People who live with a disability know that it can be very difficult to support themselves financially. If you are unable to work due to a disability, being able to purchase food, clothing, and pay for shelter is something that is no longer taken for granted. Fortunately, there are programs and services in place to ease your financial burden. There are disability tax credits in place to lessen the amount of income tax that families with disabled members are required to pay. If your family is already utilizing the Canada Disability Child Benefit or Hanson programs, you still qualify for disability tax credits.
Who is Eligible for disability tax credit in Ontario?
It is important to understand that to be eligible for the disability tax credit, you, your spouse, or your caregiver must have made timely tax payments in the past. To qualify for Disability Tax Credit in Ontario, you must have a mental or physical impairment that severely limits the day to day activities of life. People who need to spend time pursuing Life Sustaining Therapy also qualify. The following is a partial listing of medical disabilities that are covered:
- Bladder Disorder
- Bowel Disorder
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Juvenile Arthritis
People who need to spend time pursuing Life Sustaining Therapy also qualify. For those unfamiliar with the term a “Life Sustaining Therapy” is any therapy that supports a vital function. For the purposes of the Disability Tax Credit this therapy must be required at least 3 times per week for a total of at least 14 hours per week. Examples of Life Sustaining Therapy include:
- Kidney dialysis
- Insulin monitoring and injections
- Chest physiotherapy to aid in breathing
- Long term feeding tube placement
Examples of things that do not qualify as Life Sustaining Therapy or count toward the required 14 hours per week of such therapy include:
- Dietary plans
- Exercise regimes
- Traveling to and from therapy
- Time spent procuring medication
- Time spent recuperating from therapy
Additionally, you qualify for disability tax credit due to the “cumulative effect of significant restrictions” according to policies set forth by the Canadian Revenue Agency. But what, exactly does that mean?
Defining “Cumulative Effect of Significant Restrictions”
Sometimes a person’s primary disability by itself may not cause a significant impairment of their ability to carry out the basic functions of life. However, they may also suffer other conditions which may or may not be related to their primary disability and which, when taken together, create a situation where one or more of the basic daily functions of life are significantly impaired. For example:
- If you are unable to walk under your own power for more than 50-100 meters and are also unable to focus mentally on any given topic for more than a short time these two conditions, when taken together, may create a significant restriction on one or more of the basic functions of daily life.
- If it takes you significantly longer than normal to get dressed, to walk and to feed yourself these facts when taken together may represent the equivalent of being markedly restricted in one basic activity of daily life.
There are no hard and fast rules to determine which combination of cumulative effects creates a marked restriction. The CRA will decide each case individually.
Although you may not be disabled enough to qualify for full benefits, you will qualify for partial benefits. You also qualify for benefits if you are over 18 and are the caregiver of someone with a mental or physical impairment.
No matter the physical or mental impairment or disability, it must have been present or be expected to last for a period of more than 12 months. Because there is no penalty for applying, do apply even if you are unsure if your disability or impairment qualifies you.
Benefits of Disability Tax Credits
Once you have qualified for the Disability Tax Credit, you are eligible for yearly savings. Although circumstances vary, you may be eligible for a savings of C$1,600 per year. In addition, you may be eligible for additional programs.
The Canada Disability Savings Bond
- Designed to assist people with low to modest income.
- If you qualify, you will receive up to C$1,000, with a lifetime limit of C$20,000.
- Contributions must be made to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).
The Canada Disability Savings Grant
- Maximum grant of C$3,500 per year, with a lifetime limit of C$70,000.
- Matches contributions made to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), up to 300 percent.
The Disability Tax Credit program is designed to help people with mental and physical disabilities maintain normal lives while working to the degree they are able. There is no cost to find out if you qualify. Apply today to discover if you are eligible to receive the benefits of the program that was put in place to assist Canadians with disabilities.