Community Update: New Reporting Process Allows Easier Return to Disability Assistance After Exceeding AEE Limit

Dear Community Partner,

On September 1st the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSDSI) will introduce a new procedure which will make it easier for people receiving disability assistance who exceed their Annual Earnings Exemption (AEE) limit to return to assistance. Recipients who wish to do so can continue to submit a monthly report slip to MSDSI even after they reach their AEE limit and cease to be eligible for assistance. Once the AEE limit is renewed the following January or if a person’s earned income falls below their disability assistance rate during the year then disability assistance can be automatically re-instated.

Monthly reports are due by the 5th day of the following month that income is received (e.g. income received in May should be reported by June 5th). Monthly reports can be completed online using My Self Serve or submitted to a Ministry office using the Monthly Report form (HR0081).  People who choose not to report income on a monthly basis after they exceed the AEE limit keep their disability designation and will not need to reapply for the designation using the 28 page PWD designation application.  However, they will need to submit a re-application for assistance which assesses financial eligibility if they wish to return to disability assistance.

Annual Earnings Exemption Refresher

The AEE allows people on disability assistance to receive earned income (usually this means income received in exchange for work or the provision of a service) without a reduction to their disability assistance. A person’s AEE limit is the amount of earned income they can receive during the year without a reduction of disability assistance. Any earned income received after a person exceeds their AEE limit is deducted dollar for dollar from their disability assistance. The maximum AEE limit for a single person is $9600 per year (pro-rated for the number of months a person is receiving disability assistance in the year).

The AEE limit is renewed every January which, due to the MSDSI reporting system, allows people who are otherwise eligible for disability assistance to begin receiving assistance again in February for the March benefit month. The AEE does not apply to other sources of income (e.g. Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits, Employment Insurance, Old Age Security), which are generally deducted dollar for dollar from disability assistance unless there is a specific exemption.

If you have any questions about this information, please contact Advocacy Access Program Director Sam Turcott at 604-872-1278 or 1-800-663-1278.

 

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Tax AID DABC to visit Terrace, Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, and Penticton between September 27 and October 5

Tax AID DABC Advocates will be visiting Terrace, Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, and Penticton between September 27th and October 5th.  This is a great opportunity for people on PWD and PPMB disability assistance to get caught up on unfiled taxes and learn more about income tax benefits for people with disabilities.  Space will be limited so please RSVP in advance.

Scheduled dates are listed below:

  1. September 27 and 28: Terrace Work BC Centre (Address Pending)
  2. September 29: Kamloops Work BC Centre (795 Lansdowne Street, Kamloops, BC)
  3. October 3: The People’s Place, 3402 27th Avenue, Vernon BC
  4. October 4: Kelowna Work BC Centre (#102 – 1460 Pandosy Street, Kelowna, BC)
  5. October 5: Penticton (Address Pending)

Click on the links to learn more about how to reserve a spot!

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Community Update: Changes to PWD application process

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Dear Community Partner,

Beginning September 2016, new measures will be introduced which will make it easier for some people to apply for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation:

Streamlined Application Process for Prescribed Classes

Individuals enrolled in the following programs:

-      BC Pharma Care Plan P (Palliative Care Benefits);

-      Ministry of Children and Family Development At Home Program;

-      Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) Programs; and

-      Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits;

Will be able to apply for the PWD designation using a 2 page form instead of the current 28 page application.  The process for applicants will be as follows:

-      Individuals applying for the PWD designation as a member of a prescribed class will self-identify as belonging to a prescribed class during the Self-Serve Assessment and Application;

-      The applicant will then proceed through the intake process and as part of the intake package of documents, they will be given the PWD Designation – Prescribed Class Application to complete in lieu of the 28 page PWD application;

-      The applicant will select the applicable prescribed class and be required to provide the Ministry with the consent to contact the specified agency to verify eligibility;

-      Upon confirmation of eligibility for PWD designation under a prescribed class the Ministry will send the individual an approval letter

-      If the applicant is found to be ineligible for PWD designation under a prescribed class the applicant will have the right to request a reconsideration of the decision or they may choose to submit a standard PWD application

Individuals applying for the PWD designation who do not fall within one of the prescribed classes will still be required to complete a standard 28 page PWD application.

New Role for Nurse Practitioners in the PWD Application Process

In addition, nurse practitioners will be allowed to complete section 2 of the PWD Designation Application, which previously could only be completed by a medical doctor.  Nurses already have the authority to complete section 3 of the PWD Designation Application and this change will allow them to assist their patients with either or both sections of the application.

___________________

 

If you have any questions about this information, please contact Advocacy Access Program Director Sam Turcott at 604-872-1278 or 1-800-663-1278.

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DABC Community Update Re: PWD Rates

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Free Money Skills Workshop Series- Register Now

The program is presented by Family Services of Greater Vancouver and sponsored by Vancity. The series is designed to help participants increase their money management knowledge and confidence. In this 3-Session workshop series you will learn about:

Budgeting: Track your earning and spending and be in control of your money.
Banking: Choose the options that are right for you, reduce fees and save money.
Credit: Build and maintain a good credit history and deal with debt.
Consumerism: How to be in charge of your own spending.

Register early, space is limited. To sign-up, you must attend all three sessions.

COST: Free
WHEN: Aug. 16; Aug. 23, Aug. 30 (all Tuesdays)
TIME: 1pm- 3pm
WHERE: Disability Alliance BC, #204- 456 West Broadway in Vancouver
REGISTER:
Call Val at: 604-875-0188 or email: feedback@disabilityalliancebc.org

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TransLink Update on Compass Card Faregate Closure

DABC has received the following notice from TransLink:

TransLink is currently working toward the installation of new proximity-sensor entrances to allow hands-free fare gate access for customers with a disability that prevents them from tapping a Compass Card. We estimate the new entrances will be in place by the end of 2017.

In transitioning to this new system, all fare gates will be closed as of Monday, July 25th. While we will continue to strive to have attendants at the gates to assist customers, you may find fewer attendants than have been present during the initial Compass transition, and gates may at times be closed and unattended.

To ensure that our customers have gate access in these situations, TransLink is offering a number of options for customers unable to tap a Compass Card at the fare gates unassisted:

Station Assistance Program

• Please call 604.520.5518 on the day of your trip, at least 10 minutes before arriving at a station, to have an attendant assist you at the fare gates. If you are able to do so, you may also call this number when you are at the station for remote gate opening, wherein attendants located at the gate control centre (using video monitoring) can open the accessible gate remotely.

• While in-person assistance or remote gate opening are available for station arrival, assistance with exiting the gates at your destination station will always be provided by an in-person attendant, to provide the highest level of service possible. In cases when an attendant cannot be available due to a system operating issue, remote gate opening will be provided.

• In using the Station Assistance service, please wait as near to the accessible gate as you are safely and comfortably able to do. This way you are visible to gate control staff if remote gate opening is requested or required.

• While calls can be placed any time (during operating hours) on the day of your trip, we encourage customers to call if possible within two hours of station arrival, to best assist us with serving your needs.

Assistive Devices Program

• Please call 778.375.6864 to speak with TransLink’s Access Transit Planning group to discuss the possibility of receiving an assistive device to allow you to tap your Compass Card at the fare gates.

• The type of assistive device depends on the individual customer’s needs and abilities, but may include items such as a wristband, retractable lanyard, etc.

HandyCard Program

• Eligible customers can apply to receive a HandyCard, which provides free travel for an attendant.

The full accessibility of the transit system continues to be a top priority for TransLink, and we look forward to the upcoming installation of the new proximity-sensor entrances to provide hands-free gate access for customers with a disability that prevents them from tapping.

If you have a disability that prevents you from tapping unassisted and you are interested in being involved in the design of this permanent solution, please contact Access Transit Planning at 778.375.6864 to learn more.

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