Financial Assistance, Programs, and Services – Government of Canada
While there are several possibilities for financial assistance or guidance that may be of help in your particular situation due to space constraints, we’ve included a limited list of critical federal and provincial programs below as a starting point. Information can become outdated quickly, visit websites for the most current details:
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit (CPP-D) – Designed to provide partial income replacement to eligible CPP contributors under the age of 65 with a severe and prolonged disability. For more information, call 1-800-277-9914 or visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-disability-benefit.html
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Free Tax Clinics – The CRA’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program partners with community organizations and libraries across Nova Scotia to offer free tax clinics for those with a modest income and a simple tax situation. Typically available in March and April. Visit their website to find a local tax clinic: http://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/free-tax-help
Disability Tax Credit (DTC) – A non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. Being eligible for the DTC can open the door to other federal and provincial programs such as the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Canada Workers Benefit, and the Child Disability Benefit (The Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act (DTCPRA) was enacted to limit the fees that can be accepted or charged, directly or indirectly, by a promoter who makes a disability tax credit request under the Income Tax Act on behalf of a claimant. At the time of last update, the Act had not yet come into force). For step-by-step instructions for completing T2201, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/segments/tax-credits-deductions-persons-disabilities/disability-tax-credit/step-step-instructions-filling-form-t2201.html For help with filling out the DTC form, you may also contact the Dalhousie Social Work Community Clinic or Independent Living Nova Scotia (both listed in this directory). Note: Beware of for-profit companies who charge exorbitant ‘contingency fees’ (as much as 30% + HST) to apply for the DTC on your behalf. For more information, call 1-800-959-8281 or visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/segments/tax-credits-deductions-persons-disabilities/disability-tax-credit.html#lgblt
Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit – EI sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week. You must get a medical certificate to show that you are unable to work for medical reasons. If your medical condition is expected to be long-term or permanent, you may be eligible for other benefits such as CPP-Disability. For more information, call 1-800-206-7218 or visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness.html
Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – A savings plan intended to help parents and others save for the long-term financial security of a person eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. Visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/registered-disability-savings-plan-rdsp.html for more information. If you qualify, there are two contributions made by the government:
- Canada Disability Savings Bond – The bond is an amount paid by the Government of Canada directly into an RDSP. The Government will pay bonds of up to $1,000 a year to low-income Canadians with disabilities. No contributions have to be made to get the bond. The lifetime bond limit is $20,000. A bond can be paid into an RDSP until the year in which the beneficiary turns 49.
- Canada Disability Savings Grant – The grant is an amount that the Government of Canada pays into an RDSP. The Government will pay matching grants of 300%, 200%, or 100%, depending on the beneficiary’s adjusted family net income and the amount contributed.
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