A new system of income supports and disability benefits for working age people with severe disabilities is proposed in a paper released by the Caledon Institute, a Canadian social policy think tank. The new program is believed to be more equitable than current welfare systems in Canada.
The first section of the paper documents the current system of income supports and disability benefits and discusses the need for a more equitable solution to address low rates of income for people with severe disabilities. The second half of the paper details the proposed model and outlines the delivery mechanism for the new program. Eligibility for the proposed Basic Income Program would be based on the existing Disability Tax Credit (revised to address employability criteria) and the Canadian Disability Pension Plan.
If implemented, the new program would address long-term income support for the severely disabled but would not replace provincial disability programs for persons with mild to moderate disabilities. Caledon estimates that approximately half of all disabled recipients currently receiving provincial benefits would be eligible for the federally funded program, at least partially resolving the issue of low incomes for Canadians with disabilities.
See “A Basic Income Plan for Canadians with Severe Disabilities,” available at www.caledoninst.org.