If your client is disabled, he might be particularly challenged when it comes to financial planning.

While people with disabilities accounted for about 20% of Canadians aged 25 to 64 in 2014, they accounted for 41% of the low-income population in the same age group, reveals a StatsCan study. In comparison, the low-income rate among people aged 25 to 64 without disabilities was less than 9%.

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At increased risk

The study also found that people with a disability were more likely to live in low-income households if they were unattached individuals (meaning they lived alone or with non-relatives) aged 45 to 64, or lone parents. In fact, more than half of those meeting this description lived in low-income households. And the segment accounted for 23% of the total low-income population but only 3% of the non-low-income population.

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Joblessness was also higher for disabled Canadians. In 2014, 41% of people with a disability were jobless, compared with 16% of those aged 25 to 64 without disabilities.

Consequently, people aged 25 to 64 with a disability were more reliant on government transfers as a source of income. They earned an average of $29,300 per year in employment income compared with $52,200 for those without disabilities.

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Some, but not all, of that difference was offset by people with a disability receiving an average of $3,100 more in government transfers and paying $5,500 less in taxes than those without disabilities.

For full details, including how disability and low income were measured, read the full StatsCan study.

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