canada and the US) allows some people with disabilities and their attendant to ride together for the price of one ticket. This applies only on regular fares, not specials. Most depots have accessible washroom facilities and attendants to assist people in wheelchairs.
Check Greyhound’s web site for current policy as each type of disability (hearing, mobility etc) have diffent eligibility requirements and accomodations.

Greyhound suggests you call their information line to check on the current rules.
Fare and schedule information in Canada
1-800-661-TRIP (8747)

TDD/TTY
1-800-397-7870 5:00 a.m. – Midnight

Get the BC Ferries disability discount

  

If you are a resident of British Columbia and have a permanent disability, reduced fares are available (this applies to passenger fares only).  
To receive them, you must present your BC Ferries Disabled Status Identification (DSI) card.  
Please call BC Ferries for details or you can download the Information for Passengers with Special Needs Brochure (application included).


Passengers requiring the use of an "overheight" vehicle equipped with a mechanical wheelchair lift or ramp may travel for the same cost as an "underheight" vehicle (or car) with or without a DSI card. Please inform the ticket agent of your vehicle’s special status.

An escort (one only) traveling with a person with a disability is eligible for the disabled rate.  The escort must be traveling in the same vehicle as the person with a disability.  Escorts accompanying seniors with a disability traveling on a senior’s free day must pay full fare.

Gasoline tax rebates, how to get them!

  

Provincial Gasoline Tax Rebate for Persons with Disabilities

People with certain disabilities may apply for a refund of tax paid on fuel purchased for their motor vehicles. The refund is based on the amount of taxes paid, to a maximum of $500 annually.

You must meet all of the following criteria to qualify for the program:
– you must be a "person with disabilities" as defined in the Motor Fuel Tax Act
– you must be at least 16 years old
– you must be a registered owner or lessee of a motor vehicle, or provide a letter from the registered owner indicating you are a joint owner of the vehicle

Qualified persons must first register before claiming a refund. Please see Register for the Fuel Tax Refund Program for Persons with Disabilities.

 

Applications and supporting documentation should be sent to:

Consumer Taxation
Branch

PO BOX 9442 STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA BC  V8W 9V4

Fax: 250-356-219

 

Federal Excise Gasoline Tax Refund Program

If you are medically certified as having a permanent mobility impairment, and you cannot safely use public transportation, you can apply for a refund of part of the federal excise tax on the gasoline you buy.

For more information and an application form, see Information Sheet XE8, Federal Excise Gasoline Tax Refund Program.