If you’re on PWD, and receive a gift, it’s yours
It was announced over a year ago, but many people still do not realize that BC has enacted major changes in the rules concerning gifts and income for persons receiving BC disability benefits (PWD and PPMB):
- You can now receive cash gifts and inheritances without it affecting your assistance payments
- Your earnings exemptions are now calculated for the whole year (annual earning exemptions) –up to $12,000– instead of the old monthly limit of $800, providing more flexibility when your earnings go up and down during the year
- Allowable asset levels have increased to $100,000 for a family in which one person receives disability assistance (up from $5,000) and to $200,000 for families where two people receive disability assistance.
- There is no annual cap on payments people on disability assistance can receive from trusts (previous limit was $8,000 per year).
More on receiving gifts:
Previously, a PWD recipient could only receive a one-time cash gift without penalty as long as they did not exceed their cash asset limit. Gifts could not be periodic or ongoing and could not exceed the person’s cash asset limit. Now people on PWD will be able to receive multiple cash gifts with no effect on their eligibility for assistance. For example, if a family member wishes to help a child who is on PWD by giving them $200 per month for groceries, it will not affect that person’s eligibility for assistance, or reduce the amount they receive. In addition, inheritances, education and training allowances, bursaries and scholarships will not be counted as income and will not affect eligibility– previously such income would have been deducted dollar for dollar.