Financial Resource Information – FAQs
Having to make a decision about finances is not always easy but we are here to help. Here are a list of some commonly asked questions and answers; however, feel free to ask your Social Worker if you have more questions, she will be able to help you understand your options.
Registered Disability Savings Plan
Never heard of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)? Not to worry, we’re here to provide you with more information.
Canada has introduced the world’s first Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) which is a plan designed specifically for people with disabilities in Canada. The RDSP became available in financial institutions in December 2008. This new tax-deferred savings preparation is intended to assist parents and families in planning for the long-term financial security of their relatives with disabilities.
Do I Qualify And Where Can I Sign Up?
If you are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, are under the age of 60, have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN), and have filed your tax return for the last two years, you are now eligible for a RDSP! To find out more information please contact your CF social worker or visit the financial institutions that offer the Registered Disability Savings Plan.
Canada Pension Plan
Have you contributed to Canada Pension Plan (CPP)? If so, you might be eligible for CPP Disability (CPPD) benefits.
The CPPD plan is available to you if your illness falls into the category “severe and prolonged”. Oftentimes, if you qualify for an LTD package, your insurance carrier will ask you to apply to your CPPD plan to see if you can also receive benefits from them. Keep in mind, if you do qualify, your insurance amount will be reduced to inocorporate what CPPD is providing so your overall amount will be the same. If you are eligible for CPPD it is mandated by insurance companies that you apply. You can call Revenue Canada before applying to see what your monthly payout would be.
Disability Tax Credit
The Canadian government is offering a disability tax credit for people with disabilities. This online guide created by Cystic Fibrosis Canada may be a helpful tool to explore. A qualified professional, usually your physician, will have to certify that you have a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment which restricts your activities of daily living. A disability amount may be claimed if you meet the requirements.
- You are 18 years of age or older.
- If you have a permanent or prolonged disability in mental or physical functions.
- You have marked restriction in one or more of the following areas: speaking, hearing, walking, elimination (bowel or bladder functions), feeding, or dressing.
- You require life sustaining therapy.
What Do They Mean By Life Sustaining Therapy?
Individuals receiving extensive therapy for a minimum of 14 hours a week qualify under ‘life sustaining therapy’. Specifically for cystic fibrosis patients, physiotherapy treatment for airway clearance and inhaled nebulized antibiotics can be counted as hours towards the minimum weekly requirement for life sustaining therapy. Please visit the Canada Revenue Agency for a Disability Tax Credit Application or ask your social worker for more information.
You may be eligible to receive Employment Insurance (EI) or Sickness benefits (SB). Talk to your CF social worker to help make the right decision for you.
Employment Insurance (EI) provides temporary financial assistance for unemployed Canadians while they look for work or upgrade their skills, as well as Canadians who are sick, pregnant or need to care for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death. Regular benefits can be paid if you lose your job through no fault of your own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and you are available for and able to work but you can’t find a job.
You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in your region at the time of filing your claim and the amount of insurable hours you have accumulated in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is shorter. Please note that If you filed a claim for benefits within the last 52 weeks, you may be able to reactivate this claim. In most cases you must have worked a minimum of 420 to 700 insurable hours to be eligible to collect EI. (Currently with COVID-19 pandemic, these rules do not apply. Current rules https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit.html Till Sep 2021; Sickness benefits – current rules in place till Sep 25, 2021 https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness/qualify.html) However, it depends on where you live in Canada and the unemployment rate in your economic region at the time of filing your claim.
Sickness benefits (SB) are paid to those who are unable to work due to sickness or injury. You may be eligible if you have an illness or injury that is preventing you from working. You will need a medical certificate from your doctor to qualify. Sick benefits can be paid up to a maximum of 15 weeks. To apply for either EI or SB you can submit an application online (see below) or in person, even if you receive or will receive money when you become unemployed. You will have to provide proof of your employment (such as: pay stubs, cancelled pay cheques, T4 slip, work schedules). If possible, EI will use the proof to calculate your claim. If you are applying for maternity, parental, compassionate care, or sickness benefits, you should apply as soon as you stop working. Delay in filing your claim for benefits beyond 4 weeks after your last day of work may cause loss of benefits.
Documents required for claiming EI include:
- Social insurance number (SIN)
- Record of employment (ROE), personal identification.
- Complete bank information.
- A medical certificate
- Detailed facts and information about your most recent employment and medical facts as to why you have been dismissed from your job.
For more information please ask to speak to your social worker or call Service Canada directly at 1-800-206-7218.
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is a program provided by the Ontario Government that provides support to individuals with a proven disability who are in financial need. It is intended to meet the needs of people with disabilities and help them to become more independent. It has two parts: it provides financial assistance to people with disabilities and the Employment Supports portion of ODSP provides support for people with disabilities to obtain and keep a job. To meet the eligibility requirements, you must:
- Be a resident of Ontario
- Be over the age of 18
- Qualify financially
- Have a substantial physical and/or mental impairment which is expected to last at least 12 months or more.
- The impairment limits the person’s ability to complete activities of daily living in at least one of the following areas: personal care, activities in the community or activities in the workplace.
Ontario Works (OW)
If you need money right away for food and housing, Ontario Works might be able to help you.
Ontario Works provides financial and employment assistance to people in temporary financial need. People receiving assistance through Ontario Works are expected to participate in a wide range of employment assistance activities which help them prepare for, find, and keep a job.
Costs & Drug Coverage Information
Find more information on the financial support available for medication on the medication & drug access page, under the Living with CF heading.