COVID-19: Federal Disability Benefit to be Issued on October 30; Deadline for DTC Eligibility Extended

The federal government has announced that the federal disability benefit – the one-time, tax-free payment of $600 to help people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic – will be issued on October 30, 2020. It is expected that nearly 1.6 million Canadians will receive and benefit from the payment.

The payment will be sent automatically to people with disabilities who have been eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (“DTC”) since the end of September 2020. Canadians who are a beneficiaries of the Canada Pension Plan Disability (“CPPD”), Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension (“QPPD”), or disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada (“VAC”) as of July 1, 2020, will also receive the payment. The payment will be issued using the direct deposit and/or mailing information from these existing government programs.

The government has also extended the deadline to apply for the DTC in order to be eligible for the federal disability benefit to December 31, 2020, keeping in mind the time it can take the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) to make a decision with respect to DTC eligibility. Those who are confirmed eligible for the DTC by the end of November 2020 will receive the payment in January 2021, and those who are confirmed eligible by the end of February 2021 will receive the payment in spring 2021.

The payment will be made to seniors and children with disabilities as well. For seniors, the $600 benefit will be split into two payments: (i) seniors who receive the $300 one-time payment for Old Age Security (“OAS”) pension, will receive an additional $300; and (ii) seniors who receive the $500 one-time payment for both the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (“GIS”) or the Allowance, will receive an additional $100.

For children with disabilities, parents or guardians will receive the payment. Where parents or guardians share custody of a child with a disability, the payment will be split among the care providers. Where there has been a change of custody, the primary caregiver as of July 2020 will receive the payment. Agencies and care providers of children with disabilities will receive the payment as well.

In the case where a person with a disability has passed away, but was eligible for the DTC in 2020 or was a beneficiary of the CPPD, QPPD or VAC supports and was alive as of July 1, 2020, the payment will be made to the person’s estate.

For more information on the federal disability benefit, click here.

PooranLaw will continue to monitor developments related to government benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, if you require legal assistance, we encourage you to reach out to your regular PooranLaw lawyer, or any member of our team.

Note: This article provides general information only and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice or opinion. PooranLaw Professional Corporation holds the copyright to this article and the article and its contents may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of PooranLaw Professional Corporation.