Designation Application

Overview

The BC Employment and Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities provides disability assistance and supplements to provide greater independence for people with disabilities, including security of income, enhanced well-being, and participation in the community.

To be eligible for disability assistance, a person must meet the criteria for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation and be designated as such by the ministry.  PWD is not a permanent designation and the ministry has the authority to rescind an individual’s designation in exceptional circumstances.

Policy

Effective: July 20, 2011

 The purpose of a Person with Disabilities (PWD) designation is for individuals to access assistance or programs under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (EAPWD) Act.  A person may be designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD) if they have reached 18 years of age and have a severe mental (including a mental disorder) or physical impairment that meets all of the following criteria:
 

  • in the opinion of a medical practitioner, the impairment is likely to continue for at least two years
  • in the opinion of a prescribed professional, the impairment directly and significantly restricts the person’s ability to perform daily living activities either continuously or periodically for extended periods
  • as a result of those restrictions, the person requires an assistive device, the significant help or supervision of another person, or the services of an assistance animal to perform daily living activities

Recipients retain the PWD designation whether or not they continue to be financially eligible for disability assistance.  They are not required to apply for the designation on reapplication for assistance. 

The federal government, and each province and territory have their own definition of a person with disabilities.  To be eligible for disability assistance in BC, applicants must be granted designation under the EAPWD Act through the ministry.

Effective: July 8, 2013

The Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Designation Application (HR2883) is used to collect information pertaining to the applicant’s disability that will allow the ministry to make evidence-based decisions consistent with legislation.  [For a sample HR2883, see Additional Resources.]  The PWD Designation Application (HR2883) has three-parts:
 

  • Section 1 is client information to be completed by the applicant
  • Section 2 is a Physician Report to be completed by a medical practitioner
  • Section 3 is an Assessor Report to be completed by a medical practitioner or other prescribed professional

A PWD Designation Application (HR2883) is provided only to new applicants or recipients of income assistance who intend to apply for disability assistance. 

Note: The ministry does not have the legislative authority to consider an application for the PWD designation for purposes other than the provision of assistance and programs under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act.  Applicants who want to apply for the PWD Designation to access other programs or benefits should not be provided with a PWD Designation Application (HR2883) unless they also intend to apply for disability assistance.  Collection of personal information in the absence of any intention to apply for assistance under the Act would not be authorized under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

A PWD Designation Application (HR2883) should only be provided where the applicant is financially eligible (meets the income and asset test) or is likely to be financially eligible within 6 months of the date the application is requested, including those who are in the process of transferring assets into a trust or Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) [see Policy - Trusts and RDSPs]. 

If the eligible client or applicant has assets in excess of the PWD limit, the client/applicant must be informed of the trusts program and RDSP exemption and referred to the Disability Assistance and Trust booklet and the Trust Query Submission Guidelines for Clients.  Ministry staff cannot provide legal or investment advice to applicants or clients.  [see Additional Resources]  [For further information on Trusts and RDSPs, see Related Links – Trusts and Assets and Exemptions.]

If an applicant meets the eligibility criteria for income assistance under the Employment and Assistance Act, with the exception that their assets are tested at the PWD level (including assets over the PWD level in the process of being transferred into a trust or RDSP), the applicant may receive income assistance while they are completing their application and awaiting the outcome of their application for PWD designation.  While an applicant is not required to be determined eligible for income assistance before being provided the PWD designation application form, the applicant must first complete the intake process, sign the HR0080 and have an open case (whether in pay or not) before a PWD application can be adjudicated by Health Assistance Branch.

Example 1:  An applicant is applying for disability assistance but has assets over the PWD limit that the applicant is transferring into a non-discretionary trust.  The applicant may be provided a PWD application and may be eligible for income assistance while completing the PWD application and while the trust is being reviewed by the ministry.  If the client is denied the PWD designation, the non-discretionary trust will be considered an asset and the client will not be eligible for further assistance while their assets are over the income assistance limit.  

Example 2:  An applicant is applying for disability assistance but has assets over the PWD limit.  The applicant does not intend to transfer the excess assets into a trust or RDSP.  The applicant may not be provided a PWD application until such a time as his or her assets are likely to be under the PWD asset limit within 6 months. 

A decision to refuse to provide a PWD Designation Application (HR2883) may be reconsidered.

Applicants may start the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation application process six months prior to their 18th birthday to ensure they can be adjudicated for the designation prior to requiring assistance.  [For detailed information, see Policy and Procedures – 17-Year-Old Applicants.]

[For more information, see Procedures – Application Process for the Persons with Disabilities Designation.]

[For a table explaining when to provide a PWD Designation Application, please see Additional Resources – Provision of PWD Application Form.]

Effective: July 20, 2011

Eligible clients who receive assets that they intend to transfer into a trust or Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), or who have a trust that has not yet been reviewed by the ministry, will be provided a PWD application.  For clients applying for PWD designation who have a valid trust or who are transferring assets into trust, in making the decision whether a PWD application is to be provided, it is to be presumed that the trust will provide an exemption for the assets held there.  The client should be provided a PWD application if the client meets all of the following requirements:
 

  • The client intends to apply for disability assistance
  • The client is likely to be financially eligible (within six months of the date the application is requested) taking into account the presumption that the asset is or will be in a valid trust and will be exempt

The PWD designation decision must be made in response to the client’s application, and will ultimately take into account the ministry’s review of the trust to determine the validity of the trust and whether exempt.

If the eligible client or applicant has assets in excess of the PWD limit, the client/applicant must be informed of the trusts program and RDSP exemption and referred to the Disability Assistance and Trust booklet and the Trust Query Submission Guidelines for Clients.  [see Additional Resources]  Ministry staff cannot provide legal or investment advice to applicants or clients.

[For further information on trusts, please see Related Link – Trusts.]

Effective: July 20, 2011

Persons who intend to apply for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation and who are in need of financial support may receive income assistance and retain their assets at the higher limits (including assets over the PWD level in the process of being transferred into a trust or Registered Disability Savings Plan) applicable to recipients of disability assistance, until the outcome of their PWD Designation Application.  To qualify for income assistance, these applicants are required to meet all eligibility criteria under the Employment and Assistance (EA) Regulation, with the exception that their assets are to be tested at the higher limits allowed to recipients of disability assistance as noted above.

Both clients and applicants are expected to make every effort to collect the information necessary to determine their medical condition and to return the completed PWD Designation Application within a reasonable period of time of approximately three months after receiving a PWD Designation Application.

Clients or applicants who are denied the PWD designation and have either delivered a Request for Reconsideration to the ministry or submitted a Notice of Appeal to the Tribunal, continue to have their assets tested at the asset levels set out under the EA Regulation sections 11(2.1) – (2.3) and 13(2), while awaiting the outcome of the reconsideration or appeal, as applicable.

Clients who are found ineligible for the PWD designation are not required to repay income assistance already received, but can retain assets only at or below the asset limits under the EA Regulation.

[see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions – Asset Limits for Persons Applying for PWD Designation]

Effective: July 1, 2007

A person must meet the PWD designation criteria and financial eligibility criteria under the EAPWD Act, and must be 18 years of age, to receive disability assistance.

Children with disabilities who are likely to be financially eligible for disability assistance when they turn 18, may begin the application process up to six months prior to their 18th birthday.  Starting the application process early will allow children with disabilities sufficient time to schedule appointments with medical practitioners and prescribed professionals, and to have their PWD application completed and adjudicated so they can start receiving disability assistance as soon as they turn 18.

[For step-by-step instructions for 17-year-old applicants, see Additional Resources –17-Year-Old Disability Assistance Applicants.]

[For more information on procedures to follow for 17-year-old PWD applicants, see Procedures – 17-Year-Old Applicants.]

Effective: July 8, 2013

Specific Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation procedures and a consent form have been developed for 17-year-old At Home Program Medical Benefits (AHP) recipients and youth with an Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder) – previously referred to as Mental Retardation in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) – to streamline their transition to disability assistance with the ministry.

At Home Program Medical Benefits Applicants

These applicants (or their parent/guardian) may consent to the sharing of relevant portions of their AHP files (such as medical reports and therapists’ assessments) in order to determine PWD designation eligibility, as an alternative to completing a PWD Designation Application (HR2883).  The consent form, Youth Transition Consent: At Home Program Medical Benefits and Intellectual Disabilities (HR3183), also allows the AHP to share information that will enable Health Assistance Branch (HAB) to assess an applicant’s needs for continuing medical supplies prior to the applicant’s 18th birthday.

If the AHP file information does not contain sufficient information to confirm eligibility, the consent form also gives the ministry permission to verify information with professionals who completed the AHP assessments.  In some cases, the ministry may contact the applicant/family to have part or all of a PWD Designation Application (HR2883) completed to determine eligibility, or to discuss alternate medical supplies covered by the AHP that are not covered by this ministry.  The ministry will contact the applicant directly in those cases.

Youth with Intellectual Disability (ID) Applicants

Youth with a diagnosis of an Intellectual Disability, previously referred to as Mental Retardation (or their parent/guardian), may consent to the sharing of relevant portions of their psychological assessments (or psycho-education reports) in order to determine PWD designation eligibility, as an alternative to completing a PWD Designation Application (HR2883). 

If the psychological assessment information submitted does not contain sufficient information to confirm eligibility, the consent form (HR3183) also gives permission for the ministry to request copies of the client’s psychological assessments or psycho-education reports from the applicant’s School District or, where appropriate, the Ministry for Children and Family Development.

[For step-by-step instructions for 17-year-old At Home Program Medical Benefits applicants, see Procedures –17-Year-Old Applicants: At Home Program Medical Benefits and Youth with an Intellectual Disability.]

Effective: March 23, 2015

Youth with special needs receive programs and services through the Ministry of Children and Family Development until they are 19 years of age.  These individuals may delay applying for PWD designation while they are still eligible for those services. 

These youth may apply for a PWD designation within 6 months of their 19th birthday.  Starting the application process at that time will allow youth with disabilities sufficient time to schedule appointments with medical practitioners and prescribed professionals, and to have their PWD application completed and adjudicated so they can start receiving disability assistance when they turn 19, if determined eligible.

Youth who are:
 

  • In government care (under the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development),
  • approved for PWD designation prior to their 19th birthday, and
  • eligible for disability assistance as of their 19th birthday

are eligible to receive the shelter allowance for the full month in which they turn 19, as calculated in Schedule A for any rent owing, and the support allowance pro-rated from the day they turned 19 to the end of that month.

Any payments made by the Ministry of Children and Family Development for service up to the day the person turned 19 are exempt when calculating assistance.

Effective: July 8, 2013

PWD status is effective the first of the month following designation.  A recipient with the Persons with Disabilities designation may be eligible for:
 

  • higher rates [Rate Tables: Disability Assistance]
  • general health assistance [see Related Links – Health Supplement Summary]
  • earnings exemption [see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions]
  • low-cost annual bus pass [see Related Links – BC Bus Pass Program]

Note: A client must be at least 18 years old to receive disability assistance.

Effective: December 1, 2003

A Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation does not preclude some recipients from being required to seek employment.  Recipients with the PWD designation and their adult dependants will be assisted to achieve independence, to the extent they are able, through an Employment Plan or voluntary participation plan that may include employment or volunteer-related activities.  [see Related Links – Employment Plan or Voluntary Participation Plan]

Effective: October 16, 2013

Persons with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation who return to the ministry for disability assistance will be required to complete the same financial application process as all applicants and have an orientation. Persons with the PWD designation at the time of application are exempt from completing the work search.  Once financial eligibility has been established, disability assistance and health supplements can be provided.  [For more information on application for BC Employment and Assistance, see Related Links – BC Employment and Assistance Application Stage 1 – Prospecting, Stage 2 – Eligibility Interview and Orientation.]

Persons with the PWD designation in receipt of Medical Services Only coverage who are requesting disability assistance or hardship assistance will be required to complete a reapplication. [For more information, see Related Links – Eligibility Review.]

Effective: December 20, 2006

The federal government, and each province and territory have their own definition of a person with disabilities.  To be eligible for disability assistance in BC, applicants must be granted designation under the EAPWD Act through the ministry. An Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) designated PWD recipient who leaves a reserve and subsequently applies for assistance with the ministry may not be required to complete a PWD Designation Application (HR2883) form.  With the applicant’s signed consent, the ministry can obtain a copy of the applicant’s INAC PWD Designation Application (SA301) and any information or documents relating to the designation for PWD.  This documentation will be used to determine if they meet the criteria for the PWD designation through the ministry.

If the ministry is unable to make a decision based on the information in the INAC PWD application form, the applicant will be required to submit a completed ministry PWD application form.

Effective: December 20, 2006

The federal government, and each province and territory have their own definition of a person with disabilities.  To be eligible for the on-reserve Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation in British Columbia, all applicants must be granted a designation through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

Individuals who have received the PWD designation from the ministry before they move on-reserve may not be required to complete an INAC PWD Designation Application (SA301) form.  In most cases, they will be subject to a file review by INAC using the information in the ministry PWD application form.  With the client’s signed consent, the ministry will forward a copy of their PWD Designation (HR2883) or Designation Review (HR2883R) Application form and any information or documents relating to the designation for PWD directly to INAC.

Procedures

Effective: July 8, 2013

Step 1: Eligibility to Apply

Determine if the applicant or recipient of income assistance intends to apply for disability assistance.  A PWD Designation Application (HR2883) should not be provided where it is established that the individual has no intention to apply for disability assistance.

A PWD Designation Application (HR2883) should only be provided where the client is financially eligible (meets the income and asset test) or is likely to be financially eligible within 6 months, including eligible clients who are in the process of transferring assets into a trust or Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).   (Six months is the approximate combined length of time it takes for an individual to complete the PWD Application Form and the ministry to adjudicate the application.)  [For further information, see Related Links – Trusts – Policy – Eligibility and Trusts.]

Examples of where staff may determine a situation for a client may change within 6 months  include, but are not limited to:
 

  • individuals on EI or EI medical, whose benefits will expire within that time period
  • individuals whose employment is seasonal or intermittent

Providing a PWD Designation Application within 6 months will allow for a streamlined transition for these individuals.

If the applicant is not currently receiving income assistance, staff must ensure the applicant has first completed the intake process, signed the HR0080 and has an open EA case (whether in pay or not) in order for the PWD application to be adjudicated by Health Assistance Branch. If the applicant is currently in receipt of income assistance, no additional financial assessment is required.  If the EA case is open and cheque production is off, Health Assistance Branch (HAB) will return the SR to the EAW unless there is an explanation as to why the applicant has applied for PWD and is not eligible for assistance.

[For additional information, see the Provision of PWD Application Form Table in Additional Resources.]

If the applicant is not already receiving income assistance and meets the eligibility criteria for income assistance under the EA Act, with the exception that their assets are tested at the PWD level (including assets over the PWD level in the process of being transferred into a trust or RDSP), staff may provide income assistance pending the outcome of the applicant’s application for PWD designation.  [see Procedures – Providing the Application to Persons Exempted from Asset Limits]

If the eligible client or applicant has assets in excess of the PWD limit, staff must inform the client/applicant of the trusts program and RDSP exemption and refer the client/applicant to the Disability Assistance and Trust booklet and the Trust Query Submission Guidelines for Clients.  [see Additional Resources]  Note on the EA case the date the client was informed of the trust program and referred to the booklet and guidelines.  [For further information, see Related Links – Trusts.] 

Step 2: Provide the PWD Designation Application (HR2883) to the Client

A PWD Designation Application (HR2883) is not provided if the applicant does not meet the financial eligibility requirements as determined in Step 1. Note:  If a sample application is provided to a client who is not likely to be financially eligible within 6 months, for assistance, it should be printed off the intranet for the client’s information.  This copy has a “sample” watermark on each page. 

Staff must advise the client/applicant that they have the right to have this decision reconsidered. 

[For a sample PWD application, see Forms and Letters.]

[For information on when to provide a PWD application, see Additional Resources, Provision of PWD Application Form.]

If a PWD Designation Application (HR2883) is provided, authorized field staff must complete the following procedure:

EAW 1. Create PWD Service Request (SR) in the system.
  2. Review with the applicant the PWD Designation Application (HR2883) and the application process.  Offer the applicant a Persons with Disabilities brochure.  [see Additional Resources]
Applicant 3. Have the applicant complete Section 1A, Personal Information.
EAW 4. Print page 1 of the PWD Designation Application (HR2883) from the system and staple to the front of the application booklet.  Record the service request number on the booklet.  Stamp page one with the office stamp and sign the application to validate it for fee payment.  Only applications with the issuing office stamp and signature are validated for payment.  Payments of fees are provided through the Medical Services Plan not the Employment and Assistance Offices (EAO).  [see Procedures - Fees for Medical Practitioners and Prescribed Professionals]
  5. Advise the client to have the form completed by a medical practitioner and/or a prescribed professional, as denoted on the application form.
  6. Advise the client to review the checklist once the application is complete and return by mail to Health Assistance Branch within three months.  [see Contacts]
 

7.

If the client is receiving IA pending the outcome of the adjudication of their PWD Application, set a due date of three months. In the notes field, note case details and reasons for issuing while pending receipt of PWD application.   

Complete EAW portion of PWD Activity Plan in the system.

  8. Change the status to “Pending” until return of completed PWD Application to prevent auto closure of the file.
 

9.

If, after three months, the applicant hasn’t returned their application, cancel the Service Request, set SR resolution to “service abandoned/refused” and update the notes. 

Please note, if the client does submit the application after three months, a Supervisor is to re-open the SR.

Step 3: Initial Adjudication

Health Assistance Branch (HAB) adjudicates the PWD Designation Application.

When a client is approved for the PWD designation:

HAB

1.

HAB sends the decision letter to the client (all documents will be available to the EAO in the system)

HAB/EAW

2.

HAB updates the status on the SD More Info applet.   This updates the benefit plan and initiates disability assistance if status updated prior to cheque cut- off. If after cheque cut off, EAW needs to create new benefit plan.

HAB

3.

PWD status is effective the first of the month following designation.

A notification is sent on the EA case to the local office indicating PWD approved.  The note sent is:  HAB: SR# PWD approval and change the activity due date to approval letter date.

HAB

4.

HAB will provide each new PWD designated client with the “Information to New Persons with Disabilities Designation” template letter (HR3220). This will be attached to the PWD approval letter mailed to the client [see Forms and Letters].

When a client is denied the PWD designation, or if a client's designation is rescinded, HAB will:
 

1.    send a decision letter and decision summary to the client to advise the client of the reasons for the denial and the right to reconsideration (all documents will be available to the EAO on the system)

2.    update the PWD status on the SD More Info applet and close the SR

[If the client requests reconsideration, see Related Links – Reconsideration.]

Effective: July 20, 2011

An eligible client or client in receipt of income assistance that has applied for or intends to apply for the PWD designation, may retain their assets up to the limits allowable under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (EAPWD) Regulation.
[see Rate Tables or Additional Resources – Assets] When a client is exempted from the asset limits and intends to apply for the PWD designation, follow these steps:
 

  1. Create PWD Service Request (SR) in the system.
     
  2. Provide the client with a Person with Disabilities (PWD) Designation Application (HR2883) and follow the procedures in Step 2 in the Application Process for the Persons with Disabilities Designation.  [For a sample HR2883, see Forms and Letters]
     
  3. Provide the client with the “Assets in Excess Pending PWD Designation Application” template letter (HR3259) and inform the client that the completed PWD Designation Application should be returned to Health Assistance Branch within three months. [see Forms and Letters]
     
  4. If the client is receiving IA pending the outcome of the adjudication of their PWD Application, set a due date of two months in the SR and note in the memo field “PWD application submitted by client? If not, send HR3260.” Make notes of the case details and reasons for issuing while pending receipt of PWD application.

    Complete EAW portion of PWD Activity Plan.
     
  5. If the ministry has not received the PWD Designation Application after two months, ministry staff are to provide the client with the “Assets in Excess Pending PWD Designation Application (60 days)” template letter (HR3260) to request that the completed PWD Designation Application be submitted to the ministry by the specified date [see Forms and Letters] and update the SR due date forward one month.  

    Note: The “Monitoring Report – Persons with Assets” will be generated each month on Report to Web (R2W) to identify clients who have not returned the PWD Designation Application after two months.
     
  6. If, after the letter has been sent and the application isn’t received within the three months, cancel the SR, set SR resolution to “service abandoned/refused”  and update the notes.
    Please note, if the client does submit the application after the three-month period, staff are to re-open the SR.

[see Related Links – Assets and Exemptions – Procedures – Asset Limits for Persons Applying for PWD Designation].

Effective: July 8, 2013

The following procedures do not apply to 17 ½ to 19 year old applicants with an Intellectual Disability (ID) – previously referred to as Mental Retardation in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), or to applications from At Home Program Medical Benefits clients. For these clients, see Procedures – 17-Year-Old Applicants: Process for At Home Program Medical Benefits and Youth with an Intellectual Disability.

First appointment

During the first appointment, the following steps must be completed:

EAW

1.

Regardless of whether or not the 17-year-old applicant is on the parents’ EA case, a BCEA Application (HR0080) is completed and signed by the applicant.  If the applicant does not have the capacity or cannot attend the office due to a physical or mental impairment, the parent/guardian may complete and sign the application on the applicant’s behalf.  (Completion of an application ensures that the child’s basic financial eligibility can be determined and, if the child is eligible, an EA case can be opened.  Health Assistance Branch (HAB) can then proceed to adjudicate the PWD Designation Application (HR2883) when it is received.) 

If the applicant is on the parents’ EA case, the child will remain a dependant on the parents’ case and a second EA case is opened in their name. Email HAB to add “pending received” to the SD More Info applet while the PWD application decision is pending.  Make note on the system that the applicant must not receive assistance on this case until they turn 18 years of age and are removed from the parents’ case.

Note:  System messages may appear once a second case is opened for 17-year-old applicants currently on the parent’s case. As no assistance will be issued under this case until the applicant is 18 years old and removed from the parents’ case, opening a second case is allowed in this situation.

 

2.

If it appears that monies have been set aside by the parents for the child, or if a settlement is pending to provide for the child’s disability costs, explain that a trust or Registered Disability Savings Plan can be created for the child which may exempt the monies as assets.  Explain when and how disbursements may be exempt as income.  This also allows sufficient time for a review by the ministry of a trust before the applicant’s 18th birthday.  [For more information on trusts, see Related Links – Trusts.]   

 

3.

Determine the length of work search the applicant is required to complete. Provide the applicant with a Work Search Guidelines information sheet and Work Search Activities Record (HR0077), and direct the applicant to the ministry Internet site for the Independent Work Search Toolkit.  (Print a hard copy of the document if the applicant does not have access to the Internet.)

Explain that the work search can be conducted at any time between the enquiry date and the scheduled intake appointment. 

Explain what is meant by a “reasonable work search,” and that staff will take personal circumstances into account, including whether the person is impeded in looking for employment by his or her disability, medical or other condition as recorded on the HR0077.

Note:  If the applicant has a physical or mental condition that precludes looking for work, the applicant is not required to complete the work search.

 

4.

Provide a PWD Designation Application (HR2883).  Print page 1 of the application from the system and staple to the front of the application booklet.  Record the service request number on the booklet.  Advise the applicant that the PWD Designation Application needs to be completed by a medical practitioner and/or a prescribed professional, as denoted on the application form, and returned within three months to Health Assistance Branch to ensure a determination of the application by the applicant’s 18th birthday. 

 

5.

Provide a fact sheet setting out, in plain language, all the steps the applicant must complete to be eligible for disability assistance as a Person with Disabilities.  [see Additional Resources – 17-Year-Old Disability Assistance Applicants.]

 

6.

Book an intake appointment for the last week of the month prior to the applicant's 18th birthday.

Following first appointment

Following the first appointment, the following steps must be completed:

Applicant

1.

If able, conduct a work search and complete the HR0077.

 

2.

Have the PWD Designation Application (HR2883) completed as soon as possible and forwarded to Health Assistance Branch.

HAB

3.

Fast track the adjudication of PWD Designation Application for underage clients.  Clearly indicate the applicant’s right to reconsideration and enclose a reconsideration and appeal brochure.

 

4.

Notify the applicant of the decision.  If the application is denied, explain the reasons for the denial.

 

5.

Send a copy of the decision letter and Information to New Persons with Disabilities Designation Letter (HR3220), or the decision letter and decision summary if the applicant is denied, to the applicant.  All documents are available to the EAO on the system. [see Forms and Letters]

Intake appointment immediately prior to 18th birthday

An intake appointment should be scheduled for the last week of the month prior to the month of the applicant's 18th birthday, if the PWD designation is approved by HAB.  During the intake appointment, the following steps must be completed:

EAW

1.

Complete a current BCEA Application (HR0080).  This will include verifying the financial criteria, address, rental information, etc.

 

2.

Review the work search and Reasonable Work Search form unless the person has been exempted from the work search.  The applicant’s individual circumstances, as recorded on the HR0077, including the person’s PWD designation, must be taken into account in determining what is reasonable in a particular case.  In certain circumstances, it may be that what is reasonable is no work search at all. 

 

3.

If all eligibility criteria are met, including the PWD designation being approved by HAB, complete the following steps:

  • Create an activity with a due date for the client’s 18th birthday.  On the date of the client’s birthday, mail an imprest disability assistance cheque to the client.  The cheque will include pro-rated support and any outstanding shelter for the portion of the month remaining following the client’s 18th birthday.
  • Turn cheque production on to ensure a disability assistance cheque is issued for the month following the applicant’s 18th birthday. 
  • If the applicant has been on his or her parent’s case, remove the applicant from the parent’s case before cut-off in the month the person turns 18.

 

4.

Explain the Monthly Report (HR0081) and that it must be submitted within 10 days after any change in circumstances that affects the applicant’s eligibility. 

 

5

Explain rates, health and other supplements relevant to the applicant’s needs and explain eligibility requirements as needed.  Provide all relevant brochures to the applicant or the applicant’s parent/guardian explaining the full range of supplements available to Persons with Disabilities.

Effective: July 8, 2013

The application and intake process for At Home Program Medical Benefits clients and youth with a diagnosis of an Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder) - formerly referred to as Mental Retardation - is centralized at Provincial Services Contact Centre (PSCC).

Disability assistance applicants who are 17 ½ to 19 years old and who meet these criteria will self-identify as meeting these criteria on the Self Serve Assessment and Application (SSAA). This action will trigger the system to automatically forward their service request to PSCC for processing. These applications will be completed virtually by PSCC staff and will no longer go through the regular intake process. If an applicant incorrectly triggers the system to forward their application to PSCC for processing, PSCC will return the application to the appropriate regular intake queue.

If an application is received locally that meets these criteria, forward the service request to PSCC via the system by completing the following steps:
 

  • Set status to ready
  • Set the Owner field to blank
  • Transfer the application Service Request to service office 055

PSCC and Health Assistance Branch (HAB) will complete the following steps:

PSCC

1.

Complete Intake Process

  • Process the SSAA application
  • Contact applicant to provide overview of process, explain next steps and answer applicant questions
  • Receive and process required documents
  • Determine financial eligibility for disability assistance
HAB 2. Determine eligibility for PWD
PSCC/HAB 3. Communicate outcome of application for disability assistance to applicant

Effective: October 1, 2012

Persons with the PWD designation through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) who leave a reserve and subsequently apply for income assistance with the ministry will be required to complete the same financial application process as all enquirers, receive an orientation and to demonstrate a reasonable work search.  [For more information on application for BC Employment and Assistance, see Related Links – BC Employment and Assistance Application Stage 1 – Prospecting and Stage 2 – Eligibility Interview, Work Search and Orientation.]

However, the applicant may not be required to complete a new PWD Designation Application as their PWD designation information on file with INAC, or with the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), can be made available for adjudication for the PWD designation by Health Assistance Branch (HAB). 

To initiate the release of the client’s INAC PWD designation information, the Employment and Assistance Worker (EAW) will complete the following steps:
 

  1. Have the applicant complete and sign the Consent to Release Information (HR3125).  [see Forms and Letters]
  2. Send completed consent form to the BCANDS at the fax number or address noted on the consent form.  When faxing, EAWs must adhere to guidelines concerning transmittal of confidential information. 
  3. Scan and profile a copy of the consent form.
  4. Note that the signed consent form has been completed and sent to the BCANDS.

Upon receipt of the completed consent form, INAC or the BCANDS will forward a copy of the client’s INAC PWD application and any related documentation directly to Health Assistance Branch (HAB) within 12 business days. 

HAB will complete a review of the INAC PWD documentation to determine if the information is sufficient to proceed with PWD designation adjudication. 

If HAB is unable to make a decision based on the information received, the applicant will be required to submit a completed PWD Designation Application (HR2883) form. 

 

Effective:  June 24, 2010

Individuals who are moving on-reserve and who have received the PWD designation from the ministry may request that their PWD designation information be released to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), for the purposes of a file review to confirm their eligibility for the INAC PWD designation. 

Prior to the release of the ministry’s PWD documentation, the client must complete and sign a consent form, (SA-320) which is available through their Band Social Development Worker (BSDW).  The consent form must be sent by the BSDW directly to Health Assistance Branch (HAB), as HAB is responsible for releasing the requested documentation. 

To initiate the release of the client’s ministry PWD designation information, the BSDW will complete the following steps:
 

  1. Have the applicant complete and sign the Consent to Release of Information (SA-320). 
  2. Send completed consent form to HAB at the fax number or address noted on the consent form.  When faxing, Band Social Development Workers must adhere to guidelines concerning transmittal of confidential information. 
  3. Scan and profile a copy of the consent form and record date sent to HAB. 

Upon receipt of the completed consent form, HAB will forward a copy of the client’s PWD Designation (HR2883) or Designation Review (HR2883R) Application form and any related documentation directly to the BCANDS for a file review within 12 business days. 

August 17, 2007

Health Assistance Branch (HAB) determines whether or not a review is warranted due to exceptional circumstances (i.e., the ministry has been supplied with inaccurate or new information) and ensures that all criteria are met for the PWD designation. 

When a recipient’s Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation is approved upon review due to exceptional circumstances, Health Assistance Branch follows these steps:
 

1.    Send one of the following letters to the recipient, as appropriate:

  • PWD Designation Confirmation - Info provided to EAW (HR0020)
  • PWD Designation Confirmation - Info provided by EAW (HR0021)

2.    Update the recipient’s status on the SD More Info applet in Case, Contacts, SD More Info sub view tab to continue disability assistance.

Effective: August 17, 2007

When a recipient’s Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation is rescinded, follow these steps:

Health Assistance Branch 1. Send the decision letter to the recipient to advise of the reasons for the rescindment, the effective date of the rescindment, and the right to reconsideration. 
  2 Update the PWD status on the SD More Info applet in Case, Contacts, SD More Info sub view tab.
EAO 3. Assess the recipient for continued eligibility for income assistance prior to the end of the period.
  4. Adjust the EA case if the recipient has other disability-related supplements or if supplier cheques are set up on the case.
  5. Review health case.

[If the client requests reconsideration, see Related Links – Reconsideration.]

Effective: July 1, 2007

Fees for medical practitioners completing the PWD Physician Report and the PWD Assessor Reports are paid through the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Fees for non-medical practitioner prescribed professionals completing the Assessor Report are paid by Health Assistance Branch upon submission of an invoice.  Prescribed professionals complete the Assessor’s Invoice included on the last page of the Designation Application or Review booklets.  The invoice is removed from the booklet and mailed to Health Assistance Branch.  [see Contacts]

Medical practitioners and other prescribed professionals may call the Health Assistance Branch, at the number included in the Designation Application and Review forms, with any questions regarding completion of the forms and payment of fees.

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: August 17, 2007

Employment and Assistance Office (EAO) is responsible for:

  • assessing financial eligibility
  • providing the Persons with Disabilities Designation Application (HR2883) to clients who meet the financial eligibility criteria

Health Assistance Branch (HAB) is responsible for:

  • assessing eligibility for the Persons with Disabilities designation
  • recording client status when a designation is approved
  • changing disability assistance client status when a designation is rescinded

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question:   What is the difference between a prescribed professional and health professional?

Answer:   A health professional is a person who is authorized under an enactment in British Columbia to practice one of the following professions:

  • medical practitioner
  • registered psychologist or certified school psychologist
  • registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse
  • occupational therapist
  • physical therapist
  • social worker

Health professionals provide necessary documentation for staff to determine eligibility for certain employment programs and exemptions.

A prescribed professional is a person who is able to assess section 3 of the PWD Designation Application. The definition includes all of the professions listed in the definition of health professional, and also includes chiropractors and nurse practitioners.

 

Question:   What if a 17-year-old At Home Program recipient only has Respite Benefits?  Can the applicant use the special procedures to get the PWD designation?

Answer:   Not at this time.  Generally, At Home Program Medical Benefits recipients have more medical information and functional assessments on file than Respite Benefits recipients.  Additional documentation (such as sections or all of a PWD application) would likely be required in many of these cases, which would not streamline service for this group. 

 

Question:   Can an applicant with other medical conditions use the special procedures to get the PWD designation?

Answer:   Not at this time. This process is restricted to At Home Program Medical Benefits clients and youth with a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder), previously referred to as Mental Retardation. Other applicants should follow the 17-year-old applicant procedures. [see Procedures – 17-Year-Old Applicants]

 

Question:   A client applied for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation and was denied, and did not successfully appeal the decision.  The client has a variety of medical issues that interfere with or impede employment.  What options are available to assist this client?

Answer:  Individuals who do not qualify for PWD designation may be considered for No Employment Obligation status.  [see Related Links – No Employment Obligations]

Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) status may be considered in cases when both of the following exist:

  • the recipient has been in receipt of income assistance for 12 months or longer over 15 consecutive months
  • the recipient has a medical condition that is severe enough to preclude employment or is one of several employment barriers

[For information on eligibility for PPMB status, see Related Links - Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers.]

 

Question:   Can a second PWD Designation Application (HR2883) be given to an applicant or recipient who has just been denied the PWD designation?

Answer:   Recipients who have been denied the PWD designation can request a reconsideration within 20 business days of the date that they were advised of the decision.  The reconsideration/appeal process should be used when the recipient wants to provide clarification on information provided in their original application.

A new HR2883 should only be given when the 20 business days have lapsed or there has been a significant change in the recipient’s circumstances, such as a new medical condition has arisen.

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