Persons with Disability (PWD) benefit is a monetary assistance provided by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSDSI) for people who need help completing everyday activities.

You can read a more detailed description of the eligibility requirements and benefits from the BC Government website here

To be eligible for PWD benefit, 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 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
  •  

    Your PWD benefit (rate) is based on your specific family situation.
    The PWD benefit is made up of 3 parts:  a shelter amount, support amount (for daily living necessities) and a transportation allowance.

    For more details, check out the Benefit Rate Chart on our Resource Page.

    It depends on your family situation.  For example, a single person can earn up to 9600 a year without it affecting their disability benefit.

    Check out the "Annual Earnings Exemption" column on the Benefit Rate Chart on our Resource Page for more details.

    Note: To be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance, a family unit's net income must note equal or exceed the amount of income assistance or disability assistance that would be payable to a family unit of that size and composition.

    Earned income, is income that is classified as any of the following:

    • any money received for working
    • pension plan contributions that are refunded because of insufficient contributions to qualify for a pension
    • money  received from providing room and board at your residence
    • money  received from renting rooms at your residence

    Unearned income, is any income that is not earned income.  Some types of unearned income include:

    • money, annuities, stocks, bonds, shares, and interest-bearing accounts or properties
    • tax refund
    • Employment Insurance
    • Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments
    • superannuation benefits
    • any type or class of Canada Pension Plan benefits

    • war disability pensions, military pensions, and war veterans’ allowances
    • insurance benefits, except insurance paid as compensation for a destroyed asset
    • workers’ compensation benefits and disability payments or pensions
    • widows’ or orphans’ allowances
    • a trust or inheritance
    • rental of tools, vehicles, or equipment
    • rental of land, self-contained suites, or other property except the applicant or recipient's place of residence
    • interest earned on a mortgage or agreement for sale
    • maintenance under a court order, separation agreement, or other agreement
    • education or training allowances, grants, loans, bursaries, or scholarships
    • a lottery or a game of chance

    for more details about income types and exemptions click here

    As of September 1st 2016, a person with PWD designation is eligible for the new $52 per month transportation allowance.

    A person can decide monthly if they would like:
    a) To receive a monthly bus pass (compass card) or,
    b) have $52 every month added to your disability assistance cheque

    For example if you are a single person on PWD and you choose to receive the bus pass each month, your monthly benefit would be $931.42.  If you choose not to get the bus pass, your monthly benefit would be $983.42 ($52 more)

    The BC Bus Pass is a Compass Card. It is valid for travel anywhere within the TransLink and BC Transit service areas. It cannot be used on HandyDart.

    For more detailed information from the ministry on how to get or cancel the bus pass  click here

    Effective:  June 27, 2016

    Yes, A monthly supplement of $95  may be issued to help with the maintenance of a guide  dog team, service dog team and/or retired guide or service dog team. 

    This supplement is available to eligible recipients of income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance. 

    For more details on eligibility click here

     

    Classified as unearned income. One time awards are considered exempt. ICBC money for vehicle replacement is exempt.

    The Monthly Nutritional Supplement is a benefit available only to people receiving disability (PWD) benefits (not available to those with Medical Services Only (MSO), Person with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) or regular income assistance status). This benefit provides for vitamins, minerals and additional nutritional supplementation.

    To be eligible, you must have a chronic and progressive deteriorating condition directly causing at least two of the following symptoms:
    • Significant deterioration of a vital organ
    • Immune suppression (moderate to severe)
    • Malnutrition
    • Significant muscle mass loss
    • Significant neurological deterioration
    • Significant weight loss
    • Underweight status

    On the application, your medical professional will need to verify that the requested items will alleviate the wasting symptoms and will prevent an imminent danger to life and note your health will deteriorate significantly without the nutritional supplement.

    If you wish to apply, contact MSDSI and ask for a Monthly Nutritional Supplement application form.  You will then need to ask your doctor or nurse practitioner to complete the form and return it to you.  Then, you submit the form to MSDSI.

     

    Your child can NOT receive PWD if he or she is under age. Once your child is of age, (6 months before their 18th birthday) they can apply for their own PWD benefit at which time you should contact ministry to take them off of your file.

    If you child is under age and "has a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions", your child may be eligible for the Child Disability Benefit (CDB).  For more information, click below

    Child Disability Benefit

     

    As of September 1st 2016 the yearly "Special Transportation Subsidy" which was previously a lump sum, is no longer available.

    This has been replaced with the $52 per month  "Transportation Allowance" as well as an increase of $25 to the monthly support allowance

    If you are receiving PWD benefits, you must report all *qualifying income received and any changes to other income and/or circumstances by the 5th of the month following the change.

    To report your income, changes in income or circumstances, you must use the Monthly Report Form (HR0081).  (Click here to get the form)

    Unlike those receiving Income Assistance who must complete the report every month, for persons receiving PWD benefits,  it is not necessary to complete the Monthly Report Form each month, unless your income or circumstances have changed.

    You must also include any pay stubs with the report form. Your pay stub and monthly report form must be dropped off at your local Ministry office.   If you cannot physically do this, contact the Ministry and all reasonable effort will be taken to assist you in reporting.

    You must report you income accurately and completely when required to do so.

     

    *Qualified income refers to income that can be considered "earned income".  To learn more, watch our video Earned vs Unearned income

    Both are disability benefits, but they are very different in terms of who is eligible for each one, and what additional benefits are included.

    One of the main differences is that in order to be eligible to receive Canada Pension Plan Disability, you must have made Canada Pension Plan contributions during your working life.  Also, with CPPD,  the disability relates to your ability to work whereas with PWD, the disability is not work related, but is assessed in terms of your ability to complete daily living tasks such as grooming, cooking etc.

    See our comparison chart and video for more information

    PWD (Persons with Disability) CPPD (Canada Pension Plan Disability
    BC Provincial Government Program Federal Government Program
    Governed and delivered by The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSDSI) Governed and delivered by Service Canada
    Support, shelter and transportation allowance = $1033.42 for a single person (Apr 1 2017) Minimum amount is approx. $500 based on years employed and CPP contributions for a single person
    Benefits available (medical, dental, annual bus pass amount) No benefits available
    Not income taxable Income taxable
    Cannot be garnished Can be garnished
    Employment earnings allowed up to $9,600 / year Employment earnings allowed up to $5,400 / year
    Only allowed up to 30 days absence from province Can live anywhere in Canada

    Watch our video explaining the differences between the two disability benefits

    All CPP benefit types are considered unearned income. Canada Pension Plan (CPP) income is not exempt and will be deducted from your PWD cheque. There are only two exceptions:

  • a surviving child’s benefit—also called CPP orphan’s benefit
  • a disabled contributor’s child benefit
  •  
    The Canada Pension Plan has benefits for the child of, or a child in the care and control of, a CPP disability recipient.  To be eligible, the child must be under 18 or between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a recognized educational institution. This benefit is exempt (effective April 1, 2017).

    You are required to report the total CPP benefits for which you are eligible.  CPP income received in the current month must be reported to the Ministry by the 5th day of the following month to impact your income assistance for the month following that.


    Can't find what you are looking for?

    Fields marked with an * are required