Welfare and disability rates are woefully inadequate IF you can access them. In recent years, BC’s welfare ministry has radically changed the way it delivers services making it very difficult for the most marginalized people in the province to access basic services. Recent changes streamline the benefit application process for people in certain provincial and federal programs, but do not apply for most applicants. Wait times on BC’s welfare phone line tripled in 2014, and nearly doubled again in 2015, soaring to almost one hour.
This video is the latest in the Poverty Mythbusters series.
To learn more about access to welfare issues or to submit a complaint about welfare service delivery to the BC Ombudsperson, visit BCPIAC’s welfare access page.
Read Inclusion BC’s response to the streamlining of the application process for certain groups.
The current income assistance system in BC is fundamentally broken as low welfare and disability rates threaten residents’ health.
April 1st marked the the 9th anniversary of the last real increase in the rates on Friday April 1st. A crowd of about 200 gathered at a rally to call for higher welfare and disability rates and to restore the bus pass. Read more about the rally here.
Low incomes have not kept up with the increasing cost of housing in BC, whether income is from welfare or disability benefits or low-wage work, and we saw nothing to address this in the budget. The minimal increase of $77 to the disability rate, frozen at $906 for the last 9 years, is a completely inadequate response and the cut to the bus pass program of $45 per year is a huge blow to people’s mobility and social inclusion.
Sign the petition here: Raise the Rates, Leave Our Bus Pass Alone
To learn more about access to welfare issues or to submit a complaint about welfare service delivery to the BC Ombudsperson, visit the BCPIAC website.
Get involved: Join our Poverty Free Action Team!