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STATEMENT on Canada Disability Benefit in Federal Budget 2024


April 16, 2024

“It’s good to see the federal government taking a step forward on the Canada Disability Benefit.

The maximum benefit is significantly lower than many were expecting, including what the PBO estimated would be enough to close the gap between provincial benefits and the poverty threshold. It is unclear whether the benefit amount will vary based on the severity of a person’s disability.

It’s concerning that there was little acknowledgement of the inherent value of work, as well as the benefits, both financial and non-financial, that come from employment. However, the government is right to mention phase-out rates, which hopefully will mean that clawbacks won’t create a disincentive to work.

Without more detail, it is difficult to judge how effective this benefit will be. The budget indicates that the government will be continuing to consult on the implementation of the Canada Disability Benefit. It must ensure that access to work is a first-order goal of the benefit, as Cardus recommended in July 2023.

Cardus research has shown that paid work is important for people with disabilities—as it is for everyone—not only for financial security, but also for thriving in other ways. Having a job is associated with better physical and mental health, strong family relationships, and greater involvement in the community. Further, our research has found that, unsurprisingly, people with disabilities want to work, and most are able to do so. Employing their talents is essential for them to thrive, and for the economic growth of our country.”

  • Renze Nauta, Work & Economics Program Director at Cardus, a public policy think tank

Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus – Director of Communications

Cardus – Imagination toward a thriving society
Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society’s institutions can work together for the common good.