To say that many people with disabilities have a ‘conflicted’ relationship with government bureaucracy is an understatement of almost British proportions.

On the one hand, most of our services and supports are paid for by government, yet this money comes with so many strings attached, hoops to jump through and barriers to breech; that if some government program offered something more there is a very strong chance you’d just so say because you were just too fed up.

 

But sometime it really does pay to listen and by not doing so you can lose out on a lot.

So, in this column I’m hoping to prime the pump a bit and get a discussion of various tricks and programs that we know about that others may not, and that can make a real difference in our lives.

 

Fuel Tax Credit

 

At first this one seems real obvious. If someone with a disability owns their own car they can get some of the taxes paid on that fuel (up to $500 a year) back from the provincial government.

Just keep your gas receipts and pass them along to the provincial government as often as once a month to get reimbursed.

However, many people with disabilities count themselves out of the program because they believe it only for things like wheelchair vans or other such highly modified vehicles; this is not true.

Any vehicle whose majority of trips are to support and help a person with disables is eligible for the tax credit.

The person with the disability doesn’t even have to the owner of the vehicle just explain how it is used to support him or her.

Another mistake that people often make with the fuel tax, is the belief that only people in wheelchairs can get it: again, this is not true.

Anyone who collects PWD can apply for the fuel tax as well, and other mobility issues are also covered.

 

One final note, at least in BC: The Disability Fuel Tax is handled by the Ministry of Finance. In my experience, these are some of the nicest bureaucrats I have had to deal with.

They explained things very well, didn’t mind me asking questions and followed up, not to mention being very genuine on the phone.

So, don’t be afraid to give them a call if you have questions and want to check out the Fuel Tax Credit further.

 

Access 2 Entertainment

 

This handy little card can be of real use for those people who like to head out on the town.

Run by the Easter Seals this program and card allows for someone with a permanent disability who requires a support worker to have that support worker get in for free into many local attractions.

 

Many know about the card and think it can only be used for movies, but there are many permanent attractions and some concert venues that will also accept the card and allow your support worker to get in free.

 

There is a small fee to help with admin costs and it requires a medical professional’s seal to prove that you have an permanent disability; but if you like going out, the Access 2 card can save you a lot of money in the long run.

 

So, there you have my two things that can help get more money into disabled people hands.

But I want to open it up to others. If you’ve found a means making and/or saving some extra money share it in the comments bellow.

It may seem obvious to you but I guarantee there are a lot of people that don’t know about it.