During his daily national address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that a one-time tax-free payment of up to $600 will be sent to Canadians with disabilities to help with the financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of June 1, the financial aid will be sent to those who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
$600 will be given to Canadians who have a valid certificate for the Disability Tax Credit, and $300 will be given to those with the Disability Tax Credit Certificate and are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
$100 will be given to those who are eligible for both programs and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
According to the government, the amount seniors with disabilities will receive through this stream will be less than what it was initially due to the special one-time payments, but at the end of the payment stream, all money allocated will total to $600.
In the announcement made by the government, it was confirmed that those who are eligible for this payment will not need to apply as the money will be received automatically. Due to the senior funding announced earlier this week, the payments will take time before they arrive in the accounts of eligible individuals.
When it comes to those who are eligible and under the age of 18, the payment will be sent to the recipient’s primary caregiver/guardian. In the case of joint custody, each parent will receive $300.
Accessibility programs announced
In addition to the one-time payments, two new accessibility-focused programs have also been announced by the government.
The first program announced will see the $15 million in funding for national workplace accessibility, as the money will be used to help community organizations develop programs and expand the current training opportunities for Canadians with disabilities so that they can adapt to the new COVID-19 work environment. This will include access to Health services that will enable them to maintain their safety in the workplace.
The second program announced is a $1.8 million fund that is to be divided between five projects that are developing access-friendly technology for everyday use.
Some of the technology being developed includes payment terminals for individuals with sight loss and support for Canadians with disabilities so they can use regular technology, systems that will help Canadians with neurological conditions use technology for longer times, and software development for expression and voice recognition technology.
Carla Qualtrough, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, has gone on to say that the government recognizes that the pandemic has created a “higher risk of job loss during economic downturns”, especially for Canadians with disabilities.
“Our thinking moving forward is how do we balance a need to continue to support workers while not disincentivizing work and absolutely those conversations are happening right now”.
Canada COVID-19 Stats
Confirmed cases: 94,070
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