The Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) benefit is for people who are not able to work due to a severe and long-term medical condition and other barriers to employment. The medical condition must be severe enough that it prevents or severely impacts their ability to look for, accept or continue employment now or in the foreseeable future.

As such, PPMB clients are exempt from working, although there is an earnings exemption available to encourage clients who are able to work a little to earn more income.

The goal of the PPMB benefit it to help give people the time and support needed to overcome barriers to employment and move toward independence.

To qualify for  PPMB you must have:

•   Received income assistance for at least 12 of the past 15 months

•   A doctor confirm that you have a medical condition that stops you from looking for, accepting or continuing your work

•   A doctor confirm that you have a medical condition that has lasted for at least 1 year and is likely to continue or reoccur for at least 2 more years

The Ministry (MSDPR) will decide if you qualify for PPMB based on:

•   Information provided by your doctor in your PPMB medical report

•   PPMB Employability Screen

NOTE: Please note that addictions of any kind do not count as a medical condition under the PPMB eligibility criteria.

The Employability Screen is used to determine whether a person meets the criteria for Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB)

Specifically, the Employability Screen assesses what types of barriers a person is facing to employment and to what extent.  It identifies things such as  past dependency on assistance, recent work history, education level, and English proficiency.  Points are scored based on a person's answers and the overall point score is considered an indication of that person's employment readiness. If you score less than 15 points on the Employability Screen, then your medical restrictions to work must be more severe than if you score 15 points or greater.  The  majority of people who apply for PPMB do not score 15 points.

The Employability Screen will be completed with a Ministry Worker during the application process.  To see a sample of the Employability Screen, click here.

Call or go into your local Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction(MSDPR) office. Let them know that you would like to apply for PPMB. An appointment with a worker will be arranged for you. This appointment can be in person or on the telephone.

Employability Screen -  A Ministry worker will ask you questions  about your background and your barriers to employment such as your work history, level of education and English language skills.  Points are scored on an Employability Screen based on your answers. If you score 15 points or more, then your medical restrictions to work do not have to be as great as if you score less than 15. ( The vast majority of people who apply for PPMB do not score 15 points.) The worker will also ask you what steps you have taken to overcome your barriers to employment.

Medical Report - The worker will also give you or mail you a PPMB Medical Report to take to your doctor.  To be eligible for PPMB, your doctor must explain why your medical condition stops you from working and that your condition has lasted for at least one year and will continue for two years. There is also a section to provide information about treatments you have tried.  If you have additional tests or reports that show how severe your medical condition is, they should also be included with the Medical Report. It is important that you go to a doctor who knows your medical history.

Employability Screen scores

•   If you score 15 or more on the screen, you must have barriers that "seriously impede" your ability to look for work, accept work or continue work.

•   If you score less than 15 on the screen, you must have a medical condition that "precludes" or completely prevents you from looking for, accepting and continuing work

(NOTE: the majority of people applying for PPMB do not score 15 points or greater.)

Click here to see a sample of the Employability Screen

Click here to see a sample of the PPMB Medical Report Form

You do not need to pay for the medical report. The doctor will bill the Ministry for payment.

A person with PPMB will be reassessed at least every two years.

•   A single person with no dependents can earn up to $757.92.  (For the full rate table, check out the Income Assistance Benefit Rate Chart on our Resources page)

•   You will not be expected to look for work

•   You will be able to keep up to $700 a month in earned income

•   You may be eligible for certain health supplements  (for detailed information about health supplements click here )

Yes, if you are able, you can work and earn up to $700 a month when you are on PPMB without it affecting your benefit.


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