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A letter from the BC govt on disability/poverty - Any thoughts, comments?

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  • lm murray
    Hi everyone, Here is the response I received from the B.C. govt today following a shove I gave them to attend a disability and poverty event in Toronto in May
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 2006
      Hi everyone,
      Here is the response I received from the B.C. govt today following a shove I gave them to attend a disability and poverty event in Toronto in May which was discussed here shortly before the event.  Please post any comments about the DM's reply or the numbers, adding any inside info you might have regarding any of the organizations mentioned.
      All comments very gratefully received. 
      Any ideas on how this letter might be used to assist persons with disabilities?
      Many thanks in advance to all my enlightened colleagues at this chat room.  I look forward to reading your always astute replies.
      Living to learn,

      "EIA Minister EIA:EX" <CORRUNIT@...> wrote:
      Subject: MEIA Response - 82297
      Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 12:50:19 -0700
      From: "EIA Minister EIA:EX" <CORRUNIT@...>
      To: <lmm789@...>
      CC: "Minister, FIN FIN:EX" <FINmin@...>

      < > Ref: 82297

      L.M. Murray

      Dear L.M. Murray:

      Thank you for your e-mail of April 13, 2006, to the Honourable Carole
      Taylor, Minister of Finance, regarding disability assistance rates. As
      Assistant Deputy Minister of Employment and Income Assistance
      responsible for the Policy and Research Division, I am pleased to

      I appreciate the invitation you extended to Minister Taylor regarding
      the Ontario Social Safety Network conference that took place on May 12,
      2006. Our ministry believes the best way to create an effective system
      of supports for clients is to work together with advocacy groups,
      community businesses, and the public. This is why we established the
      Minister's Council on Employment for Persons with Disabilities in
      January 2003.

      The Council is comprised of senior executives from British Columbia's
      companies or relevant organizations, such as the National Institute of
      Disability Management and Research, Opportunities through Rehabilitation
      and Work, and the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society. Further
      information regarding the Minister's Council may be accessed at:
      www.eia.gov.bc.ca/epwd/Index.htm. The Honourable Claude Richmond,
      Minister of Employment and Income Assistance, and his staff also meet
      and correspond regularly with individuals from other advocacy groups in
      our goal to create the best system of supports in Canada for individuals
      with disabilities.

      The ministry is also committed to providing the best system of supports
      to low-income individuals and families most in need. We recognize that
      some individuals face persistent barriers to employment or are unable to
      become self-sufficient through employment. For this reason, the
      ministry is working to ensure these clients have sufficient monthly
      income to meet their ongoing nutritional, housing, social, and other
      personal needs.

      As you may know, in January 2005, the disability assistance rate was
      increased by $70 for singles, to a maximum of $856 per month, and by
      $140 for couples, to a maximum of $1220 per month. Additionally,
      effective March 1, 2006, clients with the Persons with Disabilities
      (PWD) designation and those in the Persons with Persistent Multiple
      Barriers to Employment (PPMB) category are able to earn up to $500 each
      month from current employment in addition to receiving their full
      shelter and support payment from the ministry. This is a 150 percent
      increase to the earnings exemption since 2001.

      Eligible clients also continue to receive numerous supplements and
      programs such as a low-cost bus pass and medical coverage. This
      coverage includes no-deductible PharmaCare, premium-free Medical
      Services Plan, dental and optical coverage, and medical transportation
      supplements. In addition, the ministry also provides a Diet Supplement
      and Monthly Nutritional Supplement to eligible clients. Further
      information regarding disability assistance rates and supplements can be
      accessed on the ministry's web site at: www.eia.gov.bc.ca/mhr/da.htm.

      Income assistance rates are reviewed annually by ministry staff within
      the context of the provincial government's budget spending and revenue
      decisions. The rates reflect policy choices about how best to allocate
      limited public resources between competing social objectives. You may
      be interested to know that British Columbia's income assistance rates
      for employable clients is comparable to those of other provinces, and
      disability assistance rates are now the third highest among the

      Thank you again for writing.


      Mariann Burka
      A/Assistant Deputy Minister
      Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance

      pc: Honourable Carole Taylor

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