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Kendall Worth: People with disabilities still waiting for one-time $600 COVID-19 support

Photo by Steven HWG on Unsplash

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Readers of the Nova Scotia Advocate may remember my recent open letter to the Prime Minister, Dear Prime Minister, punishing poor people doesn’t solve anything, about the plan to punish people who knowingly received CERB payments while not qualifying.

As well as bringing up the concerns about the CERB in this letter, I also mentioned the one time $600 for persons with disabilities who qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.  

The sad news to date is that this bill got shot down by the opposition. As Richard Starr explained, “The Conservatives wanted more time to debate the bill, part of their campaign to resume normal Parliamentary proceedings. The Bloc wanted concessions in other areas and the NDP were opposed to the CERB crackdown.”  

I have within the past couple of days heard from some people in the disability community who are concerned about the delay of this one time $600 payment. The Prime Minister said in his June 15th address “we will get this resolved this week”, but nothing has happened so far. 

The people I heard from gave me permission to call them Dawn, Jake, Donna, and Joe, not their real names. I have been in touch with these people over the weekend, and just yesterday they asked me to write about why the delay, and why they are concerned. 

Although not everybody with a disability qualifies, all four of them are people who do qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. 

They also told me that they do not qualify for the CERB. That is because even though they work part time, they earn under $5000 a year at their jobs that supplement their income from income assistance.

They were counting on that $600 to help them offset extra cost they incurred during COVID-19.

We can all agree it is frustrating. First the delay, and now people being left in the dark as to whether or not the one time payment issue has been resolved. 

Anyway, on June 15th, 2020 the prime minister did say that it would be resolved, and since then he had not brought up the disability payment in his addresses to the nation and nothing has been reported in the news about whether or not that has been resolved.  The people I am talking with in this story believe that parliament is too long winded on other matters. 

I asked Any Filmore, the Liberal member of parliament for Halifax.

“This financial support matters and Canadians with disabilities can have confidence that our government will continue to work to find a solution to deliver this supplement,” someone in his office replied in an email.

Let’s keep hoping for the best!

Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this. I have emailed Andy Fillmore’s office four times, I’ve only gotten a response twice. They keep saying it’s coming, but no one is doing anything, no one is talking about it anymore. Seniors got a one time benefit as did those with the child tax credit but once again the disabled seem to be second class citizens. If there’s some thing I can do to aid with encouraging the government to move this forward I would certainly be willing to help. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. What’s the point of living if the government won’t help the disability in a time of crisis? It’s a slap in the face. I fill like its our falt that we are disable. Some wore born this way. We didnt ask for this. Thank you for making us fill like we are worthless. I have too disable children’s and thay are qualified for the disability tax credit of 600$. We been staying in the house seens March 13th because we would not servive out there.

    Reply
  3. I’m disabled and use to get the DTC when I was working I can’t work anymore due to my disability so now I’m on cpp and they tell me that I don’t qualify for the $600 one time payment I thought people with disability are all equal how do people like me get this message to our PM

    Reply
    1. Assuming you still have the DTC now that you are on CPP, you ARE eligible for the $600. Who told you that you weren’t? If the reason is because you no longer get the DTC because you are now on CPP, this is wrong too. You would still get the DTC because CPP is a taxable income.

      Reply
      1. You can never get a straight answer from anyone in any government departments. I called several including CAR to ask whether I would qualify for CERB Bering on CPPdisability.I worked and made over $5000 last year and received the DTC. The fellow who I spoke to at CRA while waiting for an answer from a supervisor told me he fixed furniture for the CRA know wonder we can’t get straight answers! I only get $850 in COP disability so I applied for CERB and received it as by their written criteria I qualify. It is added stress with any of these benefits as to whether you are truly eligible or not.

        Reply
        1. “I only get $850 in COP disability so I applied for CERB and received it”: The only way anyone qualifies for CERB is if they lost your job directly due to the pandemic. CERB is not a replacement for CPP or any other type of government assistance. It has nothing to do with whether you are a person with a disability. “as by their written criteria I qualify”: Then someone has made a mistake. You did not state in your comment that you lost your job due to the pandemic so that means you should not have been given CERB. You may find that you will have to give it all back.

          If you have a DCT, you will get $600 if and when the federal government ever distributes it.

          Reply
  4. I haven’t received the $600 and I have the disability tax credit. These people just like to lie to people. It should be against the law to give false information to your constituents. I will never vote Conservative again. Such fucking liars.
    This is what my MP’s office sent to me on July 3rd:

    The only payment available for anyone on CPPD or Aish is if you have applied for the Disability Tax Credit. If so you should be receiving money next week. If you are getting the Disability Tax Credit and do not receive any extra money by the end of next week please contact our office.

    Sincerely

    cid:1683eb248f74ce8e91

    Lynda Werning

    Case Manager
    Office of Ziad Aboultaif
    Member of Parliament for Edmonton Manning

    780-822-1540

    Reply

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