Disability assistance can help you if you need financial or health support. You must be designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD) to receive this type of assistance.
To be eligible, you must:
- Show that you meet financial eligibility to receive assistance
- Be 18 years old (you can start the application process when you are 17 ½)
- Have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to continue for more than two years
- Be significantly restricted in your ability to perform daily-living activities
- Require assistance with daily living activities from
- Another person
- An assistive device, or
- An assistance animal
You must meet certain income and asset criteria before you can receive disability assistance. Some general assets are exempt, including:
- Personal property that can be turned into cash
- Personal interest in a trust
The general asset exemption limits are:
- $100,000 for a single, couple, or family where one person has the PWD designation
- $200,000 for a couple where both adults have the PWD designation
Some assets are allowed and don’t count towards the general limit above, such as:
- Your home
- One motor vehicle
- Clothing and necessary household equipment
- A Registered Disability Saving Plan
- Assets held in a qualifying trust
If you are a beneficiary of a trust, someone else legally owns money or other assets for your benefit. If you have a trust or are setting up a trust, we must review and approve it before it qualifies for the exemption.
Get legal advice if you want to create a trust or if you need more information specific to your situation.
- Learn more about trusts (PDF)
- Learn more about transferring assets into a trust or Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
Apply for Disability Assistance
The application process includes:
- Showing that you meet financial eligibility to receive assistance
- Completing the Persons with Disabilities Designation Application
Persons with Disabilities Designation Application
Contact us to request an application. It has three sections:
- You fill out the applicant portion
- Your doctor or nurse practitioner fills out the medical report portion
- A prescribed professional fills out the assessor report portion. For example, this could be a doctor, registered nurse or social worker
After you submit your application, we’ll review it. We’ll let you know if you meet the eligibility criteria for the PWD designation.
Simplified Application Process
If you already take part in certain programs, you may be able to use a simplified PWD application process.
You’re eligible for this simplified process if you receive benefits from:
- Community Living BC (CLBC)
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development At Home Program
- BC PharmaCare Plan P – Palliative Care Benefits
- Canada Pension Plan – Disability Benefits
This means you’ll complete a shorter PWD application form that gives the ministry permission to confirm your eligibility from one of those programs. You won’t have to complete a full PWD application and get a new diagnosis.
Contact us to request a Persons with Disabilities Designation—Prescribed Class Application. You’ll still have to meet all other eligibility requirements to begin receiving disability assistance.
Teens with an Intellectual Disability
You may also be able to use a simplified PWD application process if you:
- Are 17 ½ to 19 years old, and
- Have a confirmed intellectual disability
This means you can submit an existing psychological assessment and diagnosis rather than completing a full PWD application.
Contact us for instructions on how to begin this simplified application process.