Please be advised that beginning October 1, 2017, Income and Disability Assistance rates will increase and Earnings Exemptions will also increase. There will also be an update to the Bus Pass Program starting January 1, 2018.
In addition to a $100 increase to income and disability assistance rates that takes effect on October 1, 2017, people on income assistance will also be able to earn an additional $200 a month without any impact on their monthly payment. For those on disability assistance, the annual earnings exemption will increase by $2,400 a year. Higher earnings exemptions offer people a chance to increase their household income, remain connected to the workforce, and build valuable work experience that can lead to a good-paying job.
Income, Hardship and Disability Rate Increase
- Effective October 1, 2017, the support rate for Income and Hardship Assistance will increase by $100 per case.
- The support rate for Disability Assistance will increase by $100 per Persons with Disabilities (PWD) client. Therefore, two PWD clients in a family unit will receive a $200 support increase.
- The new monthly rates will increase to $710 for an individual receiving income assistance and $1,133 for an individual receiving disability assistance.
Earning Exemption Increase – including Annual Earnings Exemption for Persons with Disabilities (PWD)
Effective October 1, 2017, earnings exemptions will increase by $200 per month for people on income assistance and by $2,400 annually for people on disability assistance.
New earnings exemptions amounts are as follows:
For people on income assistance (monthly)
- $400 for a single person
- $600 for a family with children
- $700 a family with a child with a disability
- $700 for a family unit with a person who has persistent multiple barriers to employment
For people on disability assistance (annually)
- $12,000 for a single person
- $14,400 for a couple where one is a person with a disability
- $24,000 for a couple where both are persons with disabilities
Annual earnings exemptions retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017
As the annual earnings exemption for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) is for a calendar year, the increase will apply to the current year, back to Jan. 1, 2017. Anyone who has exceeded the current exemption for this year ($9,600 for a single person) will be entitled to the higher limit.
Staff at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will be contacting those individuals by the end of November to adjust their assistance payments accordingly.
Bus Pass Program
As announced by government as part of the throne speech, “Starting January 1, 2018, government will provide people with disabilities access to the transportation supports they need, including an annual bus pass for those who want one.”
- News Release – Rate Increase – July 20, 2017
- News Release – Improving supports for people on assistance – September 19, 2017 (includes a Backgrounder)