News release

                                                   October 23, 2020              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected the lives and health of all Canadians, and disproportionately affected Canadians with disabilities as they continue to face many long-standing barriers further heightened by the pandemic.

It is for this reason that the Government of Canada is continuing to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are supported. This includes the one-time non-taxable and non-reportable payment of up to $600 to support Canadians with disabilities to help with additional expenses incurred during the pandemic.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that the deadline to apply for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) to receive the one-time payment has been extended from September 25, 2020, to December 31, 2020. This will help more Canadians with disabilities access the benefit, as the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for some to collect the information needed to complete the DTC application process. An extension of the deadline will give clients more time to submit their applications, and the Government of Canada time to issue decisions regarding eligibility.

The one-time payment will help persons with disabilities deal with the expenses incurred during the pandemic, such as:

  • expenses related to hiring personal support workers and accessing other disability supports;
  • paying for increased costs for medical supplies and medication;
  • the purchase of personal protective equipment;
  • higher costs associated with physical distancing and working from home; and,
  • the increased use of transportation and home delivery services to obtain groceries and prescriptions.

The vast majority of eligible Canadians – nearly 1.6 million people – will begin receiving their payment on October 30, 2020, using direct deposit and mailing information from existing government programs. These are individuals who, at the time the information for the one-time payment was collected at the end of September 2020, had an existing valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate, or were a beneficiary as at July 1, 2020 of:

  • Canada Pension Plan Disability; and/or
  • Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension; and/or
  • one of the disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).

As part of the government’s efforts to increase and expand access, payments will go out in a phased approach. Using information from November 2020, a payment will be made in January 2021 to those individuals who, at the end of September 2020, had not yet received a decision about their eligibility for one of the eligible programs, or did not have accurate direct deposit or a mailing information on file. A payment may follow in Spring 2021 for those who submit their application by December 31, 2020 and are determined to be eligible; or receive a decision about their eligibility for one of the eligible programs by the end of February 2021.

Being eligible for the DTC can also open the door to other federal, provincial, or territorial programs such as the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Canada Workers Benefit, and the Child Disability Benefit. By acting now and putting the right measures in place, the Government of Canada strives to create the strong health, social, and economic foundations we need to build a better and more inclusive Canada for everyone.

As outlined in the Speech from the Throne, the government will continue to support Canadians living with disabilities, including through a new Canadian Disability Benefit.

Quotes

“The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on every Canadians’ life, and particularly so on the lives of Canadians with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are dealing with increased costs for many of the essential supports they need, like safe access to food, medication and services. We have extended the deadline to apply for the Disability Tax Credit so that more Canadians with disabilities can access the benefit and get the financial support they need. We will continue to work closely with the disability community to support Canadians with disabilities and their families through this difficult time. Our Government remains committed to a disability inclusive pandemic response and recovery, and we continue to work to remove barriers and increase accessibility across Canada.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Quick facts

  • Canadians eligible for the one-time payment for persons with disabilities include individuals who:
    • have an existing valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate;
    • are eligible and have applied for the DTC by December 31, 2020;
    • are a beneficiary as at July 1, 2020 of:
      • Canada Pension Plan Disability; and/or
      • Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension; and/or
      • one of the disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
  • Seniors with disabilities who received the one-time payment for seniors may also be eligible for a total of $600 in special payments. The one-time payment to persons with disabilities will be adjusted to provide a top-up for eligible seniors:
    • $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and who received the
      one-time seniors payment of $300; or
    • $100 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowances and who received the one-time senior’s payment of $500.
  • According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, 22 percent of Canadians 15 years of age and over identify as having a disability. That rate goes up with age with 37.8 percent of Canadians over 65 and 47.4 percent over 75.
  • Among working-age Canadians with disabilities, more than 1.5 million, or 41 percent, are unemployed or out of the labour market entirely; among those with severe disabilities this rate increases to over 60 percent.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to supporting persons with disabilities in line with the principles and objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Accessible Canada Act, which received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019, and came into force on July 11, 2019.
  • The COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group advised the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion during the onset of the pandemic on the lived experiences of persons with disabilities during the pandemic, along with disability-specific issues, systemic gaps and potential responses.
  • On September 23, 2020, the Government committed in its Speech from the Throne to bring forward the first-ever Disability Inclusion Plan that includes:
    • a new Canadian Disability Benefit modelled after the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors;
    • a robust employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities with a focus on training, employment supports, barrier removal and the business case for disability inclusion; and,
    • development of a new, inclusive process to determine eligibility for federal government disability programs and benefits – one that reflects a modern understanding of disability.

Associated links

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
marielle.hossack@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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