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Youth Disability Assistance - Update

Here`s what you need to know...

New process to simplify youth disability assistance

July 8th, 2013
here is a new simplified application process for young people with developmental disabilities who are applying for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) assistance, effective Monday, July 8, 2013.

Youth and their families can now use an existing assessment by a registered psychologist or certified school psychologist, instead of completing the PWD designation application form – a part of the full disability assistance application process.

By reducing the number of steps and new documentation required, this simplified process reduces the application burden on families. There are about 600 youth with developmental disabilities who will benefit from this simplified approach each year. The shorter, simpler process will help to make the transition to adult services easier.

The change has been made in collaboration with the ministries of Children and Family Development and Education, and CLBC.

Today’s action is a result of government’s ongoing work to improve services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families. It delivers on recommendations in the deputy ministers’ report, “Improving Services to People with Developmental Disabilities,” by providing better co-ordination, a smoother transition and a one-government approach.

Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae:
“Starting today, it’s now easier for youth with developmental disabilities to apply for disability assistance. The changes we’ve made – to enable families to use existing diagnostic assessments – will greatly reduce the amount of time, stress and steps involved.”
Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux:
“We’re working across government to find ways, big and small, to make life easier for B.C. families. We’ve successfully streamlined the process within my ministry’s At Home Program, which helps families with the costs of caring for children with severe disabilities. Now, we’re taking it further by centralizing eligibility assessments and applying it to youth with developmental disabilities.”

Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond:
Moving from youth services to the adult system is particularly challenging for this vulnerable population. Anything that can be done to simplify the process is a step in the right direction. Our office looks forward to providing further help when our mandate expands on Sept. 30 to include advocacy services for youth between the ages of 19 and 24 who are eligible for CLBC services.”

A new brochure on the simplified process for youth with developmental disabilities applying for disability assistance: www.sd.gov.bc.ca/publicat/pdf/pwd-youth-application.pdf

** Please note Ministry of Social Development (Ministry responsible for CLBC) has changed it's name to Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (acronym of SDSI)**