July 21, 2017, New Westminster, B.C. – A significant measure of hope was felt as the new BC Government announced an increase to the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) benefit and income assistance, just two days after being sworn in.Inclusion BC and the Disability Alliance BC are pleased and encouraged with the increase and look forward to working with the new Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction on other measures to reduce poverty.
“This is an immediate and impressive step by our new government and signals a commitment to work with and listen to people who have been calling for change for a long time,” says Inclusion BC Executive Director Faith Bodnar.
“It’s clear that poverty and people with disabilities are a priority for this government. This announcement gives us all hope that finally BC is moving forward in addressing the abject poverty of our most vulnerable citizens. It’s time.” says Jane Dyson, Disability Alliance BC Executive Director.
Disability Alliance BC, Inclusion BC and other advocates have called for a plan to raise the rates gradually to $1,500 over three years, with indexing to match inflation. Both organizations are committed to working collaboratively on a Poverty Reduction Strategy that includes indexing as
well as additional rate increases.
The rate increase will take effect September 20 and will be for supports. Families where both adults are designated PWD will receive a $200 increase.
Faith Bodnar, Executive Director Inclusion BC
Jane Dyson, Executive Director Disability Alliance BC