Less red tape for young people with disabilities

Simplified application process announced by Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.

There is a little less red tape for young people with developmental disabilities to go through in applying for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) assistance, effective today.

An existing assessment by a registered psychologist or certified school psychologist can now be used instead of completing the PWD designation application form (a part of the full disability assistance application process).

The simplified application process was announced in a press release from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.

“Starting today, it’s now easier for youth with developmental disabilities to apply for disability assistance,” said Minister Don McRae. “The changes we’ve made — to enable families to use existing diagnostic assessments — will greatly reduce the amount of time, stress and steps involved.”

The government says about 600 youth will benefit from this new approach each year, helping to make the transition to adult services easier.

The change was made in collaboration with the ministries of Children and Family Development and Education, and Community Living BC.

“Moving from youth services to the adult system is particularly challenging for this vulnerable population,” said Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, a representative for Children and Youth. “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 brochure detailing the changes can be viewed at: www.sd.gov.bc.ca/publicat/pdf/pwd-youth-application.pdf