Disability Benefit Support Overwhelming: POLL

This is a release from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute:

As Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland prepares to deliver the federal government’s budget next week, she does so under increasing pressure to follow through on a promise made by her government to address the financial concerns of Canadians living with disability.

More than a third of the Liberal caucus have signed a letter addressed to Freeland asking for the budget to fund the Canada Disability Benefit, a form of financial support for those living with disability signed into law last June after years of discussion.

New data from a survey conducted by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute in partnership with Daily Bread and Disability Without Poverty finds overwhelming support for the benefit, but criticism from Canadians at the pace of implementation and doubt that the federal government will follow through.

Overall, nine-in-ten (91%) say they support the proposed Canada Disability Benefit, including at least four-in-five of past Conservative voters (83%), and nearly all past Liberal (98%), NDP (99%) and Bloc Québécois (98%) voters.

Support has increased slightly from 2021, when 88 per cent said they supported the Canada Disability Benefit as proposed. Perhaps that’s why there is a sense among a majority of Canadians (71%) that the government is moving too slow enacting it.

The concept of the benefit was first discussed by the federal government in 2020, but it took until 2023 for parliament to pass a bill to enact it into law. This pace may be fueling doubt that the Canada Disability Benefit will ever be implemented. Only one-in-20 (5%) say they are confident the federal government will follow through, while 45 per cent doubt it will and 13 per cent say they are certain the benefit will never be distributed.

Meanwhile, there are many key details of the Canada Disability Benefit – eligibility, the amount of the benefit, and whether provincial governments will claw back existing supports – left to be decided. A plurality (37%) of Canadians believe eligibility should be automatic for those living with disability who are enrolled in provincial government programs. As well, two-thirds (65%) say those provincial supports should be maintained after the federal benefit is implemented.

  • More Key Findings:
    Three-in-five (58%) say the Canada Disability Benefit should set a minimum income level above the poverty line. Half as many Canadians (31%) believe instead it should be equal to the poverty line.
  • Most Canadians (61%) believe current financial support available to Canadians living with disabilities is inadequate (38%) or far too little (23%).
  • Three-in-five (60%) Canadians living with a health issue that severely limits their day-to-day activities say they are often (35%) or all the time (25%) stressed about money.
  • Link to the poll here: www.angusreid.org/


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