Budget 2024 Makes Progress on Canada Disability Benefit, But Funding Gap Remains

Important step taken on the Canada Disability Benefit in Budget 2024, but funding falls short

“Urgent Action Needed to Combat Poverty Among Canadians with Disabilities”

In a recent move, the federal government has introduced the Canada Disability Benefit in the 2024 budget as a step towards supporting Canadians living with disabilities. However, the funding allocation and rollout details fall short in providing the necessary support these individuals urgently need.

Insufficient Funding and Eligibility

The budget sets aside $6.1 billion for the Canada Disability Benefit over six years, with an expected launch date in July 2025. This benefit is targeted towards an estimated 600,000 Canadians who hold a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate, capped at $2,400 per year per recipient ($200 per month). While this is a positive development, it may not be enough to truly lift Canadians with disabilities out of poverty.

Advocacy for Full Funding

Daily Bread Food Bank and a coalition of over 40 organizations have been strong advocates for a fully funded Canada Disability Benefit in Budget 2024. People with disabilities in Canada face a poverty rate double that of the general population and are disproportionately affected by the increasing cost of living. CEO Neil Hetherington emphasizes the importance of additional funding and increased eligibility to bring about meaningful change.

Living Below the Poverty Line

One in seven individuals who rely on food banks across Canada receive provincial disability income support, leaving many living more than $800 below the poverty line each month. Daily Bread Food Bank continues to push for a Canada Disability Benefit that not only raises recipients above the poverty line but also operates from a broad and inclusive definition of disability to ensure equitable access to support.

Conclusion: Achieving Meaningful Change

While the introduction of the Canada Disability Benefit is a step in the right direction, more work needs to be done to truly combat poverty among Canadians with disabilities. It is crucial for the government to reevaluate the funding allocation, eligibility criteria, and collaboration with provinces to ensure that this program effectively uplifts those in need. Daily Bread Food Bank’s advocacy highlights the urgency of addressing the financial challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and emphasizes the importance of creating a support system that enables them to thrive.



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