Disabled citizens lose once again, unfairly blamed in CPP Changes

For immediate release

14 February 1997

Winnipeg—Receiving CPP disability benefits becomes extremely difficult for future disabled applicants and recipients as a result of the changes announced by the Government of Canada and eight of ten provincial governments. "Disability benefits have been scapegoated as one of the causes of the insecurity of the Canada Pension Plan," said Allan Simpson, a past Chairperson of CCD.

Whereas the Government of Canada and eight out of ten Canadian provinces and the territories have announced their agreement to change the CPP to secure its future, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) predicts that the proposed changes will increase our poverty. This continues the trend of eroding the citizenship rights and financial security of people with disabilities across the country.

These changes single out persons with disabilities by increasing the eligibility period. Before this change one had to work two out of the last three or five out of the last ten years to qualify for a pension. Now one has to work at least four out of the last six years to even apply. "This hits hard people with disabilities who have not been able to find long term, stable employment," said Angelo Nikias, a member of CCD's Social Policy Working Group.

Equally devastating is the reduction of the level of benefits for people with disabilities when they reach retirement age, because now the calculation of a disabled person's retirement pension will not be fully indexed.

Canadians with disabilities object to the proposed abolition of the Canada Pension Plan Advisory Board which has provided community input into the administration of the Canada Pension Plan. "Whatever little opportunity for input we had, is now gone," said Eric Norman, Chairperson of CCD. Again this follows the pattern whereby governments consult less with citizens.

CCD is a national self-help organization of persons with disabilities.


For more information, contact :

Allan Simpson, Angelo Nikias and Eric Norman
at the Sheraton Hotel on Saturday and Sunday.
Tel: 204-942-5300 (Manitoba Ballroom A.)
From Monday onwards CCD office Tel: 204-947-0303.