Registered Disability Savings Plan
The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a powerful savings tool similar to a registered education savings plan, but designed specifically for people living with a disability. The plan allows those living with a disability financial security well into older age avoiding the poverty trap and enabling independence.
Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) proposed, researched and campaigned for the RDSP.
It took PLAN eight years to develop and gain legislative approval for its RDSP proposal. During that time, PLAN members mobilized families from their base in Vancouver and consulted with financial institutions, politicians and government bureaucrats to discuss and refine their proposal. Several elections interrupted the discussions requiring PLAN to brief and persuade new people.
Provincial governments had to adapt their laws to accommodate and support the initiative. Overcoming the welfare mindset of the provinces and convincing them to exempt RDSPs as an asset and eliminate claw back* policies was one of the biggest challenges. (*Claw-back refers to a percentage of money, usually for taxation, that is taken from the total allotment of financial benefit.)
Since it was implemented in December 2008, PLAN has continued to track, advise, promote and recommend changes to the RDSP.
“We learned an important organizational lesson in PLAN’s early years. Our innovative programs would not have much impact unless they were recognized by society’s systems and institutions. We needed our governments to recognize and adjust their regulations, policies and statutes to accommodate the solutions that we were developing. Since then we learned that all social innovations require corresponding structural changes in order to be sustainable, long lasting, and to have widespread impact”. - Al Etmanski, Safe and Secure
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