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The income amount will rise to $325 from $275, which will allow about a quarter of seniors living in residential care in British Columbia to receive up to an additional $600 a year. The increase is meant to allow low-income seniors to keep all of the $50 per month increase to the GIS – a federal program that provides additional money to those seniors in need, on top of the Old Age Security pension – that was announced back in July.

The provincial government states that about 7,000 clients will be eligible for the increase.

Under a new rate structure that take effect on Feb. 1, 2012, residential care rates will now range from $932 a month to a maximum of $3,022, compared to a current range of between $894 a month to a maximum of $2,932 a month. However, low-income clients saw a reduction in their rates in February of 2010 that resulted in an annual savings of up to $540.

The government maintains publicly-funded residential care homes are still more affordable than private ones, which can range from $4,000 to $5,000 a month, and residents still receive coverage for most prescription medication, medical supplies and equipment.




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