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Separate disability from CPP retirement benefits? Commons committee asks.

OTTAWA -- Should the Canada Penion Plan disability benefits be delinked from CPP Retirement Benefits? The House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, headed by MP Carolyn Bennett is asking.

The committee points out that the CPP contributions do not distinguish between contributions earmarked for retirement benefits and those intended for disability benefits. The committee believes that if reforms of the disability portion of the CPP are to happen, it is important to be able to differentiate between these two objectives, disability and retirement benefits, to facilitate future CPP(D) reforms.

Many return-to-work incentives, for example, cannot be implemented without some kind of separation of disability and retirement contributions. In preparation for the committee's continued study of longer-term CPP(D)-related issues, they have asked the Department of Finance to prepare a background document outlining the various financing options that could be considered in the context of a more inclusive and integrated CPP(D) program.

Disability benefits for individuals include federal and provincial programs, which could affect the mobility of people with disabilities who might wish to change their residences from one province to another. The committee advocates a more integrated and effective income and disability support system.

The committee wants to consider options that include:

* applying the national child benefit model to a disability income program;

* examining the applicability of programs in other countries such as the Netherlands where non-categorical income programs integrate disability into a broader set of programs based on overall criteria regarding employability; and

* incorporating partial benefits into the Canada Pension Plan Disability program.

* Examining the options to establish a case-management system of addressing problems that arise because of the lack of integration between CPP(D) and other disability income support programs (e.g. workers' compensation, social assistance and long term disability).

Other members of the committee include these MP'S: Mauril Belanger, Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Anita Neville, Tony Tirabassi, Reed Elley, Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral, Wendy Lill and Norman Doyle.

Link to the committee report Visit communityaction.ca
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Title Annotation:General
Publication:Community Action
Date:Nov 17, 2003
Words:336
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