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Planning a secure financial future for yourself or your loved-one with a disability  

27 May 2019
Submitted by Plan Institute.

Disability is financially challenging for individuals and families. Therefore, it is vastly important that people living with disabilities and their families have access to all of the government benefits that they are entitled to, and have a solid financial plan in place for the future. One of the most impactful financial tools available to people with disabilities is the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), which offers both a long-term savings plan, as well as the opportunity to take advantage of up to $90,000 in grants and bonds provided by the federal government.   
Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness and subsequent lack of uptake of the RDSP. The good news is, there are many resources and tools available to those who are interested in opening an RDSP. Below you’ll find a brief overview of what the RDSP is, how it may help to secure the financial future of those living with disabilities, as well as how to access resources to help you throughout your RDSP journey!  
What is the RDSP?
The RDSP is a Canada-wide, registered matched savings plan specifically for people with disabilities. It is designed as a long-term savings plan to help the beneficiary be better financially prepared for their future.  
Who qualifies for the RDSP?   
To open an RDSP, you must:
  1. Have a Social Insurance Number  
  2. Qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and the Canada Child Tax Benefit if under 19 years of age.  
  3. File your income tax returns   
  4. Choose the Holder (the person who makes the financial decisions)  
  5. Be younger than 60  
Why is the RDSP more advantageous than other savings plans? 
Of course, with any financial opportunity, you must choose a plan that is right for you and your family. That being said, the RDSP offers many advantages and opportunities for growth that other savings plans do not. For example, When you open an RDSP, you can take advantage of up to $90,000 of free money the federal government may provide in the form of the Canada Disability Savings Bond and the Canada Disability Savings Grant.  

The CDSB is money the Government of Canada contributes to the RDSPs of low-income Canadians. If you qualify for the Bond, you can receive up to $1,000 a year, depending on family income, with a maximum lifetime limit of $20,000. You don’t need to contribute any money to the RDSP to receive the Bond! 

You can also get free money for your RDSP with the CDSG. If you are able to contribute to your  RDSP, the Government of Canada will give a matching grant of up to 300%. Matching rates are based on your income and how much you deposit, to an annual limit of $3,500 and a lifetime limit of $70,000 in extra free money to top off the savings that are put in.  
How and where does one open an RDSP? 
First, ensure you meet the criteria above. If you do not already receive the Disability Tax Credit and would like more information or help applying, please call our friends at Disability Alliance BC (1-800-663-1278). If you’re ready to open your RDSP, please give our Disability Planning Helpline a call at 1-844-311-7526 – our Advisors will happily walk you through the process!  
For a list of financial institutions that offer the RDSP, visit:  
Additional resources 
This tool offers a wealth of information on the RDSP, organized by category so you can easily navigate to what you want to know!  

The RDSP Calculator is a tool to help you assess the potential of opening and contributing to an RDSP. By answering a few simple questions, the RDSP Calculator can help you project the estimated future value of an RDSP, and the approximate value of future withdrawal payments. 
We offer free, informative tele-seminars that may be attended from anywhere in Canada. Please note, all sessions have closed for the spring – sessions will resume in the fall, so please check back for dates and registration information!  

  • The Disability Planning Helpline - 1-844-311-7526  
Canadians may call our toll-free Disability Planning Helpline at any time to receive one-to-one support from one of our helpful Advisors. | 1-844-311-7526