Community and Government Services
BC211 Community Services Information & Referral
A telephone and referral services providing free, confidential and multilingual information about a full range of community, social and government services in the Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver and Squamish-Lillooet Regional Districts. Alternatively, search the Red Book Online database of more than 5,600 services and agencies.
Disability benefits and resources
You may have disability benefit coverage under a group disability insurance policy through your workplace or professional organization. Or you may have purchased a private plan on your own. If so, you may be eligible for both short- and long-term disability benefits. Check your policy brochure.
Disability Alliance BC (DABC)
Support for disabled British Columbians. Provides direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications. A member of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.
Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Publications, policies and information on BC ministry programs. Includes information on income and disability assistance programs as well as other services for people with disabilities.
Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
The basic DTC tries to address, through the tax system, the added costs Canadians face living with an ongoing disability. People who qualify get tax relief, with a supplemental benefit for those under 18. Provincial credits add more savings. The eligibility requirements for the DTC are in the T-2201 DTC certificate application form. Among other things, claimants must have a prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions that must have lasted, or be expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months. The DTC cannot be claimed until the application has been approved. Once approved, claimants can ask for reassessment to claim credits going back up to 10 calendar years, depending on when they would have been eligible for the credits.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefits
Covers disability benefits for eligible workers from the time of disability until retirement when the regular CPP pension starts. To quality, you need to have met certain conditions and will need to prove that your disability is both “severe and prolonged”, leaving you unable to work on a regular basis. Benefits may also be available to dependent children.
BC Government: Driver Medical Fitness
Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrator's (CCMTA) medical standards with BC specific guidelines for driving with vestibular disorders.
HandyDART is a door-to-door, shared ride service in Metro Vancouver for disabled passengers who are unable to use regular public transit without help. The application form must be signed by a doctor.
SPARC BC Parking Permit FAQs
If your balance and dizziness issues impede your ability to walk to and from a car, you may be eligible for a disability parking permit.
Registered social workers can help with a variety of issues related to problems that affect activities of daily living. For example, parents with balance and dizziness issues often take longer to recover because they have no down time. A social worker may be able to help find a constructive solution.
There are several ways to access a social worker in BC:
- Ask your family doctor for a referral.
- Through some employment assistance programs, family service agencies, mental health organization and similar organizations.
- On a fee-for-service basis – self-employed social workers in private practice can be found through Find a Social Worker.
BC Centre for Ability Vocational Services
Services and subsidies to help people with disabilities reach employment goals.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Policies and Programs
Includes information on employment programs, Canada Pension Plan, Canada Child Benefit, student loans and more.
Wavefront Centre for Community Accessibility
Provides free-of-charge employment counselling services at offices in Vancouver, Port Coquitlam and Surrey under the BC provincial government’s employment program to support deaf and hard of hearing individuals in getting and keeping a job.
Work BC: People With Disabilities
Information about job options and services designed to support people with disabilities.
Provincial agency responsible for developing, managing and administering subsidized housing for those in need. Includes information on applying for subsidized and supportive housing in BC.
Medical information and subsidies
Browse “Health Topics A-Z” for information about a variety of vestibular conditions. Call 8-1-1 (7-1-1 for hearing impaired) from anywhere in British Columbia to speak with a nurse 24/7. Translation services available in over 130 languages.
PharmaCare for BC Residents
Income-based plan helps with the cost of eligible prescription drugs and certain medical supplies. Phone 604-683-7151 (from Metro Vancouver) or 1-800-663-7100 (toll-free long distance).
Travel Assistance Program (TAP BC)
This program helps offset some of the transportation costs for eligible BC residents who must travel within the province for non-emergency medical specialist services not available in their own community.
Seniors Services Society
Provides information on a wide variety of housing and support services for seniors in the Lower Mainland.
Page updated September, 2019.