STOP THE CLAWBACKS: Assistance Rates Must Reach the Poverty Line!

The lives of disabled and neurodivergent people are under threat, as we face withdrawal of crucial financial assistance during an ongoing crisis. Tell the B.C. Government to do the right thing: reinstate the $300 supplement and increase the rates!

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the B.C. Government temporarily increased income and disability assistance by way of a $300/month supplement. This increase significantly helped disabled people gain access to basic necessities and improve our quality of life. The recent slashing of the supplement to $150/month has not gone unnoticed; the possibility of the supplement being cut altogether is devastating.

The full $300 supplement for both income and disability assistance still puts assistance rates below B.C.’s official poverty line, but it allowed many disabled people to:
  • Provide healthy food and clothing for themselves and their families
  • Afford life sustaining medication and therapy
  • Access safe shelter and housing
  • Avoid being forced to choose what bills to pay
  • Prevent extreme rationing and starvation at the end of the month
  • Temporarily stop engaging in survival sex work to make ends meet
  • Break out of poverty and debt cycles
The COVID-19 pandemic is not the only crisis to have hit our communities. Under existing provincial legislation and policy, disabled and neurodivergent people on assistance have been living in an ongoing crisis of poverty, inaccessibility, and injustice.

We say: the $300 increase needs to be made permanent.
If the B.C. Government discontinues the supplement and reverts back to the old rates, disabled and neurodivergent people will continue to struggle to meet basic needs, while also facing additional costs and barriers due to the pandemic.

We call on the B.C. Government to:

  • reinstate the $300/month increase to income and disability assistance rates;
  • permanently raise income assistance rates to at least the poverty line, indexed to inflation; and
  • ensure that increases to income assistance and disability assistance include a clear, earmarked increase to the shelter portion.
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