Recognizing that loss of income and the added costs of living with Parkinson’s can severely compromise the financial stability and security of individuals and families, Parkinson Society Canada is advocating for action from the government of Canada to ensure that people don’t face the added pressure and worry of financial instability.
On behalf of Canadians with Parkinson’s, Parkinson Society Canada is working to address two major needs in the area of income security:
- making life for individuals and families more financially secure while they’re living with Parkinson’s; and
- ensuring that families are not left in poverty as a result of having lost a loved one to Parkinson’s.
Parkinson Society Canada is recommending that the Government of Canada revise existing finance policy to make it easier for people with Parkinson’s and caregivers to either retain their income or qualify for tax credits and other programs that would alleviate some of the financial and human costs associated with living with Parkinson’s.
The recommendations include:
- establishing an advisory committee to guide income reform;
- introducing a refundable Disability Tax Credit for low-income Canadians;
- allowing spouses to claim the Caregiver Amount to help offset the costs of caregiving;
- increasing flexibility in Employment Insurance sickness benefits to allow people with chronic conditions to work part-time and receive partial benefits;
- harmonizing the application process for the Disability Tax Credit and the Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits, to help ensure people have access to the programs and services for which they are eligible and to make income security easier to attain; and
- extending CPP provisions to protect the retirement earnings of caregivers who must temporarily leave the workforce to care for someone, without having to worry about compromising their financial security in retirement.
Through the National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions, valuable information about the impact of Parkinson’s on individuals, families and society is being gathered. This information will bolster our efforts to effect policy change so that families living with Parkinson’s experience greater security and support.