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HUMA Committee Report

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LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS

 

As a result of their deliberations committees may make recommendations which they include in their reports for the consideration of the House of Commons or the Government. Recommendations related to this study are listed below.

Recommendation 1

That Employment and Social Development Canada work with other federal government departments and agencies to develop and include an episodic disability awareness and accommodation module as part of the accessibility strategy for the public service.

Recommendation 2

That Employment and Social Development Canada establish a dedicated funding stream through programs such as Social Development Partnerships and the Opportunities Fund for organizations representing and serving people with episodic disabilities in order to develop targeted employment supports for both employers and workers.

Recommendation 3

That Employment and Social Development Canada, along with people with lived experience of episodic disabilities and the organizations that represent them, and representatives from the employer community, study a range of incentives for employers that could offset costs associated with accommodating employees with episodic disabilities.

Recommendation 4

That Employment and Social Development Canada review and reform Employment Insurance sickness benefits to better support people with disabilities, including episodic disabilities. To this end, reforms must consider:

  • allowing workers to claim benefits in smaller units (hours or days) rather than weeks;
  • reducing the number of hours worked required to qualify;
  • extending the duration of benefits beyond 15 weeks; and
  • international best practices.

Recommendation 5

That Employment and Social Development Canada work with Finance Canada to review the eligibility criteria of the Canada Pension Plan disability benefit with a view to:

  • shifting the emphasis from the medical model concepts of "severe" and "prolonged" towards the social model concept of being able to work productively and gainfully on a regular basis; and
  • encouraging re-entering employment by promoting vocational rehabilitation programs and rapid requalification for benefits as needed.

Recommendation 6

That Employment and Social Development Canada work closely with Canada Pension Plan disabiity to review appeal mechanisms to ensure openness and transparency and that appellants can be accompanied by an advocate in their appeal process.

Recommendation 7

That Employment and Social Development Canada work with Finance Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency to ensure that individuals can keep all Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond contributions made to their Registered Disability Savings Plans for periods in which they qualified for the Disability Tax Credit.

Recommendation 8

That Employment and Social Development Canada work with the Canada Revenue Agency to review administrative requirements imposed on recipients of disability benefits with a view to streamlining reporting requirements.

Recommendation 9

That the federal government consider amending the Income Tax Act to ensure that recipients of the Canada Pension Plan disability benefits are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.

Recommendation 10

That the Canada Revenue Agency consider making changes to how it assesses reapplications for the Disability Tax Credit from individuals who were eligible for the Disability Tax Credit in the previous tax year, in order to ensure that they are not denied if they have not experienced a marked reduction in the impairment they experience as a result of their disability since they were last approved.

Recommendation 11

That Employment and Social Development Canada work with Finance Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency and provincial/territorial governments to review the system of disability income supports and employment services programs recognizing the following:

  • that people with episodic disabilities need access to employment supports;
  • that people with episodic disabilities need access to income support during periods when they are unable to work;
  • the benefits of a single window approach that delivers accessible, flexible and portable employment and income supports;
  • associated non-income benefits (e.g. prescription drugs, housing subsidies, vison care) should continue when earned income replaces income supports; and
  • that people applying for programs need to be able to communicate with governments both orally and in writing.