A few months after its creation, the young Canadian company, whose mission is to help people with disabilities achieve financial independence, continues to grow at an accelerated pace. Since September 2021, their team has already helped more than 1000 families benefit from the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), which allows Canadians with disabilities to receive up to $90,000 in government grants. By focusing its activities entirely on the RDSP and basing its model on accessibility and cutting-edge technology, Terry is able to provide concrete support to a population that has unfortunately been forgotten by the Canadian financial industry.
"A person living with a disability often faces challenges such as access to employment, long-term savings, and the additional costs associated with specialized care and equipment. Unfortunately, very few people sign up for an RDSP, either through lack of awareness or discouragement, as the process of signing up is very difficult with traditional institutions.
I sincerely believe that it is imperative to make this plan much more accessible, simplify its opening, and offer advice and personalized support for all those who are eligible since they can receive $10,000 simply by opening an account, there is really no reason to miss out," says Michel-Alexandre Riendeau, President of Terry.
The RDSP, a beneficial plan that is not well known to the public
Created in 2008 by the federal government, the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a tool that allows individuals up to 49 years old with the disability tax credit (DTC), to benefit from grants and bonds in order to achieve long-term financial security. In fact, it is a registered savings account similar to the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).
The RDSP, or REEI, is subsidized by the federal government, which pays additional amounts to those paid by savers, a subsidy of up to 300%. This powerful financial plan can greatly help people living with a disability* and their families achieve financial independence. Depending on family income, the government deposits up to $1,000/year without even contributing. This plan is retroactive over a 10-year period, so a new member who has been eligible for 10 years can receive $10,000 immediately after opening the account.
* A severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental function, such as autism, type 1 diabetes, significant visual or hearing impairment, etc.
Terry’s simplified platform
The platform developed by Terry makes the plan more accessible by facilitating the opening process, firstly because the person with a disability can do it from the comfort of their home. Using the Terry platform, the person registers and is quickly contacted to receive all the necessary support. The registration forms are also automatically filled in and signed electronically, reducing the opening process to a few minutes, compared to 90 to 120 minutes in a traditional institution.
The exceptional contribution of partners
The president, Michel-Alexandre Riendeau, and the first investors Jacomo and Felix Deschatelets - who have been foster care for people with disabilities - have surrounded themselves with partners and investors who share the same values of support and mutual aid, wanting to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities: Gino Sébastien and Martin Savard, Stéphane Rochon and Louis Morissette.
"My experiences with the Véro and Louis Foundation and with my sister, who has cerebral palsy, have shown me that too many families living with a disability are not maximizing their RDSP opportunities. It is imperative to improve access to these sources of financial support, and Terry will fill a tremendous need," explains Louis Morissette.
In Quebec, more than one million people have a disability, representing 16% of the population aged 15 and over, according to the 2017 Canadian Disability Survey. In Canada, only 31.5% of eligible residents have opened an RDSP, according to the Survey of Savings for People with Disabilities, 2020.
According to Statistics Canada (2021), there is clearly a lack of awareness of this program, with almost 75% of respondents (DTC-eligible individuals) either never having heard of it or not being very well informed.
By leveraging technology, Terry offers a simple and accessible solution for opening a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) that provides up to $90,000 in government grants to eligible Canadians. The mission is to provide personalized advice and guidance needed to make the most of the plan. Find out more at reei.ca and goterry.ca.