Did you know this October marks the third annual Registered Disability Savings Plan (RSDP) Awareness Month in British Columbia to promote the federal savings plan that helps people with disabilities save for their future.
Raising awareness and encouraging participation in the RDSP program is a vital part of supporting people with disabilities in B.C. to become more financially independent. Accessibility 2024 is the B.C. government’s 10-year action plan to become the most progressive province in Canada for people with disabilities. Part of reaching that goal is to make sure that as many people with disabilities as possible take advantage of this investment opportunity for their futures.
Over 22,500 British Columbians with disabilities already have RDSPs with a total value of $460 million – the highest in the country. What’s really amazing about the RDSP program is that these British Columbians have been able to leverage $297 million in federal grants on their personal RDSP contributions of $163 million.
That’s because, if you are eligible for a RDSP, the federal government may match every $1 contributed with up to $3 in Canada Disability Savings Grants. Even if you don’t have any of your own money, an RDSP lets you take advantage of money that the federal government will provide on your behalf – up to $90,000 in grants and bonds over your lifetime.
Throughout RDSP Awareness Month, the Government of B.C. will be promoting the RDSP in communities throughout the province to make sure that British Columbians with a disability – and their friends and family – are aware of the program, its benefits and, how to find out if they are eligible, how to apply and how to contribute to the fund.
One way we do this all year long is through the work of the RDSP Action Group – with members from the financial, disability and academic communities, as well as the provincial government. This Action Group supports the Province’s commitment to grow and maintain B.C.’s position as the province with the highest per-capita number of RDSPs in Canada.
To make it as easy as possible for people with disabilities to find out if they are eligible for a RDSP and the process and steps they need to take, the Action Group has created an easy to use guide to assist people through the process called “How to Start and Manage a Registered Disability Savings Plan in British Columbia”. You can find it here: http://ow.ly/wwJO304Azpb
RDSP Action Group members are also moving forward on other exciting initiatives to increase the number of British Columbians who have an RDSP. Plan Institute, Disability Alliance of B.C. and the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, with the support of the Vancouver Foundation, have partnered to provide assistance with Disability Tax Credit (DTC) applications, host RDSP workshops, operate an RDSP information hotline, offer Indigenous RDSP Navigators, and provide a one-time $150 gift to help RDSPs grow through the Endowment 150 fund. To find out more about RDSP assistance in your community and E150, visit: www.rdsp.com
Together, the Province and members of the RDSP Action Group want every single person who is eligible for an RDSP to take advantage of the program. Throughout RDSP Awareness Month we encourage every British Columbian to join us in spreading the word about the RDSP program so that even more people with disabilities know about this financial opportunity and the future benefits the RDSP can provide to them and their families.
To learn more about Accessibility 2024, RDSP Awareness Month and the RDSP Action Group, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility
Sean LeslieMinistry of Social Development and Social Innovation
Phone: 250 387-6490