When the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was first introduced, the matching government grants were only given for contributions in that calendar year. That meant that if you missed the Dec 31 deadline, you were out of luck for that year.
Things have now changed. Since 2011, you are now allowed to carry forward unused grant and bond entitlements to future years. The carry forward period can only start after 2007 and lasts for 10 years. Considering the age of your child and the number of years since the disability commenced this can be a significant amount of money. The government will contribute up to $3,500 per year in grants and up to $1,000 in bonds. Refer to my page RDSP for more details.
For those of you who haven’t yet started an RDSP, there is a lot of money on the table and now is the perfect time to set up the account and collect all the government grants and bonds back-dated to 2008. Remember that the child must qualify for the Disability Tax Credit in order to open an RDSP.
A word of caution; don’t use this as an excuse to put off contributions to the RDSP. Firstly you never know when or if the government might change the rules and secondly the earlier you start the more time you have to compound your returns.