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Canada Disability Benefit Act (S.C. 2023, c. 17)

Act current to 2024-04-01

Canada Disability Benefit Act

S.C. 2023, c. 17

Assented to 2023-06-22

An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act

Preamble

Whereas working-age persons with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty than working-age persons without disabilities, because of economic and social exclusion;

Whereas persons with disabilities often face barriers to employment, including work disincentives such as the loss of income and other benefits as a result of becoming employed;

Whereas persons with disabilities may face additional barriers because of their gender, racialized or Indigenous status or other intersecting statuses;

Whereas the Government of Canada is committed to the economic and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, as evidenced by its introduction of the Accessible Canada Act;

Whereas the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees persons with disabilities the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination;

Whereas reducing poverty contributes to the progressive realization of Canada’s international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

Whereas Canada aspires to be a world leader in the eradication of poverty, and Parliament, with a view to this objective, enacted the Poverty Reduction Act;

Whereas progress made by Canada in reducing poverty for persons with disabilities and others contributes to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations;

Whereas the Government of Canada seeks to build on its successes in addressing poverty through providing benefits for seniors and for families with children;

Whereas, in the spirit of “Nothing Without Us”, the Government of Canada recognizes the importance, in developing support measures for persons with disabilities, of engaging with the disability community, in accordance with the Accessible Canada Act, which specifies that “persons with disabilities must be involved in the development and design of laws, policies, programs, services and structures”;

And whereas Parliament recognizes the leading role that the provinces and territories play in providing supports and services to persons with disabilities and the importance of engaging with them in developing income supports and other support services;

Now, therefore, His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

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Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Canada Disability Benefit Act.

Definitions

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Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

disability

disability has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Accessible Canada Act. (handicap)

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Employment and Social Development. (ministre)

Purposes of Act

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Marginal note:Purposes

 The purposes of this Act are to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of working-age persons with disabilities.

Canada Disability Benefit

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Marginal note:Eligibility

 A person is eligible for a Canada disability benefit if they meet the eligibility criteria set out in the regulations.

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Marginal note:Payment of benefit

 The Minister must, in accordance with the regulations, pay a Canada disability benefit to a person who is eligible for the benefit, applies or has an application made on their behalf, in accordance with the regulations, and meets any other conditions set out in the regulations.

General

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Marginal note:Obligation to provide information

 An applicant or the representative of an applicant who is incapable of managing their own affairs must provide the Minister with any information that the Minister may require in respect of the application.

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Marginal note:Social Insurance Number

 The Minister is authorized to collect and use, for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act, the Social Insurance Number of an applicant.

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Marginal note:Agreements

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     (1) In order to carry out the purposes of this Act, the Minister may enter into agreements with any department or agency of the Government of Canada and may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into agreements with any department or agency of a province.

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    Marginal note:Publication

    (2) The Minister must make public any agreement entered into under subsection (1).

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Marginal note:Payments cannot be charged, etc.

 A benefit under this Act

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    (a) is not subject to the operation of any law relating to bankruptcy or insolvency;

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    (b) cannot be assigned, charged, attached or given as security;

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    (c) cannot be retained by way of deduction, set-off or compensation under any Act of Parliament other than this Act; and

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    (d) is garnishable moneys for the purposes of the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act.

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Marginal note:Consolidated Revenue Fund

 All benefits payable under this Act are to be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

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Marginal note:Appeals

 Subject to regulations, a person, or any other person acting on their behalf, may appeal to a body identified in regulations made under paragraph 11(1)(i) in respect of any decision

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    (a) relating to the person’s ineligibility for a Canada disability benefit;

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    (b) relating to the amount of a Canada disability benefit that the person has received or will receive; or

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    (c) prescribed by the regulations.

Regulations

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Marginal note:Regulations

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     (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

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      (a) respecting the eligibility criteria for a Canada disability benefit;

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      (b) respecting conditions that are to be met in order to receive or to continue to receive a benefit;

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      (c) respecting the amount of a benefit or the method for determining the amount;

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      (d) requiring a benefit to be indexed to inflation and respecting the manner in which it is to be indexed;

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      (e) respecting payment periods and the amount to be paid each period;

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      (f) respecting applications for a benefit, including regulations providing for an application process that is without barriers, as defined in section 2 of the Accessible Canada Act;

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      (g) respecting the amendment or rescission of decisions made by the Minister;

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      (h) respecting reviews or reconsiderations of decisions made under this Act;

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      (i) respecting appeals;

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      (j) respecting the circumstances in which retroactive payments may be made to persons who do not apply in the time specified in the regulations but are otherwise eligible;

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      (k) respecting applications made on behalf of persons who are incapable of managing their own affairs, payments to those persons and reviews, reconsiderations or appeals commenced on their behalf;

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      (l) respecting the circumstances in which the Minister may deem an applicant or beneficiary to be dead and may determine their date of death if the applicant or beneficiary has disappeared under circumstances that, in the opinion of the Minister, raise beyond a reasonable doubt a presumption that the applicant or beneficiary is dead;

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      (m) respecting the application of this Act when an applicant or beneficiary dies;

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      (n) authorizing the Minister to correct administrative errors;

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      (o) respecting the identification of debts due to Her Majesty in right of Canada;

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      (p) respecting the recovery of overpayments and debts due to Her Majesty in right of Canada, including limitation or prescription periods;

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      (q) establishing offences punishable on summary conviction for the commission of any of the following acts and setting fines or terms of imprisonment or both for such offences:

      • (i) knowingly using false identity information or another person’s identity information for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for themselves,

      • (ii) counselling a person to apply for a benefit with intent to steal all or a substantial part of it,

      • (iii) knowingly making false or misleading representations in relation to an application;

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      (r) establishing a system of administrative monetary penalties applicable to the commission of either or both of the following acts and setting the amounts of those penalties:

      • (i) knowingly making false or misleading representations in relation to an application,

      • (ii) making an application for, and receiving, a benefit while knowingly not being eligible to receive it;

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      (s) adapting section 44.2 of the Old Age Security Act for the purpose of applying that section as adapted to the verification of compliance or the prevention of non-compliance with this Act and to the use of copies as evidence;

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      (t) authorizing the Minister, for any purpose related to verifying compliance or preventing non-compliance with this Act, to require an applicant, a beneficiary or the representative of an applicant or beneficiary who is incapable of managing their own affairs, to be at a suitable place — or to be available by audioconference or videoconference or in any other suitable manner — at a suitable time in order to provide any information or any document that the Minister may require in respect of the application; and

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      (u) generally, for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

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    Marginal note:Amount of benefit

    (1.1) In making regulations under paragraph (1)(c) respecting the amount of a benefit, the Governor in Council must take into consideration

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      (a) the Official Poverty Line as defined in section 2 of the Poverty Reduction Act;

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      (b) the additional costs associated with living with a disability;

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      (c) the challenges faced by those living with a disability in earning an income from work;

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      (d) the intersectional needs of disadvantaged individuals and groups; and

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      (e) Canada’s international human rights obligations.

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    Marginal note:Regulations

    (1.2) Within 12 months of this Act coming into force, the Governor in Council must make regulations under paragraphs 11(1)(a) to (f), (h), (i), (k) and (n) that are necessary to enable a Canada disability benefit to be paid in accordance with this Act.

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    Marginal note:Distinguishing — classes

    (2) Regulations made under subsection (1) may distinguish among different classes of applicants and beneficiaries.

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Marginal note:Collaboration

 The Minister must provide persons with disabilities from a range of backgrounds with meaningful and barrier-free opportunities to collaborate in the development and design of the regulations, including regulations that provide for the application process, eligibility criteria, the amount of a benefit and the appeal process.

Progress Reports

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Marginal note:Engagement and collaboration

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     (1) Within six months after the day on which this Act comes into force, the Minister must table in the House of Commons a report that sets out the manner in which the obligation to engage and collaborate with the disability community in relation to the development of regulations has been implemented.

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    Marginal note:Regulatory process

    (2) Within one year after the day on which this Act comes into force, the Minister must cause to be tabled in each House of Parliament a report on the progress made in the regulatory process.

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    Marginal note:Referral to committee

    (3) The report stands referred to the committee of each House that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.

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    Marginal note:Publication

    (4) The report must be published on the website of the Department of Employment and Social Development.

Parliamentary Review

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Marginal note:Parliamentary review

 As soon as feasible after the first anniversary of the day on which this section comes into force, after the third anniversary of that day and after each subsequent fifth anniversary, a review of this Act and of its administration and operation is to be undertaken by a committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that may be designated or established for that purpose.

R.S., c. 1 (5th Supp.)Consequential Amendment to the Income Tax Act

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 [Amendments]

Coming into Force

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Footnote * This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, but no later than the first anniversary of the day on which it receives royal assent.

 

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