Saturday, February 6, 2016
This week, Canada’s Auditor General Michael Ferguson released a damning report on the state of the Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) program. Among his findings:
- More than one-half of Canadians who initially applied for CPPD benefits were denied. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, that meant 39,707 or 57 percent were denied.
- Canadians who wished to appeal their denial of benefits had to wait on average for almost 2.5 years or more than twice as long to get a decision under the Social Security Tribunal (SST) than the previous system. The SST was set up under the Conservatives and has been a disaster. Since it was set up in 2013, backlogged appeals have grown to 10,871 cases.
- One in three Canadians who filed appeals to the SST in fact qualified for the CPPD benefits, even though they were denied at the first two levels of decision-making.
- Even terminally ill applicants found themselves waiting longer for a decision on benefit eligibility. Only 7 percent of terminally ill applicants had a decision within 48 hours in 2015.
“Many Canadians with long-lasting and severe disabilities are waiting for years to see if they can even access Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits. It’s a disgrace,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff.
What's new for persons with disabilities
Guide RC4065, Medical Expenses
The former Guide RC4064, Medical and Disability-Related Information, has been separated into two guides. The new Guide RC4065, Medical Expenses, has information about medical expenses that you can claim on your income tax and benefit return.
Family caregiver amount for children under 18 years of age
Line 367 of the income tax and benefit return is now for the family caregiver amount for children under 18 years of age. For more information, see line 367.
Children's fitness tax credit
This credit is now a refundable tax credit. For more information, see lines 458 and 459.
The Resource Guide: Special Education Navigation Tool is an online searchable PDF document. It supports parents and guardians of children with special needs to more easily navigate the public education system in their province or territory.
Having access to information about programs and services will better support parents/guardians to ensure their child has access to a truly inclusive education.
To use the guide parents/guardians simply navigate to their province or territory to find key information about what their school age child is entitled to:
- Transportation to school
- Definition of inclusive education
- Individual program plans and how they work
- Suspension and expulsion processes
- Parental rights
- Alternatives to a school diploma
- Transition planning
- Other community supports and programs for school age children
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives created this guide for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the Union of Postal Communications Employees.
(You can search this document using the find or search tools within your PDF reader).