No penalties for gifts, inheritances

An important move to make the financial lives of some disabled individuals easier

The B.C. Liberal government has made an important move to make the financial lives of some disabled individuals easier.

Last month, Social Development Minister Michelle Stilwell announced that starting this month an individual with the Persons With Disabilities designation will be able to receive financial gifts and inheritances of up to $100,000 without affecting their monthly payments.

The former lifetime gift and inheritance limit was $5,000 per person, after which assistance payments were clawed back from their monthly payments.

A couple – both with Persons With Disabilities (PWD) designation – will now be able to receive $200,000 without losing eligibility for assistance. The previous level was $10,000.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said she is proud of her government’s move, as the new levels for financial gifts and inheritances make a lot more sense now.

She noted the new policies mean PWD designated people’s pensions can’t be touched and that way they can have gift and inheritance money without being penalized.

In the case of an inheritance, Stilwell said the higher asset limits will free up many clients from having to set aside that money in a trust.

The government is also changing the way trust payments are handled, giving people receiving disability assistance greater flexibility in how they use that money to lead more independent lives.

Furthermore, the $8,000 annual cap on trust payments has been eliminated.

According to Social Development minister, the new policy changes affect 96,000 people in British Columbia who receive disability assistance.

So, this is good news for people with disabilities, but they have to receive a financial gift or an inheritance to take advantage of the new changes.

However, life can definitely be a struggle for folks with disabilities.

They go through life with ongoing day-to-day issues that non-disabled individuals don’t have to deal with or even think about.

On top of that, it can be a financial struggle for people with disabilities.

Too many are struggling with the current monthly assistance payments, which are leaving people with disabilities close to the poverty line.

Some folks will get out of that predicament because they will be able to keep more of the money from financial gifts without losing their monthly payments.

The province previously raised the earned income exemption, so people can earn up to $9,600 a year without reduction of their disability assistance.

While that helps the financial situation for some people with disabilities, they still have to find jobs to take advantage of the additional income.

It’s a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

Ken Alexander is editor of the 100 Mile House Free Press


Just Posted

Man caught in fatal avalanche ID’ed as Alberta man in his 20s

Outdoor guides warn against high winds in the mountains Family Day weekend

Road conditions for Feb. 14

More compact snow and slippery sections

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Cougars take bended knee for injured Osoyoos player

Vernon coach commends Barriere Cougars for showing respect to injured player

African Children’s Choir plays in cowboy country

Watoto Children’s Choir: Amazing

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read