MARKHAM, May 14, 2015 /CNW/ - ALS Canada commends the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health and the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, for their commitment to keeping the Compassionate Care Benefit (CCB) in the spotlight - alleviating some of the financial burden for ALS families.
Last month, the Government of Canada announced the extension of the CCB from six to 26 weeks - a direct financial benefit that will aid Canadian families caring for a loved one with the terminal disease, ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A disease with no cure, or treatment available, patients affected experience gradual paralyses throughout the body as the nerve cells that control movement die. Eventually, the disease kills because it impacts the patient's ability to breathe.
The support from the Government of Canada to commit to the CCB is critical and is praised by ALS Societies across Canada because of the urgency needed to support ALS families. The financial burden on a Canadian family managing this disease is between $150,000 - $250,000 in direct and indirect costs, over the short lifespan of a person diagnosed with ALS, which on average is two to five years.
Effective January 3, 2016, the proposed enhanced benefit will allow ALS families to collect up to $13,624 over a 26-week period. The benefit can also be taken within an expanded period of 52 weeks (up from 26 weeks) and can be shared between family members.
"Our Government understands the difficult challenges faced by Canadian families when they are caring for a loved one. When a family member is battling serious illness or injury, the last thing Canadians should have to worry about is how to pay the bills. No one should have to choose between work and caring for a loved one," said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health. "Our Government will continue to work with the provinces and territories to facilitate progress in palliative care services for those with life-threatening illnesses. I would like to thank Tammy Moore, Brian Parsons and the ALS Society for helping to make this announcement possible and for their continued support for people living with ALS and their families."
"On behalf of Canadians living with ALS, the ALS Societies across Canada are grateful for the support from the Government of Canada, and will continue to work on Parliament Hill on innovative partnerships related to easing the burden of this terminal not yet treatable disease," said Dr. David Taylor, Director of Research, ALS Canada.
ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease where the cells in the body that control movement die. The "living wires" which connect a person's brain to their muscles degenerate, leading to a loss of mobility and eventual paralysis, changes or complete loss of speech and eventually the ability to breathe. ALS is a terminal disease that has no cure, and no effective treatment. Approx. 2,500-3,000 Canadians are living with ALS. It is estimated 1,000 Canadians will die because of ALS and 1,000 will be newly diagnosed each year. The average lifespan is two to five years.
About ALS Canada
The ALS Society of Canada was founded in 1977 and is the only national registered charity dedicated to ALS. ALS Canada is responsible for the ALS Canada Research Program – funding peer reviewed research grants and fostering collaboration amongst Canadian researchers, helping to nurture new ideas and build capacity. ALS Canada has a role in Ontario, similar to that of the Provincial ALS Societies, providing services and support for people living with ALS within our provinces. ALS Canada advocates federally in partnership with the Provincial Societies on behalf of people and their families for better government support and access to federal research funding programs. Follow ALS Canada @ALSCanada and for more information visit als.ca
SOURCE ALS Canada
For further information: about ALS Canada and Advocacy please contact: James Kenny, Senior Consultant, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, [email protected], 613-786-9958; Rebecca Grima, Director of Marketing and Communications ALS Canada, [email protected], 905.248.2052 x234