Recipients of the federal Disability Tax Credit (DTC) are to receive a one-time $600 payment to offset extra expenses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This tax-free bonus was announced on Friday for all those who are certificate holders as of June 1, to support those experiencing job insecurity and others facing increased costs for personal support workers, medication, and medical supplies, as stated in a press release.
"Canadians with disabilities are facing significant challenges because of COVID-19, as they work to access essential services and care and provide for their families," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a press release.
"With today's announcement, we are stepping up to make sure they have the support they need to make it through this crisis."
Individuals who are certificate holders of the DTC were to receive their payment automatically, with no need to apply.
Seniors who are eligible for DTC as well as other federal support, on the other hand, will receive $300 if eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, and $100 if they are eligible for that and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
Combined with the one-time, tax-free bonuses announced last month - $300 for OAS recipients and $200 for GIS recipients - seniors eligible for DTC will be issued a total of $600 in special payments.
In addition to this funding, the federal government will be investing $15 million in 2020-21 to create a National Workplace Accessibility Stream through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. The intention being, to provide community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility and access to jobs.
Under this umbrella, efforts include helping employers set up accessible and effective work-from-home arrangements and expanding accessible online training opportunities.
The government will also be investing $1.18 million in five new projects through the Accessible Technology Program, to develop dynamic and affordable technology, such as accessible payment terminals and communication tools.
"We know this pandemic has deeply affected the lives and health of all Canadians and disproportionately affected Canadians with disabilities in particular. The cost to safely get groceries, medication, and other basic necessities (have) increased, while services like disability support workers and therapy may be unavailable because volunteer and subsidized services have declined," said Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion.
"We have listened to the concerns of Canadians with disabilities and received advice from the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group on how to best provide support during this difficult time.
I am confident that the measures announced today will greatly benefit Canadians with disabilities across the country."
Find more information on the Disability tax credit here.