Manitoba based Charter challenge aims to bring change to disability payment claw-backs
- March 28, 2022
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On March 21, 2022, The Winnipeg Free Press published an article outlining the Charter challenge that Mr. Paul Hutlet has launched with the assistance of bakerlaw. The article, “Disability payment program structures face constitutional challenge” can be found here (link).
During his working years, Mr. Hutlet contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the country’s national social insurance and pension scheme. When he became disabled and unable to work, he applied to the CPP disability benefits (CPP-D). While he was waiting for his CPP-D application to be processed, he also applied to the province of Manitoba’s disability assistance scheme (IAPD), which is expressly based on providing recipients with support for income, health, and housing. Mr. Hutlet was subsequently approved for IAPD.
Due to the severity and permanence of his disability, Mr. Hutlet was granted a full CPP-D allowance based on his contributions over his working years. However, once he was approved for CPP-D, Manitoba clawed back all off Mr. Hutlet’s IAPD, and deprived him of the drug and health benefits that came with it. After the claw-back, Mr. Hutlet is left with only $257.00 to try to live on each month after his rent has been paid.
The issue of claw-backs arising from Federal and Provincial disability benefit structures are not only an issue in Manitoba; it is an issue occurring across Canada and leaves many Canadians with disabilities, who rely on these kinds of benefits, struggling to try to live below the poverty line. Mr. Hutlet’s Charter challenge argues that this claw-back structure is unconstitutional under sections 7 & 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (link).