Parliament Hill building closeup in Ottawa, Canada
© Songquan Deng / 123RF Stock Photo

Canadians with disabilities will get a one-time $600 payment from the federal government to help offset extra expenses during the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Canadians eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC) as of June 1 will receive $600 tax free without applying. The payment is meant to compensate for increased costs related to support workers or medical supplies, a government release said.

“The cost to safely get groceries, medication, and other basic necessities has increased, while services like disability support workers and therapy may be unavailable because volunteer and subsidized services have declined,” Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said in a statement.

Seniors eligible for the DTC who are also eligible for old age security (OAS) will receive $300, while those with a DTC certificate who are also eligible for the OAS and the guaranteed income supplement will receive $100.

Last month, the Liberals announced a one-time, tax-free top-up payment for seniors who receive old age security ($300) and the guaranteed income supplement ($200). Combined with those payments, seniors eligible for the DTC will receive a total of $600 in special payments.

The funding will benefit roughly 1.25 million Canadians, the release said.

Some advocates have called for more assistance for Canadians with disabilities, including relief for those who face mandatory withdrawals from their Registered Disability Savings Plans.