Thursday, 30 May 2024
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CanadaHealth and Medical

Canadian Disability Benefits: Federal Government’s commitment to doing more

  • Following a nearly four-year commitment to the program, the fed finally disclosed the benefit’s details in its recent budget.
  • Disability Without Poverty reports that 41% of low-income Canadians are disabled.
  • Khera restated that the money allotted is merely a “first step” that will eventually be “meant to grow.”

Minister of Diversity, Inclusion, and Persons with Disabilities Kamal Khera is defending the recently announced Canada Disability Benefit on behalf of her government, referring to it as an “initial step” without providing a timeframe for its eventual extension.

Following a nearly four-year commitment to the program and promotion of it as a means of assisting people with disabilities in escaping poverty, the federal government finally disclosed the benefit’s details in its most recent budget last month.

Canada Disability Benefit

Disability groups, however, have widely criticized the budget for only allocating a maximum of $2,400 per year—$200 per month, or around $6.66 per day—to eligible applicants, claiming this is insufficient to fulfill their demands.

Disability Without Poverty reports that 41 percent of low-income Canadians are disabled, and 16 percent of disabled Canadians are impoverished. Everyone in the disability community agrees that there won’t be much of an impact from this initial investment to lift people out of poverty.

Concerns have also been raised by organizations regarding the budget’s eligibility requirement, which will only apply to less than half of individuals presently receiving disability income support.

Compared to other federal programs like the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which pays more than $1,000 per month, or the Canada Child payment, which pays $620 per month, the disability payment is rather meager. Khera restated that the money allotted is merely a “first step” that will eventually be “meant to grow.”

She referred to talks with the territories and provinces to make sure they don’t recoup gains within their borders. Although the federal government has promised to collaborate with the territories and provinces to obtain a cross-Canada agreement that would prevent the federal benefit from being counted as income to be eligible for other benefits, those guarantees have not yet been obtained.

Although Khera stated that the federal government is “committed” to expanding the Canada Disability Benefit, the minister refused to provide details on the nature of any increase or the Liberals’ timeline for implementation.

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