Who can open a plan and apply for grants and bonds

Who can open a plan and apply for grants and bonds

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Beneficiary and holder of the plan

The plan beneficiary is the person who is approved for the Disability Tax Credit that will receive the money in the future.

The plan holder is the person who opens and manages the plan.

The beneficiary and holder can be the same or different people.

Both the plan holder and the beneficiary must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Beneficiaries under the age of majority

The age of majority is either 18 or 19, depending on your province or territory. The plan holder can be a parent, legal representative or public department.

Adult beneficiaries who can open a plan themselves

If an adult beneficiary can enter into a contract and they do not need a legal representative, they must be the holder of their plan.

The beneficiary's financial organization will help determine if the beneficiary can open a plan themselves.

Adult beneficiaries who can't open a plan by themselves

If an adult beneficiary cannot open a plan due to concerns about their ability to enter into a contract, a legal representative must be the holder of their RDSP. If they do not have a legal representative, certain family members can open a plan on their behalf and be the plan holder.

A qualifying family member could be the beneficiary's:

  • spouse
  • common-law partner
  • parent
  • adult sibling

Note: A legal representative (including a guardian, a curator, an agency, an institution or a public department) is legally authorized to act on behalf of the beneficiary through the provincial or territorial laws where the beneficiary lives.

Changing the plan holder to another person

A beneficiary can only have one plan. Each plan only has one beneficiary. If you would like to have the holder of a plan changed to another person (including the beneficiary), the existing plan holder must make a request with their financial organization.

The beneficiary must meet the criteria

To open a plan, the beneficiary must:

You need to meet all of the above to be eligible to open a plan.

Open a plan and apply for grants and bonds

Apply for grants and bonds when opening a plan. The amount of grant or bond you receive depends on your family income and the amount you contribute.

You can receive grants and bonds until December 31 of the year you turn 49.

If you are between the ages of 49 and 59

After December 31 of the year you turn 49, you are no longer eligible to receive the grant or bond from the government.

You can still open a plan until December 31 of the year you turn 59 and still benefit from contributions being tax-sheltered. In addition, contributions and money held in your plan do not impact your eligibility for provincial or territorial benefits.

Open a plan with a financial organization

An RDSP can be opened at a bank, an investment firm or a credit union that offers the plan, including, but not limited to the following institutions:

You do not need an existing account with one of these financial organizations to open an RDSP with them.

Once you have selected the financial organization of your choice, you can call and ask about opening an RDSP and applying for the Grant and Bond.

Although other financial services providers (such as financial planners or credit unions) are not listed here, they may still be able to open an RDSP. Please contact the financial services provider you are interested in working with directly to find out if they can open an RDSP.

Alternative – Watch videos on this topic

How to open a plan (video)

The video describes who can open an RDSP and benefit from it and who can make contributions, helping Canadians living with disabilities and their families become more financially secure.


Dan: Do you have a disability? Do you have a child with a disability?

Jessie: Then you should know about the Registered Disability Savings Plan, or RDSP.

Dan: It's a federal government program that helps Canadians with disabilities…

Jessie: … and their families…

Dan: … to save for the future.

You can contribute as much as you want to a Registered Disability Savings Plan each year, up to a lifetime limit of $200,000. The earnings from the Plan build tax-free until taken out of the plan.

Jessie: You can open an RDSP at participating financial institutions, such as a bank or credit union.

Dan: And you can open an RDSP at any time until December 31 of the year that the beneficiary turns 59. The beneficiary is the person who will be receiving money from the plan.

Jessie: Anyone can put money into an RDSP if they have permission from the person who manages the plan. Adults usually manage their own plan. A parent can manage their child's RDSP.

Dan: Having an RDSP does not affect your federal benefits, but you should contact your provincial or territorial government to make sure other benefits are not affected.

Jessie: To learn more about the Registered Disability Savings Plan, watch the full series of RDSP online videos.

Dan: For detailed information, such as a list of participating financial institutions or eligibility criteria, visit www.esdc.gc.ca/disabilitysavings.

Jessie: Or call 1 800 O-Canada, that's 1-800-622-6232.

Dan: If you use a teletypewriter, call 1-800-926-9105.

Jessie: Good job dad!

Dan: Alright!

Jessie: Yeah!

Dan: Nice!

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