We know Canadians living with disabilities are facing significant challenges during this difficult time, with some experiencing job insecurity and others seeing increased costs for personal support workers, medication, and medical supplies. As we work together to restart the economy, we must continue to protect health and safety, and ensure the right supports are in place for all Canadians.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced support to help Canadians with disabilities deal with extra expenses during the pandemic.
This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows:
- $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate.
- $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
- $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
Combined with the special payments of $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the OAS pension and the additional $200 for those eligible for the GIS, all seniors with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will receive a total of $600 in special payments. People who are eligible for this special payment will receive it automatically.
The Government of Canada recognizes that people with disabilities are also at higher risk of job loss during economic downturns. To help Canadians with disabilities get and maintain good jobs so they can continue to support themselves and their families, the government will:
- Create a National Workplace Accessibility Stream through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. A new investment of $15 million in 2020-21 will provide community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility and access to jobs in response to COVID-19, including by helping employers set up accessible and effective work-from-home arrangements. This support will also cover expanding accessible online training opportunities and helping connect Canadians with disabilities working from home with employers.
- Invest $1.18 million in five new projects across the country through the Accessible Technology Program. With this funding, organizations will develop dynamic and affordable technology, such as accessible payment terminals for retailers and tools to make communication easier for Canadians with disabilities in the digital economy.
As we mark National AccessAbility Week, we reaffirm our commitment to continue listening to and working in partnership with persons with disabilities to maintain their health, safety, and dignity as we address the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19.