Letter: You can help the disabled!

Editor, the Gauntlet,

No one knows if or when you or a loved one could become disabled and unable to work. If you should become disabled, you will probably end up on a combination of provincial and federal disability benefits. Did you know that provincial disability benefits are non taxable, but the federal disability pension is considered taxable income? This means that if you were lucky enough to have been employed, you will end up with fewer discretionary dollars each month than if you had never worked.

Each province has a policy similar to Alberta’s Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped policy which states: “Canada Pension Plan income is considered at gross level because income tax deductions are not mandatory.” Also, each province has a policy that disabled persons need to have a certain dollar amount each month to be able to live in that province. If the provinces use the CPP net level, the provincial taxpayers would end up paying the disabled persons’ income tax, then topping up the dollar amount to the dollar amount that each province states they have designated that people need to have to live on in that province. This would be unfair to all citizens.

The federal government Canada Pension Plan Disability Pension Guide states: “Your CPP disability pension is considered taxable income.” The federal government needs to change the CPP disability pension to become the CPP disability benefit and make these monies non taxable in the same way that provincial disability monies are non taxable. Pensions are taxable, benefits are not.

To help, please write or email Prime Minister Harper at pm@pm.gc.ca or write to Office of the Prime Minister, 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A2, and tell him to change the CPP disability pension to a benefit and make it non taxable, so that disabled persons are treated fairly whether they are on provincial or federal disability programs.

Sharon Malott

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