Disability advocates call for improvement of federal benefit

Some point out that the change was less than what was promised

Disability advocates call for improvement of federal benefit

Advocates for people with disability have gathered in downtown Toronto for the win of the Canada Disability Benefit and also to call for its improvement, as reported in an article by CBC News.

The federal government’s new disability benefit amounted to a maximum of $200 a month for one person. Advocates have pointed that this was not enough to provide meaningful help for Ontario residents with disabilities as well as the eight million people with disabilities across Canada.

“While we definitely want to, you know, be proud, I think, of what our community has accomplished ... at this time, I think that the broad hope is to move much further than we are right now,” said Disability Justice Network of Ontario Executive Director Brad Evoy.

“We need to build a society that is fundamentally different. And you know, I think that challenging this benefit is a small stepping stone to that,” he added.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Action Coalition member Ron Anicich pointed out that the benefit was less than what was initially promised and that the $6.1 million budget over six years paled in comparison to the other investments of the government.

“That's where they're actually spending money and not on Canadians who are, you know, disabled people living in poverty. This is where we need our tax dollars to be spent,” he said.

He further added that the benefit was also not accessible enough because in order to qualify, one needed to receive the Disability Tax Credit, which many Canadians with disabilities do not have because of the lack of access to medical professionals who were eager to sign off on the program.

The Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services responded to the rally by telling CBC Toronto that it was awaiting further details regarding the benefit from the federal government.

“Ontario is committed to working with the federal government to ensure people in the province get the support they need,” a spokesperson from the ministry said.