B.C. to offer flexible bus pass supplements for people on disability assistance

B.C. to offer flexible bus pass supplements for people on disability assistance

A $52 transportation supplement will be added to B.C. disability assistance payments in December. File photo.

British Columbia’s government will soon be providing a new payment to people who receive disability assistance to help with transportation needs.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2018, people who have the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) designation can use the new transportation supplement for an annual bus pass or other transportation, like HandyDART.

The supplement is $52 per month and will be added to monthly assistance payments, starting with the Dec. 20 payment.

People who receive disability assistance can apply for the B.C. Bus Pass at any time throughout the year. They can also cancel the bus pass at any time and use the supplement for other transportation costs. The B.C. Bus Pass can be used in both TransLink and BC Transit areas.

Social Development Minister Shane Simpson says the monthly payments fix changes to the system introduced by the previous Liberal government.

Disability groups complained when the Liberal policy left them paying for their own bus passes after it increased monthly assistance rates by $77.

More than 110,000 people in the province receive disability assistance. The supplement is expected to cost the government approximately $70 million annually. The province’s NDP government recently increased monthly disability payments by $100 to $1,133, while earnings exemptions were increased by $200 a month.

With files from The Canadian Press

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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