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How to Navigate the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) Application in British Columbia: 7 Essential Steps

Updated: Mar 25

Seven steps for PWD Benefits are getting the PWD application, understanding eligibility, completing applicant section 1A, having the doctor complete section 2, having an assessor complete section 3, and submitting the application.
Seven Steps to Apply for PWD Benefits

Step 1: Get the PWD Application

Get a Persons with Disabilities (PWD) application by visiting an Income Assistance Office, calling the toll-free line (1-866-866-0800) or by using My Self Serve. To create a My Self Serve account, you will need a Basic BCeID, Your Social Insurance Number (SIN), and an email address. On the 'Self Serve Assessment', you will need to indicate your intent to apply for PWD benefits.

Step 2: Understand Eligibility Requirements

You must be:

  1. 18 years of age and willing to apply for disability benefits

  2. Financially eligible for PWD benefits

  3. Having a severe disability that is expected to last for at least 2 years

  4. Having a disability that makes it difficult for you to perform daily living tasks (like preparing your meals, cleaning your house, maintaining your personal hygiene, taking your medication, shopping for essentials etc.)

Step 3: Apply for Income Assistance

You need to apply for Income Assistance before applying for disability benefits. This doesn't mean that you should be getting money from the government. It is possible for you to not qualify for Income Assistance, but be eligible for PWD benefits.

Step 4: Complete Section 1

Section 1A requires personal information like your name, Date of Birth, address, and contact information. You have to fill out this section.

Section 1B is optional and it asks you to describe your disability in detail. Should you choose to complete this section, it is essential that you plan it well. If you need assistance, you can get an appointment with the DABC Advocacy Access team by emailing them at Another way to contact them is by phone. For the Lower Mainland, call 604-872-1278. Otherwise, their Toll Free number is 1-800-663-1278.

Section 1C is a 'Declaration and Notification' form. Please make sure that you have completed and signed it.

Step 5: Have your Doctor fill out Section 2 (Medical Report)

It is advisable that you choose a physician or a nurse practitioner who knows you and your disability-related challenges well. If you are going to a walk-in clinic, be sure to take your time to explain your condition well to your doctor. Confirm that the Medical Report has been signed by your doctor. Remember, the doctor's fee will be covered by your Medical Services Plan (MSP.)

Step 6: Have a Prescribed Professional fill out Section 3 (Assessor Report)

This can be a Medical Practitioner, Registered Psychologist, Certified School Psychologist, Registered Nurse or Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Social Worker, Chiropractor or Nurse Practitioner. Choose a professional who knows how your condition impacts you on a daily basis and has been in contact with you about this. Confirm that the Assessor Report is signed.

Step 7: Submit Your Application

Review the 'Applicant Checklist' to ensure that you have completed all the required steps. Attach supporting documentation, as necessary.

Mail your completed application to the following address:

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Health and Specialized Services

PO Box 9971 Stn Prov Govt

Victoria, BC V8W 9R5

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