Ron McKinnon
Ron McKinnon
Member of Parliament for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam
Budget 2021 –Analysis by Ron McKinnon, MP What is in Budget 2021 for Seniors?
April 28, 2021

What is in Budget 2021 for Seniors?

Increasing Old Age Security for Canadians 75 and Over

During the pandemic, many seniors have faced economic challenges as they took on extra costs to stay safe. Additionally, many seniors are living longer and relying on monthly benefits to afford retirement. After a lifetime of hard work, they deserve a secure and dignified retirement. That is why the government is committed to increasing Old Age Security (OAS) benefits for seniors age 75 and older.

The government plans to implement this commitment in two steps.

 

Strengthening Long-term Care and Supportive Care

The pandemic has shone a light on systemic issues affecting long-term care facilities across the country. The government welcomes the news that the Heath Standards Organization and Canadian Standards Association are launching a process to help address those issues in Canada. The Health Standards Organization’s and Canadian Standards Association’s work with governments, stakeholders, and Canadians to develop national standards will help inform our ongoing discussions with provinces and territories on improving the quality of life of seniors in long-term care.

To protect seniors across Canada and build on this work:

Helping Seniors Age Well at Home

After a lifetime of hard work, seniors want to live healthy, safe, and independent lives. Seniors want to stay at home, in the communities that support them, for as long as possible. But that can become difficult as they age. That leads to many vulnerable seniors transitioning to supportive care before they would otherwise need to if they were better supported at home. To look at new ways to keep seniors in their homes for longer:

Improving Access to the Disability Tax Credit

In 2017, the Government of Canada reinstated the Canada Revenue Agency’s Disability Advisory Committee to ensure tax measures for persons with disabilities are administered in a fair, transparent, and accessible way. Since the release of the committee’s first annual report in 2019, the government has introduced many significant changes, including improvements to its communications and outreach activities for the Disability Tax Credit and changes to Registered Disability Savings Plans to protect beneficiaries better. As the government considers new recommendations from the committee, released in a second report on April 9, 2021, the government is proposing to take further steps to act on the committee’s guidance by improving the eligibility criteria for mental functions and life-sustaining therapy. To help more families and people living with disabilities access the Disability Tax Credit and other related support measures like the Registered Disability Savings Plan and the Child Disability Benefit:

 

Better Palliative Care

To provide Canadians, including those who live in long-term care and their families, with better palliative and end-of-life care, including culturally sensitive care:

Budget 2021 proposes to provide $29.8 million over six years, starting in 2021-22, to Health Canada to advance the government’s palliative care strategy and lay a better foundation for coordinated action on long-term and supportive care needs, improving access to quality palliative care. Initiatives could include: raising awareness of the importance of palliative care; providing public education on grief; improving palliative care skills and supports for health care providers, families, caregivers, and communities; enhancing data collection and research; and improving access to culturally sensitive palliative and end-of-life care.

To read the Budget 2021 speech or to review the budget documents, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/services/publications/federal-budget.html

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