A long-delayed, one-time payment to Canadians with disabilities to help them financially during the coronavirus pandemic will finally be delivered starting Friday.
The federal government says the tax-free payment up to $600 will arrive that day for Canadians who were deemed eligible by the end of September. Payments to other recipients may arrive in January or spring of 2021 if they are confirmed by the end of November and February, respectively.
Roughly 1.6 million Canadians are anticipated to receive the payment, which the parliamentary budget office says will cost the federal treasury $792 million. The payment is intended to help offset additional costs during the pandemic, including grocery deliveries, medications and personal protective equipment.
The first legislative push to provide the special payments failed in June when the minority Liberal government couldn’t gain opposition support for a wider spending bill.
A few weeks later, a compromise was struck whereby the Liberals expanded eligibility for the payments to also include veterans.
Payments will max out at $600, drop to $300 for any recipients who receive old age security (OAS) benefits, and fall to $100 for low-income seniors who receive OAS and the guaranteed income supplement.
Ottawa extended the eligibility deadline last week from Sept. 25 to Dec. 31 in order to ensure more Canadians receive the payment.
Canadians will automatically receive the grant if they have an existing and valid Disability Tax Credit certificate, or applied for it by Dec. 31.
The payment will also be issued to beneficiaries of the Canada Pension Plan Disability, the Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension, and, or one of the disability plans under Veterans Affairs Canada as of July 1.
Parents of children with disabilities will also receive the one-time payment, as well as estates of people with disabilities who passed away this year.
— With files from the Canadian Press