Managing your money when living with a disability
Banking when living with a disability
A disability can often increase your expenses and lower your income.
Low-cost or no-cost banking
You may be eligible for a bank account with no or low monthly fees. Low-cost accounts have a maximum of $4 per month in banking fees. No-cost accounts are available to people who are registered disability savings plan beneficiaries.
Using banking services to manage your money
When you’re living with a disability, you may find it easier to manage your money if you:
- get your benefits deposited directly into your bank account
- set up pre-authorized debits to pay your regular bills
- make payments using online or mobile banking
Ask your financial institution about other ways to help you manage your money. Check if there is a fee for these services.
Make a budget and manage your debt
You may have a limited income when living with a disability.
Create a budget to make sure you have enough money to:
- pay for household expenses
- pay your bills
- make loan payments
- save for future needs
Manage your debts
It may be difficult to make payments on your debts when living with a disability.
Try and make at least the minimum payments on your debts. If you don't make the minimum payments, it could hurt your credit history.
Save using a registered disability savings plan
A registered disability savings plan (RDSP) is a savings account for people with severe and prolonged disabilities. It's registered with the federal government.
Here are some things you should know about RDSPs:
- you may be eligible for grants and bonds to help you save in an RDSP
- you can hold investments in an RDSP
- the money earned from investments in an RDSP isn't taxed until you withdraw it
Canada Disability Savings Grant
When you or another person contribute to a registered disability savings plan (RDSP), you can apply for the Canada Disability Savings Grant. The grant adds money to your RDSP. The amount depends on how much you contribute and your family income.
The grant money must stay in your RDSP for 10 years before you can withdraw it. If you withdraw it early, you must pay some of it back.
Canada Disability Savings Bond
You may be eligible for a Canada Disability Savings Bond if you have a low income. The bond adds money to your registered disability savings plan (RDSP). You don’t have to contribute to your RDSP to get the bond. The bond may add up to $1,000 per year to your RDSP, up to a maximum of $20,000 in payments during your lifetime. You can get the bond until the year you turn 49 years old.
Payments from your registered disability savings plan
The payments you get from a registered disability savings plan (RDSP) don’t affect your eligibility for Government of Canada benefits.
These benefits include:
- Old Age Security
- Guaranteed Income Supplement
- Canada child tax benefit
Provinces and territories may include part of your RDSP payments when determining if you're eligible for provincial or territorial benefits.
Power of attorney
You may consider giving someone else control of your finances if you feel you need help or aren't able to manage them on your own. You give someone else control by signing a power of attorney document.
If you're caring for a person with a disability and have power of attorney, make sure you understand your responsibilities.
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