Annual Earnings Exemption

If you have a disability and get disability assistance you can still work and earn money. Money you earn, up to a certain amount, does not change the amount on your monthly payment. You can earn money anytime during the year and there is no monthly limit.

The annual earnings exemption applies to money you earn from January 1–December 31. The remaining exemption doesn’t carry over year to year. You will receive a new exemption limit each year. The current exemption limits are:

  • $12,000 for a single person with the Persons with Disabilities designation
  • $14,400 for a family with two adults where only one person has the Persons with Disabilities designation
  • $24,000 for a family where both adults have the Persons with Disabilities designation

You can use your annual earnings exemption anytime during the year. For example, you may work a lot in some months and less in others. It won’t affect your monthly assistance amount until you earn more than your annual limit for that calendar year.

Any money you earn over the annual earnings exemption limit will be deducted dollar for dollar from your assistance payment. But, you always keep 100 per cent of any money you earn yourself. You may want to keep track of your income, especially if you expect to earn more than the annual limit before the end of the calendar year. You’ll receive a letter after you’ve reached 75 per cent of your exemption limit.

If you start disability assistance part way through the year, we’ll calculate your annual earnings exemption amount based on the number of months remaining in the calendar year.

If there is a change in your family, your annual earnings exemption limit will change depending on your new circumstance.

Income & Changes

You must complete a monthly report, or stub, by the fifth of every month if you:

  • Earn income or
  • Have changes to report to the ministry

When you complete your report, let us know if there are any changes in your family circumstances as this may affect your annual earnings exemption limit. This includes income that doesn’t change from month-to-month. 

Income is money you receive from:

  • Working
  • Someone who is renting a room in the home you live in, and is using the same space that you also use in the home
  • Someone who pays you room and board
  • Workers Compensation Board (WCB) temporary wage loss replacement payments
  • Pension plan contributions that you got back  because your contributions were not enough to make a pension

Examples of changes you must also report, include:

  • Joining or separating from a spouse
  • Moving
  • Adding or removing a dependent

Earning More Than the Annual Limit

You won’t get an assistance payment if:

  • You reach your annual limit and
  • Your monthly earnings continue to be over assistance rates

You may be able to continue to get medical and transportation benefits. You won’t lose your Persons with Disabilities designation.

You should continue to submit your Monthly Report form each month if you reach your annual limit. This will make it easier for you to get disability assistance when you’re eligible. If you continue to submit your Monthly Report forms, you may be able to receive disability assistance without having to reapply:

  • If your earnings fall below disability assistance rates
  • When you are eligible for a new earnings exemption limit in the new calendar year

If you do not continue to submit your Monthly Report form each month after reaching your annual limit, you will need to reapply for assistance.