Author Topic: Canada - Registered Disability Savings Plan - Get This!  (Read 3283 times)

scrubbyfish

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Canada - Registered Disability Savings Plan - Get This!
« on: November 19, 2013, 12:25:16 AM »
I did a search, and saw no references to this phenomenal option for folks living full or part time in Canada, so share I must!

If you have a disability and live in Canada some or all of the time, or have a loved one with a disability who lives in Canada some or all of the time, definitely get this! Beneficiaries between the ages of birth and 49 benefit the most, but folks older than that do, too.

The government's contribution on your initial portion is up to 300%. And you can contribute retroactively and still get the contribution for those years.

There are too many advantages/benefits of this option for me to type, but here are two great sites that spell a bunch of it out: 
http://rdspresource.ca/index.php/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-rdsp/
http://www.tdwaterhouse.ca/products-services/investing/td-direct-investing/accounts/rdsp/FAQ.jsp

Note: Please don't be put off by the DTC requirements. The form is a bit silly, and the DTC is available to a wider range of people than the form lets on. For more info or for help walking through it, talk to the place linked to above or your local advocate via http://www.povnet.org/find-an-advocate.

starfish

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Re: Canada - Registered Disability Savings Plan - Get This!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 03:52:34 PM »
I didn't see evidence that the DTC is available to a wider range of people than the form lets on.  On that last link I didn't see any specific advocate to contact who would seem appropriate for asking about the DTC form.  Did you see something particular there you could link to?  211 seemed like maybe, but it wasn't clear.  I didn't try talking to the banks yet, but I'll call this week.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Canada - Registered Disability Savings Plan - Get This!
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 10:29:20 PM »
Hi Starfish!

I'm not sure what you mean by "evidence that...".

To clarify what I meant: The DTC form asks questions about ability to dress oneself, feed oneself, etc. This makes it sound like a person must have, for example, a severe physical impairment. Or, when applying on behalf of a child, it could be argued that any two year old requires assistance for dressing, eating, etc. However, plenty of children and adults with diagnoses such as ADHD, or various forms of mental illness, or high functioning autism, etc, receive the DTC. This is where an advocate is so important. An advocate can help you "translate" your circumstances so the government can understand the impact of your disability. It's the impact -including on personal organization, ability to remember medications, etc- that counts.

Most of the agencies listed in the PovNet link should be able to assist. An almost sure bet, though, is BC Coalition of Persons with Disabilities. If you're in BC, they should be able to help you (if you or your child do indeed qualify). If you're not in BC, they might be able to refer you to their equivalent in your province.

I believe 211 simply refers callers to resources, such as advocacy organizations.

There's no need to talk to any banks at this stage. They can do nothing until the DTC form is complete and that designation approved. Save your energy on that for now :)

starfish

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Re: Canada - Registered Disability Savings Plan - Get This!
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 01:42:07 PM »
When I looked there for an advocate in Ontario, I didn't find any listings that are comparable to the one you mention.  There is an agency (not listed there) that I encountered before that seems to try to help you scam the government with nefarious practices to get the DTC and then takes 10% of what you get back from them (you can claim 10 years back of disability at once).  I'll call the BC organization and see if they recommend anyone in Ontario.  We asked a tax person, and a psychiatrist around here about what would qualify, and it didn't seem like our situation did, despite being more severe that simply ADHD.  The parameters for mental issues are less defined than phsyical disabilites, but the psychiatrist we spoke to had specifically worked on the approvals board for the government and said he knew what gets approved or disapproved.  So, I'm skeptical of the DTC being available to a wider range of people... and yet I hear cases of anesthesiologists with ADHD making 100+K getting the DTC.  So its very confusing. 

scrubbyfish

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Re: Canada - Registered Disability Savings Plan - Get This!
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 02:27:51 PM »
Hi Starfish (funny that you and I are both fish, yes?).

You are right to be confused! All disability-related benefits tend to be hit and miss, as you note, with some people getting some of them, and others not.

Much depends on these factors (below I am referring not specifically to the DTC, but to various disability benefit programs within Canada):

-how willing you are to reveal all of your struggles (psychologically and emotionally, this can be a very difficult process and a real barrier for many people, as well as for the advocates who are attempting to help them with an application)

-the skill and knowledge of those supporting the application; in BC, some of the most well-meaning physicians will inadvertently kill a patient's chances of receiving benefits by wording things in a way the government can't see past. For example, many applications require that a person never be able to work again. That's absurd, as there are always developments in health research and *anyone* might work again. Doctors do not generally like to write a person off, though, nor to state that a person's situation is basically hopeless. The heart, intention, morality, and truth are all present -but unless the doctor *says* there is no expectation of employability, it's over. Ditto things like "employability". This word has a different definition for each application -the definition is always set out in the legal act and regulations relating to the benefit- but if an applicant, support person, or physician do not look this definition up and consider how it applies, it's over. This is where an advocate -preferably one who can be in direct communication with the doctor- is important. These folks are familiar with a program's legal definitions, intentions, etc, and can help you determine and -if applicable- demonstrate your eligibility.

-the education, awareness, and biases of those reviewing the application. Where this is an issue, and for BC's disability benefits it is in over 50% of cases, an appeal is necessary.

I once read this excellent saying, "Asking a mental health consumer to use the current mental health system is like asking a person with
quadriplegia to use stairs." I find this to be heartbreakingly accurate. But if you can get solid support, applications for different benefits can be worth it.

For sure not everyone is eligible for the DTC. Not even everyone with a disability is. But too many people give up upon first glance at disability-related forms, not realizing that the wording of the questions doesn't run the show. It's the answers that are more relevant, and a cover letter getting the details across can go a long way.

Yes, it is unlikely that you would need to use a fee-based service. I have no reason to believe they use nefarious practices -and these service providers are essential where there is no effective government-funded advocacy agency available to help- but using a free one nets you more, of course, and can be just as effective.

starfish

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Re: Canada - Registered Disability Savings Plan - Get This!
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 07:14:42 AM »
There is one company that a friend of mine paid (a % of what they won) to help them.  She was very happy with it - but I looked up their company online and they have a history of nefarious actions.  I'll call that place in BC - still havent' gotten around to it.  Hopefully they can recommend someone in Ontario.