House of Commons adopts legislation for a Canada Disability Benefit

News release

February 2, 2023   Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada 

The Canada Disability Benefit (CDB) has the potential to transform the lives of working-age persons with disabilities. In Canada, persons with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty and have trouble making ends meet. This cornerstone of the Government’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) is now one step closer to becoming a reality.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that Bill C-22, the ground-breaking legislation for a new Canada Disability Benefit, passed third reading and was unanimously adopted in the House of Commons. Bill C-22 will now move to the Senate for consideration where it will be sponsored by Senator Brent Cotter.

In the spirit of Nothing Without Us, Bill C-22 recognizes the importance of engaging with the disability community. The Government will continue working with the disability community, stakeholders, Indigenous organizations, and the provinces and territories to inform the design of the proposed benefit, its regulations and to  ensure it helps as many people as possible.


“With Bill C-22, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new benefit that will lift many working-age Canadians with disabilities out of poverty. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to keep the momentum up. In Canada, no person with a disability should live in poverty.”    

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“I am both proud and honoured to be the sponsor for Bill C-22 in the Senate. The creation of a Canada Disability Benefit that will support so many Canadians is an historic achievement that will significantly further our country’s goal to be fully inclusive to all.”

– Senator Brent Cotter 

Quick facts

  • According to the most recent Canadian Survey on Disability (2017), nearly 917,000 (23%) working-age Canadians with disabilities live in poverty. Persons with severe disabilities (28%) and very severe disabilities (34%) are particularly vulnerable and experience a high rate of poverty.

  • The same survey found that Canadians with disabilities—including women, men, LGBTQ2 people, racialized people and Indigenous people—are more likely to be financially insecure than other Canadians:

    • 25 percent of Canadians with disabilities spend more than 30% of their total income on shelter costs;
    • Fifty-nine percent of Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 have gainful employment, compared to 80% of Canadians without disabilities; and
    • Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 earn less than Canadians without disabilities (12% less for Canadians with milder disabilities and 51% less for Canadians with more severe disabilities).

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Tara Beauport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

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Employment and Social Development Canada

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