Lots of good reasons for seniors to file their taxes
April 18, 2016
The B.C. Seniors Advocate says there are at least nine good reasons why seniors stand to gain a lot from filing their income taxes. Isobel McKenzie has issued a press release explaining why it is important for seniors in the province to file tax returns, even if they do not think they make enough income to file. “There are many subsidies available to seniors that are based on income tax information,” said Isobel Mackenzie. “If seniors don’t file their taxes, low-income seniors in particular may be giving up opportunities to access subsidies which can make significant differences to their lives.”
Full article here
Nominations are now open for the VDRC Board of Directors
Election to the board of directors will take place at the annual general meeting on Sept 28, 2016. A member of the VDRC who wishes to be nominated for election to the board of directors must submit a nomination form to the Nominations Committee (email@example.com) by September 1. Interested individuals who are not a member of the VDRC must become a member before they are able to be considered by the Nominations Committee.
VDRC Celebrates Independent Living Canada Day
As a proud member of Independent Living Canada, the Victoria Disability Resource Centre (VDRC) celebrated the most recent Independent Living Canada day on June 6th by hosting an open house for local community members and media. A number of VDRC staff members and volunteers spoke about their experience living with a disability and the significance of this movement. They said that the purpose of this day is to promote the idea of focusing on people’s abilities, rather than their disabilities, in order to create a fair society for everyone where opportunities are available to all.
Christopher Wooding, the VDRC Volunteer Coordinator, talked about the importance of fostering an inclusive and accessible society where people with disabilities are valued equally and can participate fully. At the age of 33, and living with Arthur Gryphosis Multiplex Congenita, Christopher has experienced his fair share of difficulties, as has anyone else with a disability. However, he says that this is no reason for people to take pity on him. Some of the challenges he encounters in his daily routine may be unique, but that does not make him any more deserving of the infantilizing attitude with which people with a disability are often approached.
Chris also said that despite the success of the movement, there is still much progress to be made in the creation of an inclusive and accessible society. Most people are not aware of the great contribution made by people living with a disability. He said that society must learn to focus on ability rather than disability as a first step in creating a fair society where opportunities are available for everyone.
Chronic Health Self-Management Workshops Coming Up
July 6th - Aug 10th
This six-week program, developed at Stanford University, provides information and teaches practical skills. It is being offered by the Neil Squire Society at our offices at 817A Fort St. See below for information about how to enrol.
Topics Covered Include:
• Learn to Better manage your health
• Set goals and problem solve
• Communicate effectively with your health care team
• Take action and live a healthy life!
WHERE: 817A Fort Street at the Victoria Disability Resource Centre
WHEN: For six Wednesdays from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Registration is Required! Contact Wendy Cox at 250-595-0044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for further details.
Barrier-Free BC urges provincial government to ‘Just Say Yes’ to a British Columbians with Disabilities Act
Victoria, BC – April 6, 2016 – A grassroots movement of organizations and individuals representing British Columbia’s residents with disabilities officially launched a province-wide campaign on the steps of the Legislature today. Barrier-Free BC called on the provincial government to ‘Just Say Yes’ and enact a British Columbians with Disabilities Act.
More than 600,000 people in BC have some form of disability – and that number is expected to rise dramatically over the next 15 to 20 years as the population ages.
Introducing formal legislation would help to secure the rights of persons with disabilities around issues of accessibility, inclusion and equal opportunity.
“We strongly urge all parties to support the enactment of legislation to make accessibility a priority for BC residents with disabilities – to build a stronger, equal British Columbia for all,” said Sleath.
About Barrier-Free BC
Volunteer-driven, Barrier-Free BC is a non-partisan, grassroots campaign advocating for the enactment of a strong and effective British Columbians with Disabilities Act, ensuring a truly barrier-free province for all persons with disabilities.
For more information:
PWD application process to be streamlined for some British Columbians with disabilities
The Ministry of Social Development recently introduced legislation that will streamline the Persons with Disabilities Benefit (PWD) application process for people with disabilities in the following programs:
- Community Living BC
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development At Home Program
- BC PharmaCare Plan P – Palliative Care
- Canadian Pension Plan – Disability
Although people in those programs will still need to meet eligibility criteria and to make an application, they will no longer have to complete the 28-page PWD application booklet.
Disability advocates say that this change, in addition to the annualized earning exemption and higher asset limits for PWD recipients introduced this past year will all benefit British Columbians with disabilities.
More info here
Life with Les Chan - Shaw TV Victoria
Shaw TV's Dan Kahan meets Les Chan, a motivational speaker who has developed more than a few tricks to overcome the loss of an arm. Les is a volunteer and member of the Board at the VDRC.
Click here to watch the 3 min video.
Disability Tax Credit
The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. Being eligible for the DTC can also open the door to other government programs. For more information, go to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/dtc/ or phone 1-800-959-8281.
Haven't filed your taxes for numerous year? Tax Assistance and Information for People with Disabilities DABC (Tax Aid DABC) is a new program offered by Disability Alliance BC. This program can assist people who are receiving the PWD benefit or the PPMB benefit with simple income tax filings and information/referrals. There are a number of financial benefits available to British Columbians who file their taxes. The money received from these benefits will not usually affect PWD or PPMB assistance cheques. Find out more by:
Phone: 604-872-1278 or Toll Free: 1-800-663-1278
Working Together with Employers & Enhancing Employability
Helping people with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment
This unique, comprehensive and participant centered program, available through the Neil Squire Society at our offices at 817A Fort Street, is designed to develop the skills required to help individuals achieve their employment goals. Click here for details.
Major Office Renovation/Redesign
Last month, we finished a major renovation which added three new workspaces and much improved the functionality of several existing workspaces at our VDRC offices on Fort Street.
The additions have been installed on the right as you enter our offices. They were meticulously designed by Neville Grigg at Agenda Office Interiors, based on detailed consultations with our staff.
We are very happy with the functionality of the new setup, and the way it has preserved the flow of natural light and air at the front of our offices.
VDRC members have a broad range of often under-utilized skills and abilities. The Centre is looking for writers-bloggers (both amateur and pro) to enrich the content of our website and our quarterly newsletter. If you have insight or information you'd like to share in written form, we are extremely interested. We are looking for blog posts and news or feature articles on any topic relevant to improving the quality for life of people with disabilities--all types of disabilities. If you love to write poems or even draw cartoons, that's great too. Interested members should call or email Neil Dickie, Office Manager, at email@example.com.
Disability in the News...
Lots Of Good Reasons For Seniors To File Their Taxes
The B.C. Seniors Advocate says there are at least nine good reasons why seniors stand to gain a lot from filing their income taxes.
Full article here
New Guide to Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
This guide builds on recommendations from Disability Alliance BC on personal emergency planning using the five categories of the functional needs, or C-MIST (Communication, Medical, Independence, Supervision and Transportation).
Download the guide here
Higher Asset and Cash Gift Limits for PWD
In December 2015, The BC government announced new rules enabling British Columbians receiving disability assistance to hold significantly more assets
Read more here