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Age requirement

To apply, you must be 18 or older. Children are not eligible for PWD status. You can start the PWD application process up to six months before your 18th birthday.

Income assistance requirement

To apply for PWD status, you must either be receiving income assistance or if not, at least have a file open with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

Asset requirement

To apply for PWD, your assets (money and property) should not have a value over $100,000 for a single person. Your assets does not include your primary home and primary car. Even if you do not have any assets, you can still apply. For instance, if you have no income, you are living on your savings, and you expect your assets to be under $100,000 in a few months, then you should be allowed to apply for PWD.

Disability requirements

What ‘disability’ means in terms of getting PWD status

You must have a severe mental or physical disability that impairs your ability to function in daily life. The impairment must meet all the criteria (rules) set out by the government:

1. Your impairment is expected to last for at least two years.

This must be the written opinion of a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner.

2. Your impairment ‘directly’ and ‘significantly’ limits your daily living activities

Your impairment ‘directly’ and ‘significantly’ limits your daily living activities.

This must be the written opinion of a prescribed professional. Depending on the section of the form, different professionals may complete the form.

Depending on your disability, different professionals can count. They include:

  • Medical Doctor
  • Registered Psychologist
  • Registered Nurse, Psychiatric Nurse, or Nurse Practitioner
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Chiropractor
  • School Psychologist

The rule says the impairment must ‘directly’ and ‘significantly’ restrict your ability to perform ‘daily living activities’.  This could be either continuously (all the time) or periodically (some of the time, but for long periods).

Your impairments could limit your functional abilities, as well as daily living activities.

‘Daily living activities’ mean:

  • prepare your own meals
  • manage your finances
  • shop for personal needs
  • use public or personal transportation
  • do housework and keep your home reasonably clean
  • move about indoors and outdoors
  • perform personal hygiene and self-care
  • manage your medications
  • make decisions about personal activities, care, or finances (severe mental impairment)
  • relate to, communicate, or interact with others effectively (severe mental impairment).

3. You need significant help to be able to do daily living activities

This must be the written opinion of a prescribed professional. They must state that you need significant help from:

  • another person, such as a family member, friend, or care giver, or
  • an assistive device, such as a cane or wheelchair, or
  • a service animal, such as a guide dog.


People who are ‘directly and significantly restricted’ in their ability to perform daily living activities

Matteo has degenerative disc disease, depression, and anxiety. He is in chronic pain and can only move slowly. He is very tired all the time. It is hard for him to do daily living activities like going to the grocery store or taking a bath without help.

Jamie has epilepsy, which causes seizures. He was also in a car accident and has long-term physical injuries. He has memory loss, brain fog, and pain. He is depressed and has low motivation to perform daily living activities. It is hard for him to manage finances, take the bus, and cook food without help.

Vivian has severe mental illness caused by schizophrenia, depression, and PTSD. She is socially isolated and withdrawn. She has anxiety leaving her home. Her delusions restrict her ability to perform daily living activities. It is hard for her to keep her home clean or get groceries without help.

People who need ‘significant help from another person, device or animal’

Kai’s chronic pain, depression and anxiety makes it hard to complete daily living activities. Kai relies on a friend to help by buying groceries, preparing meals, picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, giving rides to the doctor, and helping with household chores.

Priya has arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. She needs to use a cane whenever she leaves the house. She needs to use a wrist brace all of the time.

Douglas has a visual impairment and needs a service guide dog.

What province are you from?

Knowing your province helps us make this tool the best experience for you.

Important information about benefits for Indigenous Peoples

If you are Indigenous there are many things that affect the benefits you can get and the dollar amounts you can get from them. These include the agreements your band or governing body has with provincial, territorial, and federal governments. Before applying to any benefits, you should speak with your governing body, if applicable.

AFOA Canada and Prosper Canada are currently seeking funding to develop an online tool that serves the needs of Indigenous people living in Canada.