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Expanded orthotics coverage for people on social assistance

The BC Ministry of Social Development made changes to their orthotics program as of August 2, 2011. The program can now pay for a wider range of medical footwear and orthotic needs to help people with disabilities perform day-to-day activities. People whose requests for orthotics were refused before August 2, 2011 may want to re-apply to MSD for orthotic coverage under the new criteria.

MSD can now provide more items under the program, including:

  • off-the-shelf foot orthotics (such as prefabricated insoles and arch supports);
  • off-the-shelf orthopedic footwear (such as prefabricated diabetic footwear and wound care footwear) with a cost limit of $250 and a one-year replacement period; and
  • off-the-shelf footwear with a cost limit of $125 and a one-year replacement period only when required to accommodate a custom-made orthotic

The eligibility criteria for custom-made foot orthotics also changed. Some key changes are:

  • You no longer need to show that a custom-made foot orthotic is needed to prevent amputation of your foot.
  • The $375 cost limit was increased to $450.
  • The replacement period was decreased from one pair in four years, to one pair in three years.

More information on these changes can be found by visiting the Medical equipment — orthoses section of the ministry’s website. Our thanks to Alison Ward, Community Advocate Support Line lawyer at the Community Legal Assistance Society for providing the above entry.

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