Province's disability assistance creates 'barriers' to access: watchdog

By David P. Ball, 24 hours Vancouver



B.C.'s disability assistance program has overly complex websites, onerous requirements and other challenges that are creating “barriers” for the 95,000 people receiving support, the province's auditor general said Thursday

A report by Russ Jones, titled Disability Assistance: An Audit of Program Access, Integrity and

Results, also calls on the province to examine its $906-a-month assistance rate, which has not changed in seven years.

“People on disability assistance may be at risk of not having their basic needs met,” Jones told reporters after releasing his report. “One of the biggest barriers is how complex the system is in terms of having people with disabilities access it.”

He said his staff attempted to navigate the online application system and found “information is not easy to find or understand. Not is everyone with a disability is able to use them.”

While noting the $906 rate was outside his mandate, he called on Victoria to “do a better job” of evaluating exactly “what standard of living they're trying to create for their clients.”

The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation could not be reached for comment by press time.





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