Disability Benefits to be Improved

The provincial government is improving BC Benefits to provide better support for low-income people who are temporarily unable to work due to a medical condition. Under the current designation of "person with a level one disability" applicants must show they have "ongoing medical costs" as a direct result of a medical condition. This definition shifted attention away from a person's employability, emphasizing instead the individual's disability. It was considered too restrictive, especially for those with mental health or cognitive issues. Starting in September, a new designation called "person with a medical exemption" will be available. A single person with this exemption, for example, will receive $98 each month in addition to regular BC Benefits of $510 per month. To qualify, applicants must have a temporary medical condition preventing them from working or from seeking work for at least six months.