Life is full of surprises. Some of those surprises, like an unexpected car repair or a fridge that needs to be replaced, can take a pretty big bite out of your monthly budget and make it tough to pay your regular bills. 

People with disabilities have options for increasing cash flow and getting more control over their finances. These options include government disability income assistance, a disability tax credit, or—for those situations where you need some funds sooner than later—a personal loan. We’ll give you the lowdown on each of these options so you can figure out which ones best fit your needs.

BC government disability income assistance

If you’re only able to work part-time or can’t work at all due to a disability, you may be eligible for regular monthly payments from the BC disability benefits program.

How can I get PWD BC income assistance?

In order to qualify as a Person with Disabilities, you’ll have to meet the following criteria:

  • Show that you meet the financial eligibility requirements to receive disability assistance
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have a severe physical or mental impairment that’s expected to last for two years or more
  • Be significantly restricted in performing daily-living activities
  • Require help for daily-living activities from another person, an assistive device (e.g. wheelchair), or an assistance animal (e.g. guide dog)

You’ll also need to meet specific requirements regarding your income and assets, as laid out on the BC government’s Disability Assistance page

In addition to PWDs, disability assistance is available for War Service veterans, members of the RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces, and civilians who’ve served as support for the Armed Forces during wartime.

How much support does disability assistance provide?

The amount of financial support you’ll receive depends on the size of your family, and if anybody else in your family qualifies for the Persons with Disabilities designation. 

Here are some quick examples, as of April 1, 2019:

  • If you’re single your PWD amount is $1,183.42 per month.
  • If both you and your spouse have Persons with Disabilities designation, you’ll get $2,073.06 per month.
  • If you’re a single-parent family with two children, you’ll receive $1,609.08 per month.

Check out the full BC government Disability Assistance Rate Table for more details about specific amounts.

Supplemental income support is available to help out with some of the extra costs that might accompany certain disabilities. Visit the General & Health Supplements page for details on supplements like bus passes, Christmas expenses, moving costs, and more. The Monthly Nutritional Supplement page provides information about additional financial support for Persons with Disabilities who require essential items to meet nutritional needs. 

Is there a Christmas supplement?

To help with extra expenses over the holidays, recipients of income assistance or disability assistance are entitled to a Christmas supplement in the month of December.

If you choose to receive the payment by direct deposit or computer-generated cheque, your Christmas supplement is automatically included in December’s payment.

How can I apply for PWD BC disability assistance?

The My Self Service portal is a convenient way to apply for disability assistance online. You can also call 1-866-866-0800 toll-free, or visit a Service BC location

COVID-19 BC disability income assistance update

All BC residents who are receiving income and disability assistance but not eligible for federal emergency benefits will get a $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement for three months from April until June. Low-income seniors who get the $49 B.C. Senior’s Supplement and residents in special care facilities who receive income or disability assistance are also eligible.

The BC government also announced that recipients of income and disability assistance will receive a temporary earning exemption for all federal EI benefits. This means that if a recipient applies and qualifies for a benefit like the new $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit, that amount will not be deducted from their income or disability assistance cheque.

Furthermore, all BC Bus Pass Program users receiving assistance will have their transit fees waived for the foreseeable future. The $52 supplement will be added to their April assistance cheque and every cheque after that until fares are reinstated. Click here for more information.

What about the Disability Tax Credit?

The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a tax credit that is designed to reduce the amount of income tax owed by Persons with Disabilities and their supporters. By paying less income tax, you’ll be able to put more of your money towards disability costs. 

Qualifying for the DTC can make it easier to apply for related programs like the registered disability savings plan, the working income tax benefit, and the child disability benefit.

Can I get a personal loan if I'm receiving assistance?

Most of us have experienced situations where, all of a sudden, you need some extra money and you need it pretty darned soon. If you have disabilities, you may require a quick infusion of cash to cover emergencies, pay for car repairs, or take care of housing costs.

In these types of situations, a personal loan can help smooth things over until you can get back onto a stable financial footing. 

A better alternative to payday loans

You’ve probably heard of payday lenders. They provide a quick and convenient way to get a cash advance on future paychecks, but the potential risk is very high. 

Payday loans often involve a short repayment period (usually around two weeks), and if you can’t pay back the full amount in that time you’ll be on the hook for interest rates around 400% or more! Plus, you’ll have to pay a flat fee, which is never fun. 

Get a personal loan today with Fresh Start Finance

If you need cash fast, you’re better off getting a personal loan from Fresh Start Finance. We offer loans up to $15,000 with interest rates that are way better than payday lenders and no hidden costs. It only takes a few minutes to apply and you could be approved in less than 72 hours. 

Compare Fresh Start Finance with payday lenders and you’ll see why we’re the smarter choice for financial help when you really need it.