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September 21, 2020

New Supports for Canadians with Disabilities to Address Challenges Related to COVID-19

By Leanne Taylor

June 5, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is providing support to help people with disabilities deal with the extra expenses they are facing during the COVID‑19 pandemic. This support includes a one-time payment to certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit, a new National Workplace Accessibility Stream through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, and new investments through the Accessible Technology Program.

One-time payment for persons with disabilities

A special one-time payment of $600 will be automatically provided to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020. The payment will be provided to eligible Canadians without an application or attestation. It will be non-taxable.

Seniors who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit and are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and/or the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will have their payments adjusted accordingly. Seniors who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit and eligible for the OAS pension will receive a payment of $300, in addition to the special COVID-19 one-time OAS pension payment of $300. Those who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit and are eligible for the GIS will receive a payment of $100, in addition to the combined $500 from the special COVID-19 one-time OAS pension and GIS payments. With this new support and these special payments announced last month, all seniors who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit will receive a total of $600.

For certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit who are under the age of 18, the special payment will be made to the individual who is considered primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child for the purposes of the Canada Child  Benefit. In cases of shared custody, each parent will receive $300. Where a child who is a certificate holder of the Disability Tax

Credit is maintained by an agency and the Children’s Special Allowances are paid for that child, the special payment will be made to that agency.

What is the disability tax credit?

The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. An individual may claim the disability amount once they are eligible for the DTC. This amount includes a supplement for persons under 18 years of age at the end of the year.

The purpose of the DTC is to provide for greater tax equity by allowing some relief for disability costs, since these are unavoidable additional expenses that other taxpayers don’t have to face.

Being eligible for the DTC can open the door to other federal, provincial, or territorial programs such as the registered disability savings plan, the working income tax benefit, and the child disability benefit

For more information, visit the Government of Canada website at:  www.canada.ca