Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

What We are Fighting for: Secure jobs and income for People with MS

Support secure jobs and income for people affected by MS

Alex was diagnosed with primary-progressive MS in 2011.

“You have to jump through hoops to access employment insurance, social assistance and disability supports. It takes many hours and lots of visits to doctors, health professionals and government offices to apply for the financial help you need. The process takes many months, and while you are doing this you have to go without a diagnosis, income, medications and at times, even food on the table.”

1. Secure Jobs

The federal government should make immediate changes to make it easier for people with MS and other episodic illnesses and disabilities to keep their jobs and stay in the workforce:

  • Change the Employment Insurance Program to make it more flexible and provide incentives to stay in the workforce.
  • Expand the federal-provincial labour market agreements and other employment funding programs to provide early intervention and other services to help support job retention.

2. Secure Incomes

Canada’s governments should take action to improve income supports for people with MS who are unable to work or can only work on intermittent basis. This support should match the level provided to lower income seniors through the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

The federal government should:

  • Increase existing federal benefits and credits for people with disabilities.
  • Make disability tax credits fully refundable – like existing GST credits – to put badly needed income directly in the hands of low-income people with MS and other disabilities.
  • Change eligibility criteria to ensure people with episodic illness and disability have access to disability tax credits and benefit programs.
  • Change federal legislation to prevent insurance companies from cutting back Canada Pension Plan – Disability Children’s Benefit from people receiving long-term disability. This money is targeted for children of people with disabilities and it’s unfair to deduct it from the parent’s income.