Get disability assistance

If you have a physical or mental impairment that makes it hard to perform daily living activities, you might qualify for financial help. In Canada almost 4 million people have a disability.

Am I eligible for disability assistance?

To qualify you must:

  • Be 18 years old (You can apply six months before you turn 18).
  • Have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • Live in BC.
  • Be considered low income.
  • Show that your disability is severe and expected to last for at least two years.
  • Show that your disability prevents you from completing daily living tasks on your own.

The online Self Serve Assessment and Application will help determine if you qualify.

How do I apply for disability assistance?

  1. Fill out the online application form. You'll need your SIN. To talk to someone about applying, visit an Income and Disabilty assistance office or call 1-866-866-0800.
  2. Search for work. If you don't already have a Persons with Disability (PWD) designation, you have to actively look for work for five weeks and keep track of your efforts on a Work Search Activities Record (pdf). 
  3. Set up an interview. The Ministry will try twice to call you to set up an interview. If you don't answer or return the call, they'll cancel your application. If you don't have a phone they can call, you can call them to set up the interview at 1-866-866-0800.
  4. Go to the interview. You'll have to bring documents to verify who you are, your income, how much money you have, and your living arrangement. You'll also be asked about your work search, so be sure to bring a copy of your activities record.
  5. After the interview, if you qualify and don't already have a PWD designation the Ministry will give you an application form.
    1. Fill out Section 1 yourself.
    2. Have your doctor fill out Section 2 and
    3. Mail the form to: Employment and Assistance Office or call 1-866-866-0800.

Insider Tip

It's a good idea to keep a photocopy of your PWD designation application form.

Watch and learn how to get a a self-serve account with the Ministry:

Simplified application process

If you already take part in certain programs, you may be able to use a simplified PWD application process.

You’re eligible for this simplified process if you receive benefits from:

  • Community Living BC (CLBC)
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development At Home Program
  • BC PharmaCare Plan P – Palliative Care Benefits
  • Canada Pension Plan – Disability Benefits

This means you’ll complete a shorter PWD application form that gives the ministry permission to confirm your eligibility from one of those programs. You won’t have to complete a full PWD application.

Click here to contact the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to request a Persons with Disabilities Designation—Prescribed Class Application. You’ll still have to meet all other eligibility requirements to begin receiving disability assistance. 


Insider Tip

You may also be able to use the simplifed PWD application process if you have a confirmed intellectual disability and are 17 and a half - 19 years old.

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