The federal government is expanding the number of Canadians living with disabilities who will be eligible to receive a one-time, tax-free $600 payment to help with extra costs incurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In June, the Liberals announced that Canadians eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC) as of June 1 would receive $600 tax free without applying.
Under the proposed changes announced on Friday, the one-time payment would be expanded to include approximately 1.7 million Canadians with disabilities who receive any of the following programs or benefits:
- A DTC certificate provided by the Canada Revenue Agency;
- Canada Pension Plan disability benefit or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit; and
- Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.
Canadians with disabilities who are eligible for the DTC but have not yet applied would have a 60-day window to do so after proposed legislation receives Royal Assent.
Seniors who are eligible for the one-time payment for persons with disabilities would receive a total of $600 in special payments. The one-time payment to persons with disabilities would be adjusted to take into account one-time, tax-free top-ups already provided to eligible seniors, including:
- $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and who received the one-time seniors payment of $300; or
- $100 for Canadians who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowances and who received the one-time senior’s payment of $500.
If the proposals are enacted, eligible Canadians would receive the payment automatically.
The government says the $600 benefit for Canadians with disabilities is meant to offset the increased cost of food, transportation, medication, personal protective equipment, personal support workers, and other supports for people living with disability.