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Written by: Wendy Seet, CPA, CA
British Columbians who meet the Person with Disabilities (PWD) designation and certain income and asset thresholds are eligible for:
The maximum support and shelter allowances available are $531.42 and $375.00 per month, respectively*. There will be some nominal increases effective September 1, 2016, ranging from $11 to $77 per month. Health benefits are particularly valuable to adults with disabilities as they are generally not insurable and have ceased to qualify under their parents’ benefit plans.
There are 3 main tests that must be met to be eligible to receive the disability benefits noted above. The following is an overview of the tests, which includes various changes announced by the B.C. Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation in the past year:
1. Medical test
The criteria to obtain the PWD designation are generally easier to meet than the ones for the federal Disability Tax Credit.
2. Asset test
3. Income test
Recent changes to the disability benefits tests have allowed more recipients to continue receiving benefits while providing them with the ability to contribute to their own financial wellbeing. It has also allowed family members and others to provide additional funds to supplement their benefits. Despite the recent improvements to the asset and income test, proper planning is still essential to preserve disability benefits such as using trusts to meet the asset tests.
* All amounts referred to in this article are for individuals without a spouse or common-law partner.
The above content is believed to be accurate as of the date of posting. Canadian Tax laws are complex and are subject to frequent changes. Professional tax advice should be sought before implementing any tax planning. Manning Elliott LLP cannot accept any liability for the tax consequences that may result from acting based on the information contained therein.