As part of Budget 2017, the Province is investing $8 million over three years to increase child benefit exemptions for people who receive income or disability assistance.
As of April 1, 2017, the Canada Pension Plan disabled contributor’s child benefit, foster-care payments, and Public Guardian and Trustee payments for children will all be exempt from calculations of income and disability assistance.
These changes will benefit approximately 1,000 children and 600 families every year, ensuring payments meant for children get to children.
Once the changes take effect, British Columbia will have the most comprehensive exemptions for child-related benefits and payments in Canada.
The increase in child benefit exemptions complements a number of changes the Province has made over the last few years to further support people receiving income or disability assistance, including:
- Raising asset levels for people with the person with disabilities (PWD) designation to the highest level in Canada (along with Alberta);
- Annualizing earnings exemptions for people receiving disability assistance to $9,600 per year, so they can have more flexibility in their work schedule;
- Exempting child support payments, federal Employment Insurance (EI) maternity and parental benefits, and EI benefits for parents caring for critically ill children for people receiving income or disability assistance;
- Exempting Canada Pension Plan orphan’s benefits and WorkSafeBC child benefits from income, disability or hardship assistance;
- Doubling the monthly income exemption for families with children on income assistance from $200 to $400 a month and increasing it from $300 to $500 for families who have a child with a disability; and
- Establishing the Single Parent Employment Initiative, which helps single parents on income and disability assistance get the supports they need to overcome barriers to employment and build a better future for their families. Since its launch in September 2015, more than 4,375 single parents have become involved and more than 830 have found employment.