The federal government implemented the RDSP on December 1, 2008. This was the result of many years of advocacy by Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), families, and supporters. PLAN worked with the provinces to accommodate the RDSP by raising asset limits and eliminating claw backs.

The Honorable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, championed the RDSP concept within government. Employees in Finance Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and Justice Canada, worked long hours at breakneck speed to make the idea a reality.