COVID-19: Federal Government Announces One-Time Payment and Accessibility Programs for Canadians with Disabilities


Note: The disability payment is pending approval by Parliament. 

After a series of social assistance announcements for seniors, students and other marginalized groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has finally announced funding and programming for Canadians with disabilities during National Accessibility Week. The government has recognized that Canadians with disabilities are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and are at a higher risk of job loss during economic downturns.

Canadians with disabilities who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (“DTC”) as of June 1st will receive a one-time, tax-free payment of $600. The payment will differ depending on whether the recipient is eligible for other social assistance programs, as listed below:

  • Canadians who are eligible for the DTC will receive $600.
  • Seniors who are eligible for the DTC and receive Old Age Security (“OAS”) pension will receive $300.
  • Seniors who are eligible for the DTC, receive OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (“GIS”) will receive $100.
  • For children under the age of 18 and who are eligible for the DTC:
    • A payment of $600 will be sent to their primary caregiver (the parent who receives the Canada Child Benefit);
    • A payment of $300 will be sent to each parent in a shared custody arrangement; or
    • A payment of $600 will be sent to the agency that is responsible for the child (where the Children’s Special Allowances are paid for that child).

There is no application for the payment – it will be sent to eligible Canadians automatically. Overall, it is estimated that 1.25 million Canadians will be eligible for the one-time payment.

The federal government has also announced funding for two new accessibility programs to target the 1.5 million working Canadians with disabilities who are unemployed or out of the labour market:

  • National Workplace Accessibility Stream: the government has pledged $15 million in 2020-21 to community organizations to develop workplace accessibility and access to jobs, including work-from-home measures, online training opportunities, inclusive physical or virtual workplaces, connecting people with disabilities and employers, training for in-demand jobs and wage subsidies.
  • Accessible Technology Program: the government has made a $1.18 million investment in five projects across the country to develop accessible technology related to accessible payment terminals for individuals with loss of sight; arm supports to allow the use of standard technology; the interaction with technology for people with neurological conditions; the navigation of technology for people with speech disabilities; and expression software with voice and Braille controls.

PooranLaw welcomes the payment and the new programming to offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities. We will continue to monitor and reports on legal developments as they arise. 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.