The much-awaited one-time non-taxable payment of up to $600 for Canadians with disabilities will start being disbursed sometime this fall as per the federal government’s promise.
The federal government has decided to expand eligibility to thousands more Canadians with disabilities, and as a result has opened up a 60-day application window for those looking to access the benefit, to apply for the existing federal Disability Tax Credit.
The one-time payment will be sent to all those who are certified under that program, and Canadians who may be eligible but aren’t already certified, now have until September 25 to apply.
“We recognize that since the application process involves medical professionals, the time allotted must be sufficient to allow for medical appointments and paperwork to be completed which may take longer during the pandemic,” Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough’s office said in a statement.
The government estimates that 1.7 million Canadians will be able to receive the payment, citing those who currently receive other federal and provincial disability aid as potentially eligible.
The amount that each applicant will receive will vary if they are accessing other federal aid payment, such as the one-time payment made to seniors:
- Canadians who have a valid certificate for the Disability Tax Credit will receive $600.
- Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension will receive $300.
- Canadians who are eligible for both of these programs and are also eligible for the
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will be receiving $100.
The financial aid payment was first promised on June 5 and was meant to offset the financial pressures of the pandemic, by sending the payments to all who are already eligible and had a valid certificate for the Disability Tax Credit.
The government said that those who were eligible—at the time 1.2 million Canadians at $548 million— would receive it automatically, without applying. That remains the case, but anyone who is not yet eligible for the Disability Tax Credit but could have to apply and be approved to receive this money.
The piece of legislation that allows the one-time payments to be implemented, Bill C-20, received royal assent on July 27. This comes after the Liberals failed to get the all-party support needed to pass an earlier aid bill that included the payments. After that, the government said it was looking at other ways to deliver the payments but then returned to the legislative route.