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Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with developmental disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

UPDATE: Provincial Cuts to Medical Coverage and Shelter Allowances

Summary: 
The provincial government announced on March 4th cuts to B.C.’s income assistance program.

*May 7, 2010 Update: The provincial government has reversed its decision to limit Medical Services Only coverage for seniors with disabilities leaving provincial assistance and going onto federal pensions, and people leaving provincial assistance for Canada Pension Plan-Disability benefits. See the community alert from the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities at the bottom of this page.

March 15, 2010: Under the heading of “protecting services” and absent from the March 2nd provincial budget, the government information bulletin and backgrounder briefly outlines the cuts. BCACL is deeply concerned with the cuts, which were made without any community consultation and which will push many people with developmental disabilities deeper into poverty. Faith Bodnar, BCACL Executive Director, spoke out against the cuts on CKNW radio on March 5.

Many British Columbians with developmental disabilities live in poverty. Living in poverty increases the risk of physical health problems due to poor nutrition, housing and access to health care. The social effects of poverty - including isolation, loneliness, and alienation from community life - contribute to both physical and mental health concerns. Ultimately, the result of these negative social effects is more costly than providing access to needed income supports. The provincial government's decision to cut medical coverage and minimum shelter allowances to people with disabililties is inhumane and lacking in vision.

The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) has launched a campaign to reverse the cuts. Visit the BCCPD website for more information, including a letter to community partners and details about the cuts made.

Community Alert from the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities

Dear Community Partner,

The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities is pleased that the Medical Services Only (MSO) health coverage restrictions recently introduced by the Ministry of Housing and Social Development (MHSD) have been reversed after concerns were raised by the community. These health coverage restrictions affected seniors with disabilities in particular.

On April 1st, 2010 MHSD introduced restrictions that limited Medical Services Only coverage for seniors with disabilities leaving provincial assistance and going onto federal pensions, and people leaving provincial assistance for Canada Pension Plan-Disability benefits. Health coverage for these groups was restricted to a period of one year only. As of April 30th, 2010 this one year restriction has been removed and people will continue to be eligible for Medical Services Only as long as they qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Canada Pension Plan benefits.

The BCCPD is pleased that vulnerable populations can continue to access the Medical Services Only benefit. However, other changes introduced by MHSD on April 1st, 2010 are still in effect. These changes include restrictions to medical equipment and supplies such as the removal of payment for prefabricated orthotics and limits on the amount of money MHSD will pay for a motorized scooter and other equipment.

For more information:

Please contact the Advocacy Access Program at 604-872-1278 or 1-800-663-1278.

Background information: http://www.bccpd.bc.ca/cutstomedical.htm