Understanding Subsidized Care in BC

By Barbara Risto

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In 2002, the B.C. government made adjustments to the systems and process for providing subsidized care, creating through the various Health Authorities throughout the province a one stop resource to assist people seeking subsidized housing and care assistance.

There are six Health Authorities in BC:  Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Interior Health Authority, Fraser Health Authority, Northern Health Authority, and the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Whether you're in need of basic assistance while performing daily activities such as bathing, grooming or taking medication (i.e. Assisted Living), or whether you require 24-hour professional medical care (i.e. Complex Care), regional Health Authorities provide subsidized services you may be eligible to access.

If you are in financial need of subsidized care you first must contact your regional office and describe your situation. You will be asked a variety of questions to better help case workers understand your care needs. Depending on your personal situation, a case worker may visit you to perform a thorough assessment of your functional ability and needs.

Access to subsidized care is based on assessment of need, risk and urgency. Once you have been assessed and your level of need determined, you may be placed on a waitlist.

If you are seeking subsidization for supportive services you must be able to direct your own care, but require both personal assistance and hospitality services.  Subsidized rental payments for Supportive Living settings are calculated at 70 percent of after tax income.

If you are seeking access to a Complex Care residence your acceptance into the facility will be determined based on the need for 24 hour supervision and professional care and the demonstration that your care cannot be met with available community resources. If you are admitted into a subsidized Complex Care facility, you will be charged a daily rate, for care services, based on your level of income.

Placing your name on a waitlist in anticipation of future care needs is not permitted. You may identify your facility preference during the assessment period but spaces are booked as they come available. Although you may not initially get into your preferred facility, once you have been admitted into the subsidized care system, you can request a transfer to another facility - locally or anywhere in B.C.

For more information about the services and subsidized care options in your area, contact the Home & Community Care office in your region.  This office can be located by looking in the Yellow Pages.  In the light blue pages, which contain provincial resources, you will find several pages with the title "HEALTH AUTHORITIES" at the top.  The offices within the telephone directory's region will be listed by municipality under "Home & Community Care."  By calling the toll free number 1-888-533-2273, you can obtain the office phone numbers of other municipalities outside your region.  This should put you in contact with the appropriate office and an intake worker or case manager will be able to take your call, answer your questions, or get the assessment process started for you.

Below are the six Health Authorities in BC:

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
11th Floor - 601 West Broadway
Vancouver, B.C.  V5Z 4C2
Phone: Toll Free 1-866-884-0888
Local (604) 736-2033
Fax: (604) 875-4750

Vancouver Island Health Authority
1952 Bay Street
Victoria, B.C.  V8R 1J8
Phone: (250) 370-8699
Fax: (250) 370-8750

Interior Health Authority
220 - 1815 Kirschner Road
Kelowna, B.C.   V1Y 4N7
Phone: (250) 862-4200
Fax: (250) 862-4201

Fraser Health Authority
300 - 10334 152A Street
Surrey, B.C.  V3R 7P8
Phone: (604) 587-4600
Fax: (604) 587-4666

Northern Health Authority
Suite 600 - 299 Victoria St
Prince George, B.C.  V2L 5B8
Phone: (250) 565-2649
Fax: (250) 565-2640

Provincial Health Services Authority
700-1380 Burrard St
Vancouver, B.C.  V6Z 2H3
Phone: (604) 675-7400
Fax: (604) 708-2700

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Showing 1 to 10 of 10 comments.

My mother went into residential care in April 2016 and my father passed Sept 2016. My father had income taxes shared when in fact my mothers income was very low. Rent was 1000.00+ without income shared and we did not get this changed until it was to late now in Jan 2017 with my fathers income share her rent has doubled ++. My thoughts are this( and I work in the health care) as my mothers income increases so does her rent but she remains in the same room, the same inconsistent care and the same poor quality of food. Yes if your income is high you pay and yes if your income is low you pay less but what is left of the seniors income to purchase other items or give gifts. Is the care in residential care in BC the quality we pay for....I think not. What can we do. Suggestions

Posted by Debbie Hughson | January 18, 2017 Report Violation

My mother is about to go into a publicly funded care home. She has a small government pension as well as CPP and OAS. She lives in a mobile home and wants to sell it. Will the sale of the mobile affect her subsidy? This is pretty much same question as in the first post but I see no link to the answer? Thanks

Posted by Barry | May 24, 2016 Report Violation

My mother lives in an adult apartment complex with subsidised rent.. She is about to inherit approx. $30,000.00 .Wil this affect her rent subsidy.

Posted by Mike Hughes | June 5, 2015 Report Violation

I am currently searching for my father. His name is Ronald Clifford Fields. He would be about 81 years old. He was living in Vancouver BC in 2007. I lost track of him and have been looking for him for 8 years through the Internet. I think he may be living in a senior living facility or a government run nursing home. I have not physically seen my father since I was three years old.I live in Ontario Canada and would appreciate any help. Thank you for your time.

Posted by Amanda oshell | April 5, 2015 Report Violation

My husband has been receiving subsidized care at home. We had been planning to move to be nearer family. He has now been hospitalized, and will probably go into a nursing home when he is discharged, again subsidized. I am told that if I go ahead and move, that 50% of the sale of our home will be taken by the government to pay for his care. Is this true and where could I find more information on this subject? Thanks.

Posted by Lois | April 7, 2013 Report Violation

my motherin law is in a complex care faility and I do not understand how they calculates her rent. Do you know what the calculations are? She is low income but may be about to inherit a lump sum how will that affect her rent? Thanks

Posted by Suzanne | June 9, 2012 Report Violation

My mother is living at home alone with in home care provided by both FVHA and private care 7 days per week and approx. 5-6 hrs/day. Could someone define "extended wait times" for subsidized Complex Care? Thank you

Posted by Casey Tuytel | April 5, 2012 Report Violation

My parents are in need of some help with daily stuff they can bathe themselves and so on but do need cooking of their meals, cleaning their home, and sometimes reminders to take their medicine, they fall almost all the time and need help walking .. they cannot afford to pay someone to come in is there a subsidy they can apply for to help with this sortof thing?? We live in BC

Posted by cathy | March 19, 2011 Report Violation

We are looking at placing my mother into a care home and we want to apply for subsidy.
However, because of the long wait, we can put her into Private Pay with the option of applying for the subsidy for her. What disclosure income is required to start this process? She is in
receipt of a survivors DVA pension. Does this have to be disclosed, as it is tax free and not
included in her yearly income tax form.

Posted by Norma | October 12, 2010 Report Violation

Help please!! I feel like I am getting a run-around. I live in West Shore Lodge in Victoria with my two maltese (7lb) dogs, who have excellent references. The rent has gone up so much and my income just this year has dropped approximately 40%. I am 61 years old with multiple chronic conditions for which I receive the income tax disability credit. I can't afford to continue living here at this rate but don't have any idea what to do. I do need a supportive living situation. Help please ASAP

Posted by Phyllis Hood | September 15, 2009 Report Violation

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