ARCH Disability Law Centre, the Income Security Advocacy Centre, and many other community legal clinics and advocates across Ontario have closely followed the progress of Bill C-22 – Canada Disability Benefit Act as it has moved through Parliament. The Bill is currently before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (SOCI).
Bill C-22 aims to establish a framework for regulations to be made that would create a disability benefit for persons with disabilities across Canada. The Bill was amended at the House of Commons but there are still many concerns. The SOCI Committee has completed its hearings and is currently reviewing the Bill in clause-by-clause. The Committee will review one last clause on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. It will then be up to the Senate to pass the Bill on 3rd reading, after which the Bill will go to the House of Commons. To date, the Committee has adopted four (4) critical amendments to strengthen this Bill which:
- Ensure private insurance companies do not claw-back the disability benefit from anyone eligible;
- Provide the right to appeal a decision of ineligibility or the amount of the benefit received;
- Set a timeline of twelve (12) months for particular regulations to be developed in order to ensure there is no undue delay of the benefit reaching people who need it; and
- Require important factors such as the additional costs of living with a disability and intersectionality be considered when developing regulations concerning the amount of the Canada Disability Benefit.
If you want to support a stronger Bill C-22 with basic and minimum protections, Senators need to hear from you TODAY!