PROOF OF DISABILITY
To apply for many disability benefits the disabled person will need to have a letter from your doctor which should:
- identify when you had polio and when symptoms of post- polio began.
- give a brief description of problems you must deal with today
- states how your disability impairs your quality of life
- cites any degeneration the doctor has observed
- state if you are sensitive to cold - please note it as it affects your ability to stand outside at bus stops or to walk across mall parking lots. (needed for parking permit)
Ask your doctor to use words like permanent and progressive as they see fit – the government likes the use of these words as a measure. When asking for descriptions they often want you to describe your worst day rather than an average or good one.
Get permission to photocopy the letter as needed and keep the original if possible.
Ask for the letter to be on doctor’s letterhead but not dated if possible so letter remains valid for long time.
BC Ferry Corporation
– requires form to be filled out and letter from doctor. This discount will allow you and an aide (spouse) to travel for 1⁄2 price each. Remember also that those over 65 with a Gold Card can ride ferries free Monday though Thursday.
- See http://www.bcferries.com/travel_planning/disabilities.html
– if you are in an area that has low-floor buses available, contact BC Transit to learn how to board with your wheelchair, walker or scooter. They will arrange an appointment with you and bring a bus to the accessible bus stop nearest to your home so you can practice.
- HandiDart may provide services in your area for those who cannot use regular transit. TaxiSaver is another service that may be available and provides 50% discount on taxi fares. Call your local transit for information.
- Parking Permits are available in most communities
– usually a $10-20 yearly fee
– form and doctor’s letter
CAR RELATED DISCOUNTS
ICBC Disability Discount
– form and show proof of gas tax rebate and licence plate number: http://www.icbc.com/insurance_savemo_howtoa.asp
The first step is to get a Motor Fuel Tax Act registration number. Contact the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue and apply for a fuel tax rebate. When your application is approved you will receive a registration number. When you visit your Autoplan Broker to apply for the Disability Discount be sure to take this number along with your Owners Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle Licence.
Motor Fuel Tax Act Registration Number
- form which is available at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/ctb/publications/bulletins/mtf_004.pdf
- For specific details visit www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/ctb or contact the Taxpayer Services information line at one of the following numbers:
Lower Mainland – 604-660-4524
Victoria – 250-387-0635
Outside the Lower Mainland – 1-877-388-4440
BC Fuel Tax Rebate
– you will need a doctor’s letter and a form which is available at http://www.bclis.org/pdf/ProvincialGasTaxRegistration.pdf
- Use this form to get your registration.
- After registration – use this form for sending in gas receipts for refund http://www.bclis.org/pdf/ProvincialGasTaxRefund.pdf
Federal Gas Tax Rebate
– apply after provincial
– proof of BC Rebate http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/ef/xe8/xe8-00b.pdf
INCOME TAXES CREDITS
Tax deductions for medical items
– for a list see the following website http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/individuals/topics/income-tax/return/comple...
Disability Tax Credit
– form and doctor’s letter - http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2201-07e.pdf
Property Tax Credits Disability Homeowners Grant
—check with municipality where you pay your property taxes.
￼- Home owners with a disability or home owners living with a relative or spouse with a disability are eligible for the additional home owner grant of up to $845. If you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and a permanent resident of British Columbia, and you claim the grant for your principal residence that you own, you may qualify for the additional home owner grant. You must meet one of the following criteria to qualify.
• You are incurring, or have incurred, costs for structural modifications to your home or you are paying for extensive physical assistance in the home. The costs for modifications to your home must exceed $2000, or the extensive physical assistance must be regular, ongoing and exceed $150 per month.
• You purchased your home on or after January 1, 2006, with structural modifications completed by a previous owner, where the modifications met your needs as a disabled person and have a value exceeding $2000.
• You get disability assistance, hardship assistance or a supplement under the BC Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act.
To qualify for the grant, the home owner must be the one receiving the assistance.
The additional grant is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,119,000 or more.
Expansion of Home Owner Grant Eligibility
Effective for the 2007 tax year, the grant may be available to some low income homeowners who, but for the high assessed value of their home, would receive the additional home owner grant.
Key eligibility criteria are that the homeowner:
• would qualify for the additional home owner grant amount (seniors, certain veterans and certain persons with disabilities), except that their home is assessed above the threshold; and
• meets low income criteria.
For details about this program, please contact the Home Owner Grant Administration section (see contact information below).
For general information about the Home Owner Grant or for an application, please refer to the Home Owner Grant website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/hog or refer to the brochure Home Owner Grant Program. You can also contact:
• the Surveyor of Taxes or municipal office where you pay your property taxes;
• your local Service BC-Government Agent office;
• Home Owner Grant Administration:
Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
PO Box 9991, Stn Prov Govt Victoria BC V8W 9R7
Phone: 250-356-8904 or 250-387-8166 in Victoria
Toll-free: 1-888-355-2700 in British Columbia
Property Tax Deferment
Persons with a disability may be eligible for the Property Tax Deferment Program. This low interest loan program allows qualifying registered property owners to defer paying their yearly property taxes.
If you own your home and are a disabled person as defined by Regulation*, you can apply if you:
• are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
• have lived in British Columbia for at least one year prior to applying;
• are living in your home; and
• have and maintain a minimum equity (after deducting the upper limit of all outstanding mortgages, lines of credit and other charges in your home) of 25% of the current assessed value determined by BC Assessment
For detailed information, visit website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/rpt and click on the “Persons with a Disability” link.
RENOVATION LOANS AND GRANTS
Homeowners and landlords wishing to undertake accessibility work to modify dwellings occupied or intended for occupancy by low-income persons with disabilities may be eligible for a grant up to $36,000 depending on the location of the property and meeting the eligibility criteria established by CMHC. Make sure that the assessed value of the property is below the benchmark set by CMHC, otherwise the applicant is not eligible for the grant. These loans can be forgivable if your income is low enough. http://www.cmhc.ca/en/co/prfinas/prfinas_003.cfm
Provincial Respiratory Outreach Program (PROP) Service
- equipment and support for people who use respiratory equipment.
The Red Cross loans medical equipment. Regular Loan Service:
• serves all of the BC Coastal Region from 14 locations
• loans basic equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs and bathroom safety devices for a maximum of 3 months
• no referral necessary
• to contact the Red Cross, phone your local regional office.
—Starting January 1, 2008, PharmaCare will reimburse prescription expenses above a family’s Fair PharmaCare deductible only if the expense was incurred after the family registered for the plan. However, all eligible prescription costs will continue to count towards a family’s Fair PharmaCare deductible. Coverage begins immediately if you register by phone or online. There is no charge to register and there are no premiums to pay.
Action Committee of People with Disabilities Consumer Card Program
—this card entitles the bearer to discounts at designated businesses in the Capital Regional District. The cost is $2.00 in person (visit our office at 926 View St.) or $3.00 by mail. Proof of disability is required.
Action Committee of People with Disabilities
926 View Street,
Victoria, British Columbia V8V 3L5
Phone: (250) 383-4105
Fax: (250) 383-4835
Federal Internet Site listing additional BC and Federal Disability Programs
When I’m 64
—a comprehensive guide to benefits and services for people aged 60 and over. This 94-page booklet is free and can be obtained from the BC Legal Services Society. (see appendix A for order form) or see the website to obtain a PDF copy of booklet. www.lss.bc.ca
Seniors Serving Seniors
Seniors Serving Seniors Association of BC (SSS) incorporated under the BC Society Act in July, 1981 as a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose purpose is to promote the well-being of senior citizens. Their website has is rich with senior resources. They publish “The Senior Services Directory”. You can get a printed copy by contacting them.