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Disabled man in wheelchair by bus. (Photos.com)
Disabled man in wheelchair by bus. (Photos.com)

RDSP contributions

Government grants and bonds Add to ...

The federal government makes contributions to RDSPs under 2 programs: the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disability Savings Bond.

1. Canada Disability Savings Grant

  1. The government provides matching contributions of 100%, 200% or 300% — up to $3,500 annually — on contributions made to an RDSP.
  2. The grant is paid until the end of the year the beneficiary turns 49.
  3. The grant amount depends on the annual contribution amount and the family income of the beneficiary.
  4. Family income is based on the income of the parents until the year the beneficiary reaches age 18, and on the income of the beneficiary (and their spouse) beginning the year the beneficiary reaches age 19. Learn more about how family income is calculated.
  5. There is a $70,000 lifetime grant limit for a beneficiary.
Family income*RDSP contributions in a yearHow grant is calculatedMaximum grant
​$83,088 or less​

 

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​On the first $500

On the next $1,000

​$3 for every $1 contributed

$2 for every $1 contributed

   ​$ 1,500

 +$ 2,000

    $3,500

​More than $83,088
(or no tax return)
​On the first $1,000​$1 for every $1 contributed​   $ 1,000

*Family income threshold shown is for 2011. Amounts are indexed each year for inflation.

Qualifying for grants and bonds: You have to make contributions to the RDSP to be eligible for government grants. You don't have to make contributions to be eligible for bonds. Learn more about grants and bonds.

2. Canada Disability Savings Bond

  1. You don't have to make contributions to your RDSP to be eligible for bonds.
  2. To qualify, the family income of the beneficiary can't be more than $41,544 a year.
  3. The amount of the bond depends on your net family income. The maximum bond per year is $1,000, until the end of the year the beneficiary turns 49.
  4. There is a $20,000 lifetime limit for a beneficiary.
Family income*Amount of bond
​$24,183 or less​$1,000
​Between $24,183 and $41,544​$1,000 is reduced on a pro-rated basis

​More than $41,544
(or no tax return)

​No bond is paid

*Family income threshold shown is for 2011. Amounts are indexed each year for inflation.

Carrying forward unused grant and bond entitlements

You can carry forward any unused annual grant and bond entitlements for 10 years, going back to 2008 when RDSPs were introduced. You can also make catch-up contributions for these years in order to qualify for matching government grants. Here's how it works:

  1. It doesn't matter how long you've held the RDSP. You can open it now, and still claim for grants and bonds going back as far as 2008. You can claim unused grants and bonds up to an annual maximum of:
    • $10,500 for grants
    • $11,000 for bonds.
  2. The lifetime limits of $70,000 for grants and $20,000 for bonds still apply.
  3. The grants and bonds will be based on your family income in the year that you are claiming for.

Learn more about carrying forward contributions. And take a look at this example.

Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

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