There are many kinds of disability benefits. Most people ask us about their provincial income benefits first.
Provincial income benefits (e.g. Ontario Disability Support Program, BC Disability Benefits, and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped in Alberta) have two tests:
- The asset test: only assets (money and things of value) worth more than a certain amount affect your benefits. Houses, cars, and discretionary trusts do not count. The amount differs from province to province.
- The income test: your income includes money that you receive from work, a business, an investment, a tenant (if you rent out a room) or selling something (like a house or a car). The amount you can receive without affecting your benefits differs from province to province.
The good news is that in every province and territory, the RDSP is exempt as an asset. You can have money in an RDSP and still get your government benefits.
Not all provinces and territories have completely exempted income from RDSPs however, and so RDSP funds and withdrawals may affect other services and benefits. For more information on your specific province or territory, click here.