Contact your MP about the Canada Disability Benefit

May 24, 2024

The Canada Disability Benefit (CDB) was supposed to lift people with disabilities out of poverty. Sadly, the $200/month benefit announced in the 2024 federal budget will not do that. In reality, it amounts to just $6 a day, with some getting less than that because this is the maximum benefit.

Even though our national partner, Inclusion Canada, has been talking with the government for years about how to help people with disabilities, the ideas they’ve come up with aren’t sensible or acceptable. People with disabilities have been waiting and hoping for some help. But this news is really disappointing, and it means many will keep struggling to survive living a life of poverty.

Anything less than $1000/month will not significantly help people with disabilities living in poverty.

We had asked for automatic qualifying, that those currently receiving provincial disability income supports (such as AISH) be automatically eligible. Instead, the federal government has decided to use the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) as a qualifier. The DTC application process is complicated and requires medical forms, a barrier for the over 650,000 Albertans waiting to find a family doctor. Many people with disabilities who need the CDB will not qualify.

We want the government to change their plan, and we need your help. Even though the budget has been announced and is being debated by MPs and Senators, nothing is finalized. It will still take 12 months to finalize all regulations for the CDB that will define who is eligible and how to apply. We need you to let your Member of Parliament (MP) know how the CDB affects you and your family. All MPs and their political parties need to recognize that the problems with details of the CDB announced in the 2024 Federal Budget. They need to commit to expanding the benefit amount and the eligibility criteria. Only then will CDB lift millions of Canadians with disabilities out of poverty.

Inclusion Canada has made available a template of a letter that you may build off of when you write to your MP. You can update it with your personal information and, to make it most impactful, write about who you are and why CDB is important to you or your family member. You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here.

We’re not going to stop pushing them on this. It has to change.