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Where can students with learning disabilities receive funding to help cover the cost of disability assessments?


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Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

Chris Gaulin, NEADS

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a federal government program that assists people with disabilities in saving for retirement. The program began in 2008, and consists of a grant and a bond.

“You don’t necessarily have to put money in, if your income is under a certain threshold,” Chris Gaulin said. Because students and recent graduates tend to have lower incomes, it is the perfect opportunity for them to begin saving.

The program allows others to contribute on behalf of the person with a disability as well. Parents, grandparents, spouses, and friends can all contribute, and the recipient will still be eligible for the grant, bond, or both.

A participant asked how to obtain these funds.

The plan must be set up through a financial institution, said Gaulin. The federal government will annually calculate an individual’s eligible funds; these calculations are based on income. He said there is no need to reapply every year.

Another participant asked if those with learning disabilities are also eligible for the RDSP.

Jennison Asuncion said that everyone who is eligible for the disability tax credit qualifies for the RDSP. Gaulin said participants should visit the RDSP website at www.rdsp.com for more detailed information.

A participant asked whether this program affects social programs and student loans.

Gaulin said that in Saskatchewan, as with most provinces, they are exempt. They will not be clawed back.

Another participant asked whether a change in government would result in the program being discontinued.

Gaulin said there is no guarantee, but the program is in place for at least the next three years. A change in government can often result in a change to programs. He pointed to the RESP as an example of one that has only grown over the years, and he said the RDSP would likely do the same.


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