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

Our new report shows the continued systemic use of restraint and seclusion in BC schools. Read more.

Income Security

Our Vision

No person with a developmental disability lives in poverty.


PWD Income Benefit

Many British Columbians with intellectual disabilities live in poverty. Many are poor because they cannot find jobs, or can only find jobs that pay very low wages.

BC's Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction provides a monthly disability benefit to support some people with disabilities who are unable to support themselves through employment. People who receive PWD (Persons with Disabilities) benefits also get free access to very basic healthcare. Some may also qualify for Community Living BC's supported employment or residential programs. 

In 2017, PWD rates increased by $150 to $1,133/month for a single person. Effective January 2018, PWD recipients also began receiving a $52 monthly transportation supplement to pay for a transit pass or other transportation options.

In 2017, earnings exemptions were also increased, so a single person receiving PWD benefits can now earn up to $12,000/year before their PWD benefits are reduced.  

Despite these welcome improvements, more than 100,000 British Columbians with disabilities struggle to live on PWD benefits that don't cover basic needs for food, housing and transportation. A study by University of Victoria professor Michael Prince found that 2016 PWD rates only covered about 60% of the basic cost of necessities in most BC communities. (Read the report here.) For example, the $375 maximum monthly allowance for housing is far below actual costs in many parts of the province. 

Income security for British Columbians with disabilities

In 2014, BC promised to make our province the most progressive in Canada for people with disabilities by 2024 (Read the Accessibility 2024 document here). In July 2017, BC's new government promised to tackle poverty and inequality as a priority so that all British Columbians could achieve their potential. Inclusion BC strongly supports a vision where adults with disabilities can escape the trap of poverty and has committed to working with successive BC governments to develop concrete plans to make these promises a reality.

When people lack sufficient income to cover basic needs, their health and well-being are affected and they become more vulnerable to a range of risks. Being poor means living in poor housing, not eating proper food, and often going without essential health and support services. It often means not having opportunities to meet other people or participate in community life. Poverty often leads to poor health, social isolation, and homelessness. 

Inclusion BC's position

Inclusion BC has urged BC to raise PWD rates to $1,500/month, with future indexing to inflation. We have also urged BC to introduce portable housing subsidies to ensure that people living on PWD benefits can access safe, accessible and inclusive housing anywhere in the province. 

What's New

May 29, 2018
See what we've been up to this past year and how your support has helped us make an impact on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families in BC....
  + More
February 19, 2018
Inclusion BC outlines its BC Budget 2018 priorities to advance inclusion...
  + More