Disability Benefits

previously known as

Handicapped Benefits

Province of British Columbia
Ministry of Social Services

Last Update: 09.01.1997

What are Disability Benefits?

They are a form of income assistance for people with disabilities who cannot support themselves. Depending on their income, assets and needs, recipients may get a monthly food and shelter allowance; medical benefits including equipment, supplies and transportation; and other benefits like homemaker services and low-cost bus passes.

Who is eligible?

Anyone with a disability who:

How does the new Disability Benefits program differ from the old Handicapped Benefits program?

There are a number of changes, including:

These changes have been made in response to concerns raised by community groups representing people with disabilities.

Will these changes affect people who have been receiving Handicapped Benefits?

No. Only new applicants are affected. People who received benefits in the past will continue to do so as long as they meet the requirements for eligibility.

Who completes the form?

The form has three parts. Each one is filled in by a different person.
PartA asks for general information about the applicant and their disability. It is completed by the applicant or someone chosen by the applicant.
Part B is completed by an assessor who has a professional relationship with the applicant and is familiar with their condition. The assessor could be a nurse. Other examples are a social worker, physiotherapist or teacher.
In Part C the applicant's physician diagnoses the disability and indicates how long it will last.

The applicant mails the completed form to the ministry for review, a process that takes about six to eight weeks. The ministry then tells the applicant in writing whether they have been given handicapped status. Anyone who is turned down has the right to appeal.

Can the handicapped designation be cancelled?

Yes, in cases of fraud or abuse. Otherwise, the designation is for life and is not subject to review.

Can benefits change?

Entitlement to benefits is reviewed regularly, and may change depending on circumstances. For example, the food and shelter allowance may be reduced or stopped altogether if the recipient gets a job.

Where can I get an application form?

You can pick one up from your nearest Ministry of Social Services office. Look for the address in the provincial government blue pages of the phone book under Social Services, Ministry of.
Forms are also available from many community outlets.

Or you can wrlte to:
         Health Services Division
         Ministry of Social Services
         Parliament Buildings
         Victoria, BC V8V lX4

Need more information?

Please phone your local ministry office, or call this toll-free number:

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Massimo Cardaci
V.Galileo Galilei - 00044 Frascati