NDP announces plan to make Canada’s Disability Benefit easier to access for Canadians who need it « Canada’s NDP

June 13, 2024 at 3:30 am  Federal, Politics

OTTAWA – On Thursday, NDP MP Laurel Collins tabled a bill to make the Canada Disability Benefit and other benefits — including the Disability Tax Credit and disability pensions — cover more Canadians. If passed, Collins’s bill will allow any person eligible at the provincial level for a disability tax credit, pension or benefit to qualify automatically for the same benefits available at the federal level.

Right now, people with disabilities must apply to the provincial and federal disability tax credits separately. This means they must undergo two different arduous doctor’s assessments and application processes, which cost thousands of dollars for people often already on the margins.

“If the Liberals have been consistent at one thing, it’s leaving persons with disabilities behind. The government should be ensuring that Canadians are getting the benefits they need when they need them, in the most accessible way possible,” said Collins. “Persons with disabilities need their benefits to afford food, rent and basic needs. Our NDP plan will make it easier for more people to get covered. No one should have to jump through hoops to get their basic needs filled and I hope that Liberals and Conservatives support that.”

Under the Liberals, people with disabilities live disproportionally in poverty, face many barriers and don’t always have the assistance they need to navigate complicated application processes. And successive Liberal and Conservative governments have not put in the resources needed to lift persons with disabilities out of poverty and to remove barriers they’re so often confronted by. Recently, the Liberals announced a mere $200-a-month disability benefit that doesn’t even cover groceries and will leave the overwhelming majority of persons with disabilities living in poverty.

“The Liberals promised people with disabilities that they were going to finally stop failing them, but they short-changed them instead,” said Zarrillo. “Not only did the Liberals botch the Canada Disability Benefit by only offering $200, which isn’t even enough to cover groceries and medication, but this government has also made it difficult to even apply for the benefit. For once, the Liberals can make something easier for people with disabilities, instead of focusing on protecting rich CEOs, and support this bill.”

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