The Canadian Government announced last week that it would be issuing a tax-free, one-time payment of $600.00 to Canadians who are currently receiving the Disability Tax Credit, to help offset the financial challenges they face due to the global Covid-19 Pandemic.
On Friday, June 5th, Prime minister, Justin Trudeau stated:
“To make it through this difficult time, we need to look out for one another. Canadians with disabilities are facing significant challenges because of COVID-19, as they work to access essential services and care and provide for their families. With today’s announcement, we are stepping up to make sure they have the support they need to make it through this crisis.”
To read more about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement go here.
While the new $600 payment will certainly come as a relief to many disabled individuals, it is by no means a complete solution to difficulties faced by all disabled Canadians. Many Canadians struggle to get their disability recognized by the Federal Government.
Marcia Carroll, Executive Director of P.E.I Council for People with Disabilities, identified this in an interview with CBC News on June 6th.
“They need to broaden the criteria so people can access the funds if they’re going to be serious about supporting people through COVID,” she said, adding that the program sounds good as long as it is managed regionally, because people may have different needs depending on where they are located.
Canadians with disabling conditions are already facing greater challenges and higher risks in the wake of the global pandemic. The new initiatives are intended to provide additional support for disabled individuals who are already receiving the Disability Tax Credit, as they may be dealing with additional struggles adapting to our Post-Pandemic world.
COVID-19 Presents Greater Financial Challenges for the Disabled Community
Disabled Canadians are facing increased financial burden in the wake of Covid-19 in some of the following ways:
- People with mobility issues or who are immunocompromised may need to rely on delivery services which come with additional costs.
- Individuals recovering from the disabling conditions may not have the same access to therapies, clinics or personnel. They may have to pay increased costs in order to access them.
- Disabled Canadians and their families or caretakers may be experiencing loss of income coupled with increased expenses.
COVID-19 Has Compounded Effects on The Disabled
Disabled Canadians face increased challenges due to Covid-19 in several compounded ways. The below list is not exhaustive:
- Disabled Canadians requiring life-sustaining services like Dialysis face are at increased risk of contracting Covid-19 due to increased exposure.
- Canadians with immunocompromised conditions (ex. cancer treatment), or conditions affecting their respiratory system (ex. COPD) face increased risk of complications if they contract Covid-19.
- People with disabling mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety may have difficulty coping with the increased restrictions for social distancing.
- Disabled individuals who rely on in-person services such a Service Canada, may face challenges in migrating their needs online (Ex. The visually impaired)
As health complications tend to arise with age, a larger section of the population may be doubly affected by health complications due to age and disabling conditions.
The Federal Government Is Issuing Further Financial Assistance For The Disabled Community of Canada
Outside of the payout to individuals who are already living with disabilities recognized by having a Disability Tax Credit Certificate, the Federal Government is also launching two additional programs to offer support.
The first is a national workplace accessibility program, which puts $15 million into community organizations to develop expanded training opportunities to help Canadians living with disabilities.
The second is an additional $1.8 million, spread across five different initiatives to develop accessible/adaptive technology, like a specialized payment terminal designed to help people with sight loss.
Do I Qualify For The $600 Federal Payment for Persons’ With Disabilities?
The Canadian government’s swift and diligent action in support of disabled Canadians is highly commendable. However, it is crucial to note that only individuals who already possess a disability tax credit certificate are currently eligible to receive the $600 payment. In fact, many disabled Canadians are still struggling to have their disability recognized by the Government.
If you are a person living with a life-limiting disability, you may be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit as well. Although qualifying for the Disability Tax Credit is a straightforward process, there are specific paperwork and criteria required for the application.
If you think your impairments may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, we encourage you to read our comprehensive Disability Tax Credit Guide or call us for a free assessment: 1-844-800-6020
Disability Credit Canada has helped thousands of Canadians with disabilities receive the Disability Tax Credit and we would love hearing from you.