Delta MP Carla Qualtrough has announced details on proposed financial support for persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, the federal government announced a series of measures to help Canadians with disabilities navigate the effects of the outbreak, including a one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment of $600 to assist with additional expenses incurred during the pandemic. These additional expenses might include everything from higher costs for personal protective equipment to increased use of taxis and home delivery services to obtain groceries and prescriptions.
Qualtrough, the minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, announced that federal government intends to propose legislation that would make the benefit available to more people and expand the one-time payment to include approximately 1.7 million Canadians with disabilities, who are recipients of any of the following federal programs or benefits:
- A Disability Tax Credit certificate provided by the Canada Revenue Agency;
- Canada Pension Plan disability benefit or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit; and
- Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.
The government has shared draft legislative proposals that would facilitate these payments. If enacted, eligible Canadians would receive the payment automatically.
"We recognize that Canadians with disabilities are disproportionally impacted by the pandemic. This includes the increased cost of food, transportation, medication, personal protective equipment, personal support workers, and other disability supports,” said Qualtrough.
“We have worked closely with the disability community during this time of crisis, including our COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group. We will continue to work hard to increase accessibility and remove barriers, and remain committed to a pandemic response and recovery that is disability inclusive."
Canadians with disabilities who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit but have not yet applied, would have a 60-day window of opportunity to do so after Royal Assent.