The Ministry of Social Development has simplified the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation process for youth with developmental disabilities who are eligible for disability assistance and Community Living BC (CLBC) supports.
These young people who are transitioning over to disability assistance from the At Home Program and/or other supports, will be able to use an existing psychological assessment by a registered psychologist or certified school psychologist, instead of filling out the lengthy PWD form to apply for the designation.
The intent of the changes is to make things easier for families who were organizing applications. Now the letter or report from the psychologist takes the place of the 23 page form with sections to be completed by a physician and assessor.
In many cases the young person will already have this report completed by the school. The report must demonstrate that the person is classified under the “DSM-IV” category.
When the person or person’s guardian is called back to verify information that has been submitted on line, they are asked about the “scores” on the psychological report, and while IQ is not the ‘be all and end all’ definitive measure, it is one that is easy to express and the answer to this question seems to determine what package is sent to the family.
Under the new system, people who do not have a psychological or psycho/educational report with DSM-IV referenced, have been asked to complete the updated version of the 23 page application and submit it along with any other relevant documents including the diagnosis of the disability. This is the longer eligibility process.
In addition, there is no longer a meeting scheduled at the local Ministry of Social Development Office. The post on-line application “call back” which used to confirm the contents of the application and set a time for a meeting is now used to determine what package of forms is sent out to the person/family to complete.
Although a psychological report can be expensive and time consuming, with that in hand it is clear whether you are eligible for PWD and CLBC.
You should contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development to ask if they can help you obtain a psychological report if you do not have one.
About 600 youth require access to disability assistance each year and will benefit from these changes.
Young people with developmental disabilities can complete Persons with Disabilities designation application process six months before their 18th birthday.
If you are having difficulties with this process, or need more information, contact the Integrated Services Support Team (ISST). They help people with developmental disabilities solve problems they may have with the services they receive from CLBC and any other BC government services like housing and disability assistance.
You can phone them and leave a message on their answering machine toll free at 1-855-356-1635.
You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will get back to you within two days.
You can also contact the Advocate for Service Quality, Jane Holland, at 604-775-1238. If you live outside the lower mainland you can call Enquiry BC and ask them to transfer you to the Office of the Advocate for Service Quality at that number.
Enquiry BC for Victoria residents is 250-387-6121
Enquiry BC for all other BC residents is 1-800-663-7867