The federal government is extending until Dec. 31 the deadline for Canadians to apply for the disability tax credit (DTC) in order to receive the Covid-19 one-time $600 payment for persons with disabilities, the government said on Friday. The deadline to apply for the DTC to receive the tax-free benefit had ended Sept. 25.
Extending the deadline to year-end will give more time to Canadians facing challenges collecting the information needed to complete the DTC application process, and more time for the government to issue decisions regarding eligibility, the government said in a release announcing the extension.
“We will continue to work closely with the disability community to support Canadians with disabilities and their families through this difficult time,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough in the release.
Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning with CIBC Private Wealth Management in Toronto, said today’s announcement “will be welcome news for thousands of Canadians who are living with a disability, could really use the $600 to meet the extra expenses incurred during the pandemic, but who had yet to qualify for the disability tax credit – which is no simple task.”
In June, the Liberals announced that Canadians eligible for the DTC as of June 1 would receive a $600 payment meant to offset the increased cost of food, transportation, medication, personal protective equipment, personal support workers and other expenses related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In July, the government expanded the benefit program to include more Canadians living with disabilities. Those who were eligible for the DTC but hadn’t yet applied would have a 60-day window to do so after the legislation received royal assent.
Canadians eligible for the one-time payment for persons with disabilities include those who:
- have an existing valid DTC certificate;
- are eligible and have applied for the DTC by Dec. 31, 2020;
- are a beneficiary as at July 1, 2020, of the Canada Pension Plan Disability and/or the Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension and/or one of the disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.
Seniors with disabilities who received the one-time payment for seniors may also be eligible for a total of $600 in special payments. The one-time payment to persons with disabilities will be adjusted to provide a top-up for eligible seniors:
- $300 for Canadians eligible for the Old Age Security pension and who received the one-time seniors payment of $300 or
- $100 for Canadians eligible for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowances and who received the one-time seniors payment of $500.
According to the government, “the vast majority” of eligible Canadians — nearly 1.6 million people — will begin receiving their $600 benefit payment on Oct. 30, using direct deposit and mailing information from existing government programs. These are individuals who, at the time the information for the one-time payment was collected at the end of September 2020, had an existing valid DTC certificate or were a beneficiary as at July 1 of CPP Disability and/or QPP Disability Pension and/or one of the disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs.
Payments will go out in a phased approach, the government said. Using information from November 2020, a payment will be made in January 2021 to those individuals who, at the end of September 2020, hadn’t yet received a decision about their eligibility for one of the eligible programs or didn’t have accurate direct deposit or mailing information on file.
Payment may follow in spring 2021 for those who submit their applications by Dec. 31, 2020, and are determined to be eligible or receive a decision about their eligibility for one of the eligible programs by the end of February 2021.