Nine in ten Canadians fully support the Canada Disability Benefit

New research conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with Daily Bread Food Bank and Disability Without Poverty.

In a survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI), in partnership with Daily Bread Food Bank and Disability Without Poverty, Canadians were asked about their views on the Canada Disability Benefit.

Although results found overwhelming support for the benefit, Canadians are critical of the pace of implementation and do not trust that government will follow through.

The survey conducted by ARI found the following:

  • Overall, nine-in-ten (91%) say they support the proposed Canada Disability Benefit, including at least four-in-five of past Conservative voters (83%), and nearly all past Liberal (98%), NDP (99%) and Bloc Québécois (98%) voters – an incredible level of support from Canadians.
  • Only one-in-20 (5%) say they are confident the federal government will follow through, while 45 per cent doubt it will and 13 per cent say they are certain the benefit will never be distributed.
  • Most Canadians (61%) believe current financial support available to Canadians living with disabilities is inadequate (38%) or far too little (23%).
  • Three-in-five (60%) Canadians living with a health issue that severely limits their day-to-day activities say they are often (35%) or all the time (25%) stressed about money.

Food bank visits in Canada have increased at an unprecedented 32 per cent year-over-year. In Toronto, one in ten people are now having to rely on food banks to make ends meet – this is double the rate of last year.

Individuals living with a disability are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, facing additional expenses such as medical costs, special transportation, and dietary needs. One in seven people who access food banks nationally rely on provincial disability income supports – in many provinces, this means living more than $800 below the poverty line each month.

Income supports like the Canada Disability Benefit can greatly reduce the severity of food insecurity, going long way in ensuring people can live a life of dignity and meet their most basic needs.

Daily Bread Food Bank and Disability Without Poverty, in partnership with a coalition of over 40+ organizations, are calling for a fully funded Canada Disability Benefit that addresses three essential elements:

  1. Bringing eligible recipients to a minimum of the Market Basket Measure (MBM), Canada’s Official Poverty Line. As there are increased costs of living with a disability, such as special transportation, dietary needs, and uninsured medical expenses, the benefit should ideally bring recipients to up to 30 per cent above the poverty line. Payments should be monthly, indexed to inflation, and portable throughout Canada.
  2. The benefit must be efficient and seamless for those living with a disability. Canadians with disabilities who receive provincial disability supports should automatically qualify for the benefit, and their existing benefits should not be clawed back.
  3. The benefit must be equitable and barrier-free. It should operate from a broad and inclusive definition of disability – one that encompasses all disabilities, including those that are invisible and episodic. If the benefit limits eligibility through a restrictive definition of disability, this program will fail to achieve its core objective.

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