Canada’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan

Canada’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan is a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to disability inclusion. It embeds disability considerations across our programs while identifying targeted investments in key areas to drive change. It builds on existing programs and measures that have sought to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities, and establishes new and meaningful actions.



Financial wellness tools

The National Disability Institute's Financial Wellness Toolkit is full of free resources for disability service providers, nonprofits, financial professionals and municipalities, including Financial Education Handouts and Quick Reference Guides. 

This infographic highlights income, banking and credit inequality based on disability, race and ethnicity. 



Survey on savings for persons with disabilities

Residents in Canada who have a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). This opens the door to other programs, one of which is the RDSP.

Less than one-third of eligible residents in Canada (up to age 59) have a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)—about 31.5% in 2020.

To understand why more eligible residents in Canada do not have an RDSP, Employment and Social Development Canada asked Statistics Canada to conduct the Survey on Savings for Persons with Disabilities. Its goal was to collect data from residents in Canada who were eligible for an RDSP but did not open one.

These respondents included both persons with disabilities and family members or others who care for persons with disabilities, since the holder of the plan may not be the same person as the beneficiary in all cases.

These data show that, in general, eligible residents in Canada lack information about the RDSP, with many not being aware it exists and a substantial portion reporting not having enough information or money to open one.



P4P Planning Network Resource Hub

The P4P Planning Network was launched by Partners for Planning to support relatives, friends, or caregivers of a person with a disability with planning resources and tools. Resources on relationship building, school transitions, community involvement, financial objectives and more are shared and continuously updated on the website. 

Their Early Planning Toolkit includes an action guide, a checklist to help identify ways to build an everyday childhood while planning for the future and webcasts. 



Early Planning Toolkit

A toolkit for parents/caregivers with a child with a disability ages 2 to 10, containing:

  • An everyday childhood action guide
  • Early planning priorities for parents with a child with a disability (upcoming webcast)
  • Accessing financial resources for a young child with a disability (upcoming webcast)
  • Early planning checklist



Nurturing Supporting Relationships: The Foundation to a Secure Future

This handbook provides a guide for actions to take when nurturing supporting relationships for people living with a disability.



Intersectionality and Economic Justice

Widespread financial precarity for women of color with disabilities existed before the pandemic. Rooted in existing systemic inequities, COVID worsened the situation and created new access barriers.  Race, gender, and disability impact financial stability in complex ways.  Having a disability may increase living costs and limit economic opportunities.  At the same time, women of color face significant disparities in education, income, employment, financial services, and wealth.  Faced with institutional barriers that limit earning and wealth building, disabled women of color are more likely to be unbanked, use alternative financial services, have medical debt, lack access to affordable health care, and experience food insecurity.  Given these challenges and the dire need to address them, this webinar explored:

  • What immediate changes are needed to help increase the financial stability of disabled women of color?
  • What can we do on-the-ground and systemically to better include disabled women of color and move toward intersectional economic justice?



Disability Tax Credit Tool

The Canadian Disability Tax Credit (DTC) can help reduce the taxes you or someone who supports you owe. It also offers a lot of other great benefits.

To apply for the DTC, your healthcare provider will need to fill out the Disability Tax Credit Certificate (form T2201). This tool is designed to give them the information they need to fill out that form



2019 Financial Coaching Network Bi-Monthly Peer Call Series



2020 Second Annual Report of the Disability Advisory Committee

In November 2017, the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, announced the creation of the Disability Advisory Committee to provide advice to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on interpreting and administering tax measures for persons with disabilities in a fair, transparent and accessible manner. The committee’s full mandate is attached as Appendix A. Key disability tax measures are described in Appendix B.

Our first annual report, Enabling access to disability tax measures, was published in May 2019. Since that time, we believe there has been important progress with respect to the administration of and communications about the disability tax credit (DTC). Our second annual report describes in detail the many improvements that the CRA has introduced over the past year in response to the recommendations in our 2019 report. These changes are summarized in “The Client Experience” on the following pages.

Section 1 of this second annual report presents a review of the 42 recommendations made in our first annual report. Each recommendation summarizes the relevant context and associated follow-up actions.

Section 2 covers the new areas of conversation during the second year of our mandate. Selected topics focus, for example, on DTC data, concerns of Indigenous peoples and eligibility for a registered disability savings plan.

Section 3 includes the appendices, which provide details not covered in the text.



Creating Financial Security: Financial Planning in Support of a Relative with a Disability

This handbook covers the following topics:

  • An understanding of why financial planning is important and how to align your financial objectives with your life goals and values.
  • An overview of common financial planning components and tools available to individuals with a disability (including the ODSP, RDSP, DTC, and more).
  • Common financial planning strategies for young, middle-aged and older families.
  • Tips for finding a good financial advisor.
  • Common pitfalls people make when it comes to planning for a loved one with a disability, and how to avoid them.



Roadblocks and Resilience

This report, Roadblocks and Resilience Insights from the Access to Benefits for Persons with Disabilities project, provides insights on the barriers people with disabilities in British Columbia face in accessing key income benefits. These insights, and the accompanying service principles that participants identified, were obtained by reviewing existing research, directly engaging 16 B.C. residents with disabilities and interviewing 18 researchers and service providers across Canada. We will use these insights to inform development and testing of a pilot service to support people with disabilities to access disability benefits.

The related journey map Common steps to get disability benefits also illustrates the complexities of this benefits application process. 

This journey map illustrates the process of applying for the Disability Tax Credit.

The journey map Persons with Disability (PWD) status illustrates the process of preparing for and applying for and maintaining Persons with Disabilities Status and disability assistance in B.C.



Disability Inclusion Analysis of Lessons Learned and Best Practices of the Government of Canada’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

This report provides the findings of research conducted to assist Employment and Social Development Canada in identifying good or best practices and lessons learned from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

Conducted in partnership with the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN), this research helps us better understand how diverse people with disabilities in Canada have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of government COVID-19 measures on diverse people with disabilities in Canada.



The Inequality of Poverty

This report explores the connections between low income, poverty and protected characteristics, how these can shape the experience of poverty, and whether this can result in a similar inequality in terms of when and how poverty premiums are incurred. COVID-19 has thrown light on the link between insecure work, low incomes and protected characteristics, with an opportunity for this link to be formally recognised. The pandemic, and the economic consequences look likely to throw many more people into poverty, and this poverty is falling hardest on those with protected characteristics.

Diversity of charity and non-profit boards of directors: Overview of the Canadian non-profit sector

Charities and non-profit organizations play a vital role in supporting and enriching the lives of Canadians. A crowdsourcing survey of individuals involved in the governance of charities and non-profit organizations was conducted from December 4, 2020, to January 18, 2021. The objectives of the survey were to collect timely information on the activities of these organizations and the individuals they serve and to learn more about the diversity of those who serve on their boards of directors. A total of 8,835 individuals completed the survey, 6,170 of whom were board members.



The COVID-19 pandemic and Indigenous people with a disability or long-term condition

This paper uses crowdsourced data to provide an overview of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health, service access, and ability to meet basic needs of Indigenous participants with disabilities or long-term conditions. Changes in overall health and mental health are examined by disability type, age group and sex. The most commonly reported service disruptions since the start of the pandemic are also presented.

The crowdsourcing data reflected health and other disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants with a disability or long-term condition. Indigenous participants were more likely to report worsened overall health and mental health, service disruption, and a greater impact on their ability to meet essential needs.



One in five Canadians with mental health-related disabilities lives in core housing need

Canadians with mental health-related disabilities were more than twice as likely as those without disabilities to live in households considered to be in core housing need in 2017. Canadians with mental health-related disabilities were also more likely than those without disabilities to live alone, to rent their homes and to live in subsidized housing, according to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD).

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has identified those living with pre-existing mental health-related disabilities as a particularly vulnerable population because of the impacts of isolation and disruptions to mental health-related services during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent crowdsourcing survey by Statistics Canada found that almost three-quarters (73%) of participants with mental health-related disabilities stated that their mental health had worsened since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, PHAC has indicated that those living with inadequate or unsuitable housing are also more vulnerable during the pandemic and are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

This infographic presents pre-existing living situations and housing conditions among Canadians with mental health-related disabilities that may put them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as the emotional and psychosocial impacts of living through a pandemic.



A profile of Canadians with a mobility disability and groups designated as visible minorities with a disability

Results from the 2017 Canadian Survey of Disability (CSD) have shown that over half of Canadians with a mobility disability need at least one workplace accommodation. Among population groups designated as visible minorities who have a disability, one-quarter considered themselves to be disadvantaged in employment because of their condition.

In recognition of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Statistics Canada released three new data products based on findings from the 2017 CSD. One infographic focuses on disabilities related to mobility and another takes a look at visible minorities with disabilities. In addition, two data tables, on industry and occupation of those with and without disabilities, are now available.



COVID-19 Resources for people with disabilities

National Disability Institute (NDI)'s Financial Resilience Center offers resources and assistance to help those with disabilities and chronic health conditions navigate financially through the COVID-19 crisis.

Resource topics include:

  • Information on the COVID-19 stimulus
  • Employment and unemployment
  • Public benefits
  • Managing money
  • Housing, food and healthcare
  • Scams



The Impact of COVID-19 on Women living with Disabilities in Canada

DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWNRAFH) Canada is a national, feminist, cross-disability organization whose mission is to end the poverty, isolation, discrimination and violence experienced
by Canadian women with disabilities and Deaf women.

People with disabilities, specifically women with disabilities face unique barriers related to Covid-19. This includes both the increased risk oftransmission and death from COVID-19, as well as the unique ways policies targeting COVID-19 impact this group. Prior to COVID-19 more than 50% of human rights complaints at the Federal, Provincial and Territorial levels in Canada for the last four years have been disability related, which speaks to systemic failures that have been exacerbated under COVID-19. In this brief, DAWN Canada highlights these unique considerations, as well as significant and existing policy gaps facing this group.



The changes in health and well-being of Canadians with long-term conditions or disabilities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

This article examines how the self-reported health and mental health of people with long-term health conditions or disabilities has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic explored by age, sex and type of reported difficulty. Additionally, the rates of health service disruptions are explored by type of service and region.



How are Canadians with long-term conditions and disabilities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

This infographic focuses on self-reported health, unmet needs for services and therapies, and difficulties meeting certain financial obligations and essential needs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic among participants aged 15 and older living with long-term conditions and disabilities. Results are based on the recent Statistics Canada crowdsourcing data collection completed by over 13,000 Canadians with long-term conditions or disabilities between June 23 and July 6, 2020.



Disability Alliance BC

Disability Alliance BC supports people in British Columbia with disabilities through direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications.

Their website provides information on disability benefits including the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), CPP Disability, Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP) and more.



Plan Institute Learning Centre

The Plan Institute Learning Centre presents workshops, webinars, publications and other resources for individuals and/or families of a person with a disability, support-care workers, and organizations.



Serving Individuals With Disabilities – A Day in the Life of an American Job Center

The Disability and Employment eLearning Task Force in collaboration with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released three eLearning Training Modules to help support the professional development needs of the workforce development staff across the United States. 

The first module provide tools and resources to support front-line American Job Center staff effectively serve customers with disabilities, covering strategies for effective communication and interaction with individuals with disabilities.



Questions and answers to legal topics in Ontario

The Community of Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) website contains answers to common questions pertaining to a number of legal topics, including: COVID-19, debt and consumer rights, and employment and work.



Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics Hub

Launched by the Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics (CGDIS), the Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Hub focuses on disaggregated data by gender and other identities to support evidence-based policy development and decision making. 



Impacts of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities

This article provides a general snapshot of the employment and income impacts of COVID-19 on survey participants aged 15 to 64 living with long-term conditions and disabilities.



From Emergency to Opportunity: Building a Resilient Alberta Nonprofit Sector After COVID-19

This report presents an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the nonprofit sector drawn from data collected in CCVO's Alberta Nonprofit Survey, data from surveys by the Alberta
Nonprofit Network, Imagine Canada, and partner organizations across the country.

The analysis in this report shows that the effects on the nonprofit sector have been magnified through increased service demand, decreased revenue, and diminished organizational capacity coupled by delays in support and inadequate recognition for the leadership role that the sector is being called upon to play.



Legal Resources Catalogue: Free legal information

This resource provides a list of free legal information resources produced by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO).



Prosperity Now Scorecard

The Prosperity Now Scorecard is a comprehensive resource featuring data on family financial health and policy recommendations to help put all U.S. households on a path to prosperity. The Scorecard equips advocates, policymakers and practitioners with national, state, and local data to jump-start a conversation about solutions and policies that put households on stronger financial footing across five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Homeownership & Housing, Health Care and Education.



Taxpayer Rights in the Digital Age

This paper explores the intersection of digital innovation, digital services, access, and taxpayer rights in the Canadian context, in light of the experiences of vulnerable populations in Canada, from the perspective of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman. Many aspects of the CRA’s digitalization can further marginalize vulnerable populations but there are also opportunities for digital services to help vulnerable persons in accessing the CRA’s services.

Infographic: An overview of Canadian financial programs for people with disabilities

One in five Canadians are currently living with a disability. This infographic provides an overview of financial programs for people with disabilities in Canada based on findings in Morris et al. (2018) "A demographic, employment and income profile of Canadians with disabilities aged 15 years and over, 2017". 



Defining disability for social assistance in Ontario: Options for moving forward

Narrowing the definition of disability used by the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) could have serious implications. Improving the program’s assessment process would yield better results for applicants, Ontario's social safety net, and the government.

This report explores the role of ODSP, the risks of narrowing the definition of disability, models of disability assessment from other jurisdictions, and alternative ways that the government could reform the program. Most importantly, the paper recommends that the Ministry focus on improving ODSP’s initial application process. A simplified assessment system would save time and money for applicants, medical professionals, legal clinics, adjudicators, and the Social Benefits Tribunal. These savings should be reinvested back into social assistance.



Benefits and credits toolkit



Benefits and credits provide income and financial support for many individuals. This toolkit contains information on common tax credits and benefits, benefits for specific populations, and practitioner resources including case studies and information on identification documentation for accessing benefits.

We are grateful to West Neighbourhood House in Toronto, Ontario for their contribution in the development of the practitioner resources in this toolkit and to Momentum in Calgary, Alberta for their content consultation support.

Worksheet resources in this toolkit are available as fillable PDFs. Please open with Adobe Acrobat Reader for full functionality.

Prosper Canada launched the Benefits wayfinder on January 19, 2022. 

Latest update on April 8, 2022: The toolkit is now available in French.