On July 21, the federal government passed Bill C-20 which would amend the Pensions Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, the Income Tax Act, the Children’s Special Allowances Act and the Veterans Well-being Act, to authorize the disclosure of information to provide the administration of a program for a one-time payment to persons with disabilities for reasons related to COVID-19.
Subject to the legislation receiving Royal Assent (at the time of writing, it is currently in the Senate), this would allow the government to provide a non-taxable and non-reportable payment of up to $600 to approximately 1.7 million individuals including veterans. Critics and experts have been pressuring the federal government for months, as financial supports rolled out to other groups such as workers, companies and seniors, to provide a supplemental payment to individuals with disabilities who have experienced financial and other challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Few details and practical information on how the payments will be rolled out are available at this time. To qualify, individuals must:
- Hold a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate;
- Currently receive Canada Pension Plan disability benefits or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits; or,
- Be in receipt of disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.
If eligible individuals are not yet in possession of a Disability Tax Credit certificate, they would be able to apply for one up to 60 days after Royal Assent to be considered for the one-time payment.
For more information, refer to the news release from the Government of Canada.