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Our new report shows the continued systemic use of restraint and seclusion in BC schools. Read more.

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BC Election 2017 - Income Supports

Download the Income Security Issue SummaryOur Vision

No British Columbian with a developmental disability lives in poverty.

Why it’s important

Some 107,000 British Columbians are struggling to live on Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefits, which increased by $50 to $1,033/month in April 2017. Most people with developmental disabilities who rely on PWD benefits are unable to find enough work, in part due to employment barriers, and are forced to live in lifelong poverty.

A new report shows PWD rates only cover about 60% of the cost of basic living needs in most of BC. The $375 maximum monthly allowance for housing is far below actual costs of rent in much of BC.

This is cruel, unnecessary and unfair. Poverty increases health and social problems, including:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Inadequate housing
  • Lack of healthcare
  • Stress and loneliness

These preventable problems cost society more than providing income and employment supports that empower British Columbians with developmental disabilities to live with dignity and share the benefits of truly belonging in our province.

What we need

INCREASE THE PWD RATE IMMEDIATELY TO $1,200 PER MONTH: This will help rates catch up after a long period of no real increases. PWD rates that are closer to the cost of living would allow people who can’t work because of their disability to still live in dignity as valued citizens.

INDEX PWD RATES: Yearly PWD increases to match the cost of living will help keep future generations out of poverty.

PORTABLE HOUSING SUBSIDY: To ensure people can afford quality accessible housing anywhere in BC.

IMPROVE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS: More provincial investment in programs that empower job seekers with disabilities to improve skills, find jobs and keep them. This will allow more people with developmental disabilities who want to work to enjoy the fulfilment and independence of employment, and reduce the need for PWD benefits. 

Question to candidates

If elected, will you support an increase in PWD monthly rates to $1,200/month in 2017, with yearly cost of living increases and portable housing subsidies?

If elected, will you support increased investment in employment programs for people with disabilities, in consultation with community partners?


#raisetherates #BCweALLbelong

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