More money for seniors in care

About a quarter of seniors in residential care in B.C. will now receive up to an additional $600 a year.

Currently, residential care clients pay up to 80 per cent of their after-tax income toward their room and board costs, provided they are left with at least $275 a month to cover personal expenses.

Under a revised residential care rate structure, the monthly minimum disposable income amount will rise to $325.

About 7,000 clients are eligible for the provincial $50 increase.

The change is due to an increase in the new federal Guaranteed Income Supplement, which led the province to raise the amount retained by low-income seniors to $325 a month.

“In the spirit of co-operation, we have been working with the federal government to support seniors in residential care,” said Minister of Health Michael de Jong. “We wanted to ensure those low-income seniors who qualify for the federal income supplement top-up did not lose this extra income.”

New residential care rates, which take effect next month, will range from $932 a month to a maximum of $3,022. Private pay rates are usually in the $4,000 to $5,000 a month range.

The provincial government subsidizes the room and board costs of over 90 per cent of all residential care clients.

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