Provincial income assistance has three income levels: basic assistance (also called welfare), Persons with Disabilities benefits (PWD), and the Persons with Persistent and Multiple Barriers to employment benefits (PPMB). All are administered by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Inclusion. Depending on the situation, mental illness may considered under PWD or PPMB. Addictions may not be included in PPMB applications.
PWD benefits are for people who have a disability that prevents them from working or going about their daily activities. Find information from the Ministry and read a fact sheet from the Disability Alliance of BC with information about the application process.
PPMB benefits are for people who experience multiple barriers to work. Find information from the Ministry and read a fact sheet from the Disability Alliance of BC with information about the application process.
The Disability Alliance of BC (formerly the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities) and help you navigate PWD and PPMB programs as well as Canada Pension Plan benefits. They have in-depth information on preparing your application, working through the application process, and handling appeals. PovNet can also connect you with an advocate to help you through the application process.
For more on provincial PWD benefits and advocacy tips, see Getting By on Social Assistance: Navigating the ‘welfare’ system or read other articles in our Income issue of Visions Journal.
About the author
The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.
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