Federal program supports those with disability

The Government of Canada announced a one-time $600 payment in recognition of the extraordinary expenses faced by persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional expenses incurred by persons with disabilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic may include: paying higher costs for personal protective equipment; hiring personal support workers and accessing other disability supports; paying for increased costs for medical supplies and medication; higher internet costs associated with physical distancing, and increased use of taxis and home delivery services to obtain groceries and prescriptions.

To ensure you get the support you need, the government is extending the payment to additional beneficiaries of disability supports programs. Approximately 1.7 million Canadians will receive the one-time payment.

This payment complements other emergency supports, such as the one-time special payment through the GST Credit and the one-time payment to seniors.

Individuals who are eligible for the one-time payment: individuals who have an existing valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate; persons who are eligible for the DTC and who apply for it by September 25, 2020; beneficiaries as at July 1, 2020 of either: Canada Pension Plan Disability/Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension, or 1 of the following disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): Disability Pension; Disability Award; Pain and Suffering Compensation; Critical Injury Benefit; Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program; Income Replacement Benefit, and/or Canadian Forces Income Support.

Persons with disabilities who have a certificate that expired in 2019 should not wait until filing their 2020 tax return to put in an application.

You must apply by September 25, 2020 to be considered for the one-time payment. While the number of DTC applications the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will receive by September 25, 2020 will increase, CRA aims to process your application within 8 weeks, 95 per cent of the time. Seniors with disabilities, who were eligible for the one-time seniors payment announced on May 12, 2020, will also be eligible for the one-time payment to persons with disabilities.

If you are eligible for both payments, you will receive a total amount of $600 broken into 2 payments: if you received the $300 one-time seniors payment for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, you will receive an additional $300; if you received the $500 one-time seniors payment for both the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or the Allowance, you will receive an additional $100. You do not have to apply to receive this payment. The payment consists of a one-time, non-taxable and non-reportable amount of $600. The government expects to issue the payments beginning this fall.

-Debbie MacDonald Moynes