Yukon is the first Territory in Canada to exempt the RDSP . They recently published a new version of the Yukon Social Assistance Regulations. In these regulations they have exempted the RDSP as an asset and indicated that it will not be included in the calculation of liquid assets for someone receiving social assistance.

Notwithstanding subsection (1), the following shall not be included in the calculation of liquid assets: (c) accumulated savings in a person’s Registered Disability Savings Plan;”

To read the regulations visit: http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/downloads/252_Social%20Assistance%20Regulation%20Final%2008.pdf

The Department of Health and Social Services has also indicated that they will not count the income from the RDSP when they determine benefit levels for someone on social assistance.

“Federal Registered Disability Savings Plan and the Working Income Tax Benefit For persons on social assistance who receive the above Savings Plan or Tax Benefit, it will not be counted as income for the purpose of determining benefit levels.”

To visit website go to: http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/programs/social_services/assistance/changes_to_social_assistance/

This is a very encouraging development as Yukon has now joined British Columbia and Newfoundland in exempting the RDSP. These provinces and territory have made it clear that they understand that people with disabilities face barriers that others don’t, and that they are willing to assist people and their families achieve financial security. As the launch of the RDSP in December draws near we are optimistic that the other provinces and territories will decide to exempt the RDSP as well.

Congratulations to the Government of Yukon on taking this monumental step towards improving the lives of people with disabilities in Canada!