Apr 17, 2024

Important step taken on the Canada Disability Benefit in Budget 2024, but funding falls short

The federal government has taken an important step on the Canada Disability Benefit by launching the program in the 2024 budget, however, the funding allocation and roll-out details are inadequate in providing the support people living with disabilities urgently need.

The budget allocates $6.1 billion to the Canada Disability Benefit over six years and will be available to an estimated 600,000 Canadians starting in July 2025. Eligibility for this program has been set to Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate. Additionally, the program will be capped at $2,400 per year for each recipient, which equates to $200 per month. 

Daily Bread Food Bank, in partnership with a coalition of over 40 organizations across the country, have advocated tirelessly for a fully funded Canada Disability Benefit in Budget 2024 as people with disabilities face a poverty rate twice as high as the rest of Canada, and are severely impacted by the growing affordability and cost-of-living crisis.

“The government’s commitment to the Canada Disability Benefit in the budget signals that they heard the countless calls for urgent action on this program that Daily Bread, our partners, and so many Canadians made, but there remains a clear need for it to be fully funded,” says Neil Hetherington, CEO, Daily Bread Food Bank. “It is imperative that this program helps people with disabilities live above the poverty line. While it is positive that the program’s launch was included, additional funding and increased eligibility will be necessary to effect meaningful change.”

It is crucial that the eligibility criteria associated with the Disability Tax Credit does not reduce or negate the core objective of this program to lift Canadians with disabilities out of poverty. Furthermore, Daily Bread Food Bank calls on the federal government to follow through on their commitment in the budget to work alongside provinces to ensure that claw backs will not be applied to individuals receiving provincial support.

One-in-seven people who access food banks nationally rely on provincial disability income supports. In many provinces, that means living more than $800 below the poverty line each month.

Daily Bread Food Bank is committed to continuing to advocate for a Canada Disability Benefit that will help address this, including that it brings recipients to above the poverty line and operates from a broad and inclusive definition of disability to ensure that those who need support can effectively access it.

To learn more, visit: https://www.fundthebenefit.ca/

Click here to view our Media Release

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