For Persons With Disabilities

Index of topics:


Quick facts

News flash

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Updates

Getting your Disability Tax Credit application approved

Downloadable resources and links


Did you know that choosing the right professionals to work with is key to disability tax and estate planning. Something as simple as making your disabled family member the beneficiary of your life insurance could affect their eligibility to Persons With Disabilities and other social benefits.

At DC Complete Financial, we empathize with your challenges. Due to a car accident injury lasting a year and a half, David Chen knows first hand what it is like to be disabled and the financial and life challenges that come with it. Additionally, he also has a family member with disabilities and this is what gave him the desire to help others in similar situations.

Financially planning for the future of a family member with disabilities  is a huge challenge because of the intertwined effects of:

Government regulations

Investment regulations

Property law

Tax law

Family politics

Like the feeling you get looking at this Escher reproduction, this leaves most families confused about what is the best plan of action for their unique situation.

Because of these complexities families could end up creating plans with serious medium and long term flaws. While their intentions were good, the lack of structured planning that addresses all of the above considerations, the results may not be what they expected.

Parents traditionally look at what good strategies are available and then try to bolt the strategies together hoping that it will all work. I see this frequently when parents go to educational workshops, research things on the internet, or hire professionals that actually do not have broad enough experience in this unique field.

The analogy is like someone trying to build a helicopter and bolting things onto a car. Is it truly what you wanted to create? Will it really work the way you wanted? Do you understand the negative aspects of what you created?

Are you just bolting things on?

Or are you creating what you think you are?

After working with families with disabled children (including my own) I have found that for every action there is a reaction. Much like the popular pin art toys, when we use any given strategy there will be positives and there will be negatives. The question is do the positives outweigh the negatives in your unique situation or do we have to employ another strategy in order to compensate for the negatives that the first created.

The best way in my experience to create the strategy that is best suited for your family is to start by asking yourself:

1) "what are you truly trying to accomplish?"

2) "What are your short, medium and long term goals?"

3) "What are your contingency plans in case your disabled child is cured, passes away early or lives longer than you predict?"

Plans that do not reflect these real possibilities may even have serious impacts on your own finances primarily due to government legislation, property law and tax law.

Often short sighted plans can be difficult and costly to fix. Sometimes these plans cannot be repaired at all. Therefore, the best thing to do is to get it right from the beginning and create plans that have the flexibility to change in the future to address the constantly changing laws that will affect your disabled family member's plan.

See a trusted professional regarding your situation and discuss your goals and intentions. Whether it is with our company or another experienced professional, at least you stand a much better chance of creating plans that will turn out the way you really want.


Feel free to contact us for a no obligation financial check-up and use the results to clarify your own situation and see what choices you have to face your challenges.

Some quick facts

Fact: There are over 750,000 families in Canada with a disabled member in it.

Fact: These disabled family members need special financial services

Fact: Did you know that with proper planning you can create financial strategies that:

Will create income for the life of your disabled family member

Won't disqualify them from government benefits

Will protect your assets from being abused when in the hands of your disabled family member

Will reduce estate tax liabilities and thus leave more for your disabled family member when you are gone

Will reduce the amount of taxes a trust will pay on its income

Will reduce trust taxation under the "21 year deemed disposition rule"

Can redistribute your assets to other next of kin if your child is cured or passes away early


Feel free to contact us for a no obligation check-up and use the results to clarify your own situation and see what choices you have to face your challenges.


News Flash

Mar 23, 2010

  • confirmed with the RDSP department of the federal government that if you miss a year's contribution you do not lose the ability to get the grant and bond. For example if you have had an RDSP in place for 23 years and 3 of those years you could not afford to put money into it, but contributed for 20 of the 23 years, your beneficiary would still get 20 years worth of grant and bonds in total (if they qualify income wise).

  • According to the RDSP department, the federal government passed a new budget allowing for the pushing forward of unclaimed grants and bonds. Right now it is being interpreted so that the RDSP department can put this change into their regulations.

  • The new federal budget also has provisions to roll over unused RRSP's at time of death into a child's RDSP up to $200,000 less any previous contributions.


Jan 28, 2010

  • TD Canada Trust is now the 4th banking institution to offer the RDSP. It is being offered through the TD Waterhouse arm of their operation. For more information visit any TD Canada Trust branch or TD Waterhouse Investor Centre , or call 1-866-280-2022

  • Scotiabank is the fifth national bank to offer the RDSP. To find out more contact Scotiabank Wealth Management Contact Centre at 1-877-929-4499

  • Vancouver and Victoria have joined the growing list of districts around BC warning parents that special education could bear the brunt of unprecedented budget cuts projected for 2010-11, due to unfunded costs that the province is downloading on school boards.

    Richmond: A few weeks ago, a Richmond district report warned that special education supports could be cut and inclusion policies sacrificed to respond to the looming crisis (see attached budget backgrounder).

    Surrey: Last week, Surrey DPAC warned that some $18-20 million in downloaded/unfunded provincial costs will result in program cuts that directly harm students. (Press release attached)

    Victoria: Victoria trustees told the Times Colonist yesterday they would have to consider cutting the district's Special Education program to balance their budget.

    Vancouver: Last week, Vancouver served notice that up to 800 teachers could be laid off to address a provincial funding shortfall ranging from $17 to $35 million, depending on what the province decides to fund in the upcoming provincial budget. And at a meeting for parents of students with special needs this week, the Board Chair acknowledged that special education was particularly vulnerable to cuts, since staff costs are protected via contracts and class size is now protected by legislation, leaving unprotected services like special education as one of the few areas they can cut.

    Virtually every school board in the province is confronting similar choices, given the limited number of unprotected programs, like special ed, that they can cut to make up for unfunded provincial costs, since all boards are required by law to balance their budgets regardless of provincial funding shortfalls. Accentuating the looming threat to special education is that the province only funds half or less of what districts actually spend on special ed - a subsidy that is hard for trustees to defend when schools are being closed and core programs slashed.

    At the core of this unprecedented crisis is the growing number of downloaded costs that the province has so far refused to cover in provincial education funding grants. These include further increases for teacher salaries and benefits under contracts that the province negotiated, new provincial carbon tax and carbon offset charges, increases to provincial MSP and WCP premiums, implementation costs of new provincial requirements like Bill 33 and full-day kindergarten, and general inflation, which the provincial funding formula also does not cover.

    The provincial government will present its budget for 2010-11 in early March and has to date refused to consider new funding to cover these new costs, leaving districts projecting the largest deficits seen in a decade, and cuts that will seriously impact students.

    Unfair to target our most vulnerable students: Provincial officials are justifying the cuts by stating that districts have to tighten their belts like anyone else. This response fails to acknowledge that districts cannot force most district services to tighten their belts because they are protected by provincially-negotiated contracts and requirements. Staff will not sacrifice pay or benefits and boards must also find a way to cover new pay and benefit increases negotiated by the province. Along with provincial requirements governing a host of activities, from class size to reporting and administrative roles, this means districts actually have very few options or "discretionary" spending that can be cut when they are told to tighten their belts.

    In effect, school board "belt tightening" amounts to downloading a provincial budgetary crisis onto the most vulnerable students in our public schools - students with special needs, ESL and Aboriginal students and those who need additional programs and supports to succeed. In failing to provide any policy to protect these programs and students while protecting everything from teacher pensions to teacher-student ratios in law, the province has created an uneven playing field that forces school boards to unfairly penalize their most vulnerable students whenever cuts must be made.

    ADVOCACY: The harsh reality facing our kids is just emerging and there is very little time to act. Parents and advocacy groups representing students with special needs and other vulnerable groups need to act immediately, by telling their MLAs, Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid, Finance Minister Colin Hansen and Premier Gordon Campell that it is not acceptable to target BC's most vulnerable students to solve a problem they had no hand in creating.

    1. We need to act ASAP to convince the province to either cover these unfunded costs or to level the playing field to protect services for BC's most vulnerable students from being penalized unfairly. We need to convince government to cover all education costs in the 2010-11 budget before it is presented on March 3. It will be almost impossible to convince government to adjust that budget after the fact.

    - We invite special needs parents and advocacy groups to join us in drafting a collective letter voicing concerns about the looming cuts targetting special education and to request an urgent meeting between the Education Minister and a representative delegation. Please contact me ASAP to discuss how we can get started on this.

    2. Governments pay attention to numbers. We can be most effective if we join with broader groups of parents, PACs and public education advocacy groups to demand that the province fully fund all provincially-mandated costs, including special education - instead of fighting each other for shares of an inadequate budget and ignoring the roots of the problem.

    - Contact your PAC and DPAC and encourage them to write the Premier, FInance Minister, Education Minister and your local MLAs - just as Surrey DPAC has done.

    - Join our growing Facebook group by searching: "Stop BC Education Cuts" or visiting us at: Find out what other parents and districts are doing and connect with other parents or advocacy efforts in your community.

Sept 30, 2009

Following the completion of an in-service managers training on the RDSP for DDA, a blog was started with comments that will help non-attendees better understand the pros and cons of the RDSP and get a sense of how to integrate it into your own financial plan.

March 2009

According to Evelyn Jacks, the tax expert, there are regulations regarding how the RDSP must be consumed by the beneficiary.

Our group contacted the federal government directly to get more clarification on this and we were surprised to find out that the maximum withdrawal formula they have already written into law may  prevent your disabled family member from ever accessing all of the money you leave behind in the RDSP.

RDSP Payment Rules

There are two types of payments that can be made from RDSPs:

1.  Disability Assistance Payments - any payment made from the RDSP to the beneficiary.

2.  Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments (or LDAP)– a special type of payment that must continue at least once a year after they begin. These payments can begin at any age but they must begin when the beneficiary turns 60 years.

Lifetime Disability Assitance Payments are limited to an annual maximum amount based on the beneficiary’s life expectancy and the value of the plan. This amount is determined by the following formula:

Total value of RDSP/(Life Expectancy + 3 – Beneficiary’s Age) + Annuity Payments

After age 80 is reached, according to the federal government this formula changes to:

Total value of RDSP/(Beneficiary's age + 3 – Beneficiary’s Age) + Annuity Payments

Unless a doctor has said in writing that a beneficiary is not likely to live more than five years, life expectancy is set at 80 years.  This means that in most cases the formula will be:

Total value of RDSP/(83 – Beneficiary’s Age) + Annuity Payments

As the beneficiary gets older, the size of the payments may grow (if in previous years there were no significant withdrawals or market losses).  You can, however, use annuities so that the payments are the same from year to year. 

For example, let’s assume your child has $100,000 in his RDSP at the age of 60.

Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments option:

The payment would be calculated as follows:

Year 1              $100,000 / (83 – 60) = $4,347

Year 2              $100, 913 (assuming income at 5.5%) /(83-61) = $4,587

As mentioned, after age 80 though, this formula changes to:

    Total value of RDSP/(Beneficiary's age + 3 – Beneficiary’s Age) + Annuity Payments

which ultimately boils down to:

    Total value of RDSP/3 + Annuity Payments

No matter what, after age 80, the maximum LDAP is 1/3 of the account total. This decay formula may mathematically prevent your disabled family member from ever accessing the remaining money in the RDSP.


Feb 16, 2009

The RDSP is now also available at the Royal Bank of Canada. It is supposed to be available at the branch level so that you don't have to get into a phone line-up to get more information about it. You can find out more about it at:

Dec 2008

The RDSP officially launched in December of 2008. Despite the promises of one credit union that it would offer it, BMO Bank became the first and currently only provider of the RDSP in Canada.

For families with a net income of over about $75,769 per year, the RDSP with its legal obligations and tax status may not be the best vehicle to leave money behind for your disabled family member (when compared to other investment vehicles like the Tax Free Savings Account. See your advisor for more information).

For those families making less than $75,769 a year, the RDSP has a up to a 233% matching grant and for those making less than $21,278 a year, your child is also entitled to a $1000 Canadian Disability Savings Bond annually which can make saving money for your child a lot easier under strained budgets.

To open a BMO Account, you can contact the number on their website (reported call times can be up to 3 hours) or you can download these forms which they will require you to be fill out anyway to open a BMO RDSP account:

RDSP CDSG & CDSB Grant Application Form for over 18

RDSP CDSG & CDSB Grant Application Completed Sample Form for under 18

RDSP CDSG & CDSB Grant Application Form for under 18

RDSP CDSG & CDSB Grant Application Completed Sample Form for under 18

BMO RDSP Account Application Form

BMO RDSP Account Application Completed Sample Form

Note that due to the obligations that come with the CDSG and CDSB grants, do not set up an RDSP where the grants are invested in market based investments, or investment accounts that have deferred sales charges. If the RDSP must be dissolved due to the death of the RDSP beneficiary or because their disability ended due to medical intervention, then such accounts can suffer severe penalties that will leave the account contributor with less money than they put into it.


Feel free to contact us for a no obligation check-up and use the results to clarify your own situation and see what choices you have to face your challenges.


Getting your Disability Tax Credit Application Approved

To qualify for everything, generally it all starts with the disability tax credit approval from Canada Revenue Agency. The will allow you to apply for an RDSP, various foundation grants, and save your family tax money.

The approval process can be complicated and is best handled by professionals who are experienced at getting you through the hurdles. We now have a tax preparer on our team who will handle your DTC application process, backfiling for unclaimed DTC credits and file your future tax returns.

We have a contingency fee of $700 for the DTC application service and the backfiling payable only upon successful claiming of at least 1 years worth of DTC credits. This very competitive service (compared to up to $4000 charged by competing firms) will help you save on your taxes and qualify for programs like the Registered Disability Savings Program.

For future tax filings, our tax preparer's service fee is $30 per hour with a one hour minimum billing. Your tax return will be netfiled so that your refund will be processed and returned to you in as little time as possible.

Contact us at or 604-889-7782 for more information on this service.

Feel free to contact us for a no obligation check-up and use the results to clarify your own situation and see what choices you have to face your challenges.


Downloadable resources and links


RDPS Highlights May 2009

RDSP government fact sheet

Disability Tax Credit Eligibility

RDSP tax info, Price Waterhouse Coopers

How to integrate RDSP's, Henson trusts and annuities

Considerations for structuring an RDSP

RDSP CDSG & CDSB Grant Application Form for over 18

RDSP CDSG & CDSB Grant Application Completed Sample Form for under 18

RDSP CDSG & CDSB Grant Application Form for under 18

RDSP CDSG & CDSB Grant Application Completed Sample Form for under 18

BMO RDSP Account Application Form

BMO RDSP Account Application Completed Sample Form

RBC RDSP Account application


Trust Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Trusts, detailed legal information

Disability Tax and estate Planning

Disability tax and estate planning info


Feel free to contact us for a no obligation check-up and use the results to clarify your own situation and see what choices you have to face your challenges.