COVID-19 One time Disability payment - Privacy compliance evaluation summary

Benefit Programs Directorate
Assessment and Benefit Services Branch

Government institution

Canada Revenue Agency

Government official responsible for the PCE

Frank Vermaeten
Assistant Commissioner
Assessment and Benefit Services Branch

Head of the government institution or Delegate for section 10 of the Privacy Act

Steven Morgan
Director General
Access to Information and Privacy Directorate

Name of program or activity of the government institution


Institution specific classes of record:

Individual Returns and Payment Processing

Benefit Programs - Canada Child Benefits and other Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Programs and Supplements

Benefit Programs - Disability Tax Credit (DTC) Program

Benefit Programs - Children's Special Allowances (CSA) Program

Institution specific personal information banks:

Individual Returns and Payment Processing

Canada Child Benefits

Disability Tax Credit (DTC) Program

Children’s Special Allowances

Legal authority for program or activity

Section 241(4) h.1 of the Income Tax Act (ITA) allows the CRA to use, or provide to an official of a department or agency of the Government of Canada, taxpayer information solely for a purpose relating to the administration or enforcement of a program to provide a one-time payment to persons with disabilities for reasons related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to the extent that the information is relevant for the purpose.

The legal authority to collect information from Veterans Affairs Canada is covered by the letter of delegation which delegates to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) officials the exercise of any power, or the performance of any duty or function, necessary to receive from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) the List of those persons identified by VAC under relevant VAC disability programs for the purpose of administering the one-time payment for persons with a disability.

The Social Insurance Number (SIN), originally collected by the CRA for the purposes of administering the Disability Tax Credit, will be provided by the CRA to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to identify those persons with disabilities who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.

Information on the CSA beneficiaries is released under paragraph 10(2)(b) of the Children’s Special Allowances (CSA) Act.

Section 61 of the Canada Revenue Agency Act allows the CRA to implement agreements with other federal, provincial and territorial governments for the purpose of carrying out an activity or program administered by the CRA.

ESDC has delegated their authority under section 11 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA).


The federal government has introduced legislation to the Income Tax Act (ITA) and the Children’s Special Allowances (CSA) Act to help individuals with a disability who are impacted by COVID-19.

This one-time payment to persons with disabilities is a non-taxable, non-reportable, one-time payment of up to $600 to individuals who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) or are beneficiaries of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability benefits, Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability benefits, or one of the disability supports provided by Veteran Affairs Canada.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has been tasked with administering this one-time COVID-19 benefit. The one-time payment was issued by ESDC on October 30 2020. A supplementary payment will be issued in early 2021 to allow for individuals who are qualified to apply for a DTC certificate if they have not already done so.

As noted below, ESDC will require information from multiple government sources to administer this payment. As this one-time benefit encompasses many potentially overlapping programs the social insurance number (SIN) has been determined to be the most efficient and reliable form of identification to avoid duplicate payments.

Service Canada is the holder of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability benefits and has been providing information on their eligible beneficiaries directly to ESDC.

Retraite Quebec is the holder of the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability benefits and will be providing information on their eligible beneficiaries directly to ESDC.

Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) is the holder of the Veterans disability supports programs, and will be providing their list of eligible beneficiaries to the CRA. VAC is responsible for preparing a list of all the eligible beneficiaries of its disability support programs. Most of VAC’s disability benefits are non-taxable and VAC does not have the authority to collect the SIN. In the interest of including all eligible parties ESDC has delegated CRA with the authority to receive from VAC lists of individuals who are eligible for the one-time payment under relevant VAC disability programs. The CRA will match the individuals to our identification database to determine the eligible beneficiary’s SIN. A letter of delegation was signed on August 6, 2020 and a letter of agreement between Veteran’s Affairs Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada and Canada Revenue Agency was signed September 11, 2020.

The CRA is responsible for providing missing SINs from the VAC file using its matching program and forwarding to ESDC. The CRA will not amend or make any changes to format or information contained within the VAC list. The CRA will only insert matched SINs.

In addition, as the CRA is the holder of the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), the CRA is responsible for providing ESDC a list of individuals who are DTC certificate holders and are eligible for the one-time payment. The CRA will be sending ESDC a list of all eligible individuals with a current DTC certification and their supporting nominee. A supporting nominee may be in the form of a governing agency such as a Public Trustee or Children’s Aid Society, or a DTC claimant on behalf of the person with a disability when applicable.  The Canada child benefit(CCB), Children’s special Allowances (CSA) and Income Tax and Benefit Return Program will share information with the DTC program for the purpose of contacting and identifying a payee for this one-time payment.

For individuals eligible for the DTC under the age of 18, the CRA will identify the primary caregiver used for both the Children’s special allowances (CSA) and Canada Child benefit (CCB) programs. Using the CSA and CCB eligibility on July 1, 2020 will prevent overlap if a child changes caregivers.

Individuals who are under the care of a Public Trustee for income tax and benefit purposes who are also eligible for the DTC will be identified and the Public Trustee details included in the file for payment issuance on behalf of the individual in care of the Trustee.

The CRA will provide eligibility lists for both CRA and VAC securely to ESDC to issue the payments.

The scope of this evaluation includes the CRA’s role in administering  the COVID-19 one-time disability payment including the collection of personal information from VAC and its disclosure to ESDC. This evaluation does not cover the administration of the COVID-19 Disability Measures One-time Payment performed by ESDC, Service Canada, or Retraite Quebec.

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