Disability and Poverty: Social Justice Implementation of the Canadian Disability Benefit

Full Title: Disability and Poverty: Addressing the economics of Social Justice through the implementation of the Canadian Disability Benefit

Imagine yourself in the shoes of a person living with a disability; as you navigate the barriers to accessibility and inclusivity in the community, you are also struggling with the rising costs of living for day-to-day items, lack of accessible and affordable housing, and inadequate support services. But that’s not all—there are extra costs associated with managing your disability including non-covered healthcare services, assistive devices, and personal supports. Now imagine trying to manage all those expenses on a yearly income of $12,250, the typical income for a Canadian with a disability.

This is the reality for over one million Canadians with disabilities. In Canada, where we pride ourselves on our drive for a more socially just society, it is disheartening to see a significant portion of our fellow citizens struggling to make ends meet. According to a report put out by Statistics Canada in 2021, 16.5% of people with disabilities lived in poverty. This compares to 8.6% of people without disabilities who lived in poverty.

The Canadian Disability Benefit (CDB) is a crucial step towards elevating people with disabilities out of poverty in Canada. It will provide much-needed financial assistance tailored to their unique needs and challenges and will significantly improve their quality of life. However, this has not been a priority for the Federal government since 2020, and Canadians with disabilities can no longer afford to wait. We need the CDB to be budgeted for and implemented now, in 2024.

ABLE2 joins The Daily Bread Food Bank and over 40 other organizations in the Fund the Benefit campaign, to urge the Government of Canada to include funding for the CDB in their 2024 budget. Budgeting for and implementing the CDB this year is about staying true to our commitment to a more socially just society. It’s about providing people with disabilities the opportunity to improve their quality of life, and to be treated with dignity and respect.

Today, as we celebrate the World Day of Social Justice, I urge you to act now. Rally your communities, write your MP, tell them to include the CDB in the 2024 budget. Our fellow citizens with disabilities should not live another year in poverty. Everyone deserves the ability to live a fulfilling life and be seen as able, important, and valued.


Disability without Poverty. “2023 Disability Poverty Report Card.” 02 June 2022.

Statistics Canada. “Housing Experiences in Canada: Persons with Disabilities.” 10 June 2022.

CBC News. “Financial Support to Keep People with Disabilities Housed Falls Short of What’s Needed: Advocates.” 23 July 2023.

Published by

Heather Lacey

Experienced Non-Profit Executive Director

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