Disability Tax Credit

Did you know that if you or a family member is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) then the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA, formerly Revenue Canada) may owe you up to $15,000? The DTC is a tax credit that a person with a qualifying impairment can claim to reduce their income tax by as much as $1500 a year, with an additional supplement if you are under 18. Individuals under 18 who qualify for the DTC are also eligible for the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), a supplement to the Child Tax Benefit (see www.cra.gc.ca/benefits for more details on the CDB). The DTC is also retroactive up to ten years, meaning that an individual could be owed up to $15,000 (more if you under 18) from the CRA if they were eligible for the DTC in that time span. In addition, you can transfer all or part of the DTC to a spouse or common-law partner, or to another supporting person. In particular, the DTC may be transferred from a child to a supporting parent.

To be eligible, the CRA states that “an individual must have a severe and prolonged impairment in mental and/or physical functions.” This is quite a broad requirement which includes multiple physical and mental impairments. The common approved claims involve vision, hearing, walking (balance, fatigue, knee or hip surgery, osteoarthritis), feeding, dressing, and performing the mental functions necessary for everyday life (Alzheimer’s, dementia, ADD/ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, etc.) Besides impairments of the types listed, the medical conditions listed below have also been granted the DTC (It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list and if you are uncertain whether you are eligible for the DTC then you may contact us).

  • Ileitis
  • Gluten Intolerance
  • Narcolepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Depression
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Partial Missing Limbs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Celiac’s Disease
  • Psychosis
  • Brain Injury-Acquired and Congenital
  • Strokes
  • Severe Back Pain
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Deficient Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Congenital Birth Defect
  • Severe Inferiority Complex
  • Prosthetic Device
  • Multiple Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Mental Incompetence
  • Polio
  • Spinal Epiphyseal Dysplasia
  • Cyanotic Heart Disease
  • Chronic Nervous Phobia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Viral Encephalitis

In addition, although a patient may not seem to qualify for a DTC based on a diagnosed condition, many of these same patients would qualify because of the effects of that condition on their daily living. For example, someone with frequent and severe migraine headaches may be unable to focus, plan or implement simple daily activities. A person with prolonged depression or severe trauma or back pain might fall into the same category. This has been established in court decisions based on the effect of an impairment on daily living rather than the severity of the impairment itself.

To apply for the DTC, an individual and a qualified practitioner must complete the tax form T2201- Disability Tax Credit Certificate and forward the form to your tax center.

But the DTC is not the only form of tax relief available. As a person who is eligible for the DTC, you might be entitled to claim numerous credits and benefits on your income tax and benefit return.  Please check the following link to determine whether there are other benefits available to you: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/txnf/

Some of the terminology and definitions involved in determining whether you are eligible for the DTC can be quite complex. Please contact us and we will be happy to help you navigate through this difficult topic.

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  1. Silverycloud says:

    my almost-17-year old daughter was recently diagnosed with MS. During relapses, her vision is severely affected? are we eligible for DTC?

  2. Rose Langley says:

    This is a complex issue that will require some discussion. We would be pleased to discuss it with you. Please call our office to discuss this with you further.

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