Canadians with disabilities struggling financially due to coronavirus pandemic: survey

A Statistics Canada report suggests that more than half of Canadians with disabilities who participated in a crowdsourced survey are struggling to make ends meet because of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

The findings, published on Thursday, were gathered from approximately 13,000 Canadians with long-term conditions or disabilities who voluntarily filled out an online questionnaire between June 3 and July 23. Unlike most Statistics Canada studies, the survey wasn’t randomly sampled and therefore isn’t statistically representative of the Canadian population.

Read more: People with disabilities, autism carry a heavier pandemic burden, advocates say

The responses indicate that 61 per cent of participants aged 15 to 64 said the pandemic has had a major or moderate impact on their ability to fulfil at least one financial obligation or essential need.

Forty-four per cent of respondents reported concerns about paying for groceries, while 40 per cent were worried about the costs of personal protective equipment.

Nearly one-third of participants said their overall household income has declined since lockdown began, more than half of whom reported losses greater than $1,000 a month.

Of those who were employed prior to the pandemic, 36 per cent said they were laid off or saw their hours cut since March. Almost half of participants said they’ve relied solely on non-employment income in the months since the outbreak hit.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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