Special Transportation Subsidy

Overview

A special transportation subsidy may be provided to recipients of disability assistance who live in areas where the Bus Pass Program is available, but are unable to use public transportation due to their disability or because their disability would be exacerbated through use of public transportation.

Policy and Procedures

Policy

Effective:  December 1, 2003

To qualify for the special transportation subsidy (STS), recipients must meet all of the following criteria:

  • have the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation and be in receipt of disability assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act
  • reside in an area where the Bus Pass Program is available [see Related Links – BC Bus Pass Program]
  • provide certification from a physician verifying that either one of the following applies:
    • they are unable to use the Bus Pass Program or any other form of subsidized public transportation service (such as handyDART and Taxi Savers) due to their disability
    • their disability would be worsened through the use of public transport

Note:  The certification from the physician must propose an alternative form of transportation that recipients may use to accommodate their disability (examples: operating a personal vehicle or paying others for transportation).

To receive the STS, a recipient must forfeit eligibility to the Bus Pass Program.

A separate STS may be issued for each member of the family unit who meets all of the eligibility criteria.

Effective: December 1, 2003

The STS is paid once a year in a lump sum (not monthly) based on the value of the highest bus pass subsidy in the province. The value of the bus pass subsidy is not the same as the retail cost of a bus pass.

The value of the bus pass subsidy changes at the beginning of each fiscal year (April 1 to March 31), so the STS is issued on a fiscal year basis.  Recipients receive a prorated amount based on the number of months (including the month of application) remaining in the fiscal year.

The STS is provided as a substitute to the annual bus pass for equity purposes. Therefore, like the value of the bus pass, the STS is not treated as income.

For information on calculating the STS, see Procedures.

Effective: December 1, 2003

Recipients do not need to reapply for the special transportation subsidy (STS) each fiscal year.  Reapplications are only required when a change in the recipient’s situation may result in the recipient no longer being eligible.  Recipients who are eligible for the STS may also be eligible to receive crisis supplements and transportation supplements such as medical transportation.  [For more information on these supplements, see Related Links - Crisis Supplement and Medical Transportation.]

Effective: June 28, 2011

The Special Transportation Subsidy is not provided under the authority of the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act. Therefore the reconsideration and appeal provisions of Section 16 of the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act do not apply. [For more information, see Related Links – Reconsideration.]

 Procedures

Effective: June 28, 2011

To assess eligibility for and issue the special transportation subsidy (STS), follow these steps:
 

  1. Verify eligibility for the STS using the Application for Special Transportation Subsidy (HR2818). [see Forms and Letters]
     
  2. Contact the Bus Pass Program to determine whether the recipient has been issued an annual bus pass and resides in an area where the Bus Pass Program is available. [see Contacts]
         
  3. Calculate the value of the STS as follows:
  • take the monthly value of the highest bus pass subsidy in the province
  • multiply this amount by the number of months remaining in the fiscal year
  • subtract the yearly bus pass fee (if the recipient has not already paid it) from this total

For example, in April 2005, the monthly value of the highest bus pass subsidy in the province was $69.63 and there are twelve months remaining in the fiscal year. Therefore, the value of the STS was as follows:
 

  • monthly value of the highest bus pass subsidy $69.63
  • multiplied by twelve months = $835.56
  • minus the yearly bus pass fee of $45 = $790.56

Note:  Do not subtract the yearly bus pass fee if the recipient has already paid it.  The value of the STS may be verified with Bus Pass Program staff.
 

  1. Inform the recipient that, as indicated on the HR2818, the recipient must surrender his or her bus pass to become eligible for the STS.
     
  2. Collect the surrendered bus pass and return it to the Bus Pass Program immediately, attaching a note stating that the pass has been surrendered due to receiving the STS. Any delay in returning the pass will result in unnecessary costs to the Bus Pass Program. If the pass cannot be returned due to loss, theft, or other reason, notify the Bus Pass Program immediately.
     
  3. As per the region’s standard practice in adding discretionary allowances, EAW’s must check the client’s circumstances to ensure the STS payment will not be affected by declared income or existing suppliers. Issuing via direct deposit or imprest cheque remains available as an alternative payment method but should only be issued after April 1, within the fiscal year the STS is covering.
     
  4. Issue the STS as a one-time payment with the client’s monthly assistance. Direct Deposit or imprest cheques can still be provided in rare circumstances if the client has an immediate need.  [For more information on methods of payment, see Related Links – Individual Case Management.]
     
  5. Provide the denial letter (HR3240) to the client if the client is determined to be ineligible for STS. [see Forms and Letters]

Effective: December 1, 2003

Physicians may be paid the maximum amount shown in the Rate Table: General Supplements – Special Transportation Subsidy, Physician’s Fee for completing the Application for Special Transportation Subsidy (HR2818). [see Forms and Letters] To receive payment for completing the HR2818, the physician must invoice the ministry office.

Payment is made via coding block by the ministry office.

Recipients will not be reimbursed if they pay the physician directly.

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