People affected by MS struggle to keep working and pay their bills during periods of illness. The MS Society is pressing Members of Parliament to support key changes to federal programs to improve their job and income security:
Make Employment Insurance sickness benefits more flexible so people with MS can get support when they need it and return to work gradually or work part-time.
Allow people with MS and other disabilities to draw EI sickness benefits gradually over an extended period, as needed during times of illness
Permit people with MS and other disabilities to work part-time and receive partial benefits
Reduce the clawback of EI benefits for people with MS and other disabilities as they ease back to work. Currently once an employee is working again 100% of the wages they earn are deducted from their EI benefits. Reducing the deduction to 50% would ease their return to work and provide an incentive to stay in the workforce.
Make it easier for people with MS to qualify for disability credits and benefits.
Changing the eligibility criteria to include episodic illnesses would ensure that people with MS are not excluded because their health condition varies over time.
Make tax credits refundable to improve income support for caregivers.
Refundable credits are paid directly to people who qualify. Making existing and future tax credits fully refundable for low income Canadians would put valuable income in the hands of caregivers in need. This could include the Caregiver Tax Credit, Family Caregiver Tax Credit, and Disability Tax Credit.