For Immediate Release
July 21, 2020

TORONTO, ON – Today, Members of Parliament put their differences aside and voted in favour of a one time tax free, non-reportable payment of $600 to people with disabilities and their families as the face new costs and navigate challenges due to COVID-19. Political negotiations between the federal parties on scope of coverage, and other demands, held up the original federal government proposal. 

Approximately 1.7 million Canadians will qualify. This includes people who are Disability Tax Credit (DTC)-eligible, recipients of the Canadian Pension Plan Disability benefit, and people accessing disability supports through Veterans Affairs Canada. Families that receive the Child Disability Benefit are also eligible.

Reflecting on the lengthy political negotiations to get this program approved, Robin Acton, CACL President said, “It was extremely disheartening to see desperately needed financial support for people with disabilities including intellectual disabilities and their families held up in Parliament last month. However, I am pleased to see this Bill finally pass and that government is giving those who haven’t previously qualified for the DTC 60 days to do so. This can be an onerous and costly process.”

According to government communications,  there is no need to apply for this benefit; it will be automatically sent to those who qualify.

“I’m relieved to see that political parties have put their differences aside in order to fill the financial gap that COVID-19 has created for so many people with disabilities and their families across the country,” commented Krista Carr, Executive Vice President of CACL, “With this decision, Parliament and the federal government officially recognize the added financial cost of living with a disability and how that cost has gone up during the pandemic.”

Krista Carr is a member of the Federal government’s COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group (CDAG) established by Carla Qualtrough Minister of Employment and Disability Inclusion. CDAG worked with government to address the disproportionate risks and impacts of COVID-19 that Canadians with disabilities have experienced over the course of the pandemic.

As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to become apparent, CACL and its provincial and territorial member associations will continue to work with all levels of government in pursuit of financial security and the full inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families across the country. 

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Media Contact: Marc Muschler, Senior Communications Officer, CACL, mmuschler@cacl.ca

The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) is a national federation of 13 provincial-territorial associations and over 300 local associations working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. CACL leads the way in building an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs.