Conditions That You Might Not Realize Aren’t Always Covered by the Canadian Disability Tax Credit
If you currently find yourself struggling with a physical or mental disability, life is more difficult than it should be. You may be unable to work, and if you can work at all, your income is almost certainly reduced. Your family is probably having a harder time making ends meet than you did before the disability commenced.
If that sounds like you, the Canadian Disability Tax Credit may be the solution you’re looking for. Managed by the Revenue Service of Canada, the disability tax credit is a refund that is added to your annual tax rebate, provided that you meet all of the eligibility requirements. Without question, you should apply for the tax credit. But don’t assume that you automatically qualify.
Disabilities Not Always Covered by the Canadian Disability Tax Credit
Some people are faced with a paradoxical situation after submitting their Disability Tax Credit application: they are diagnosed with a disability, but still rejected for the tax credit. Here are some conditions that don’t necessarily make you eligible:
- Bipolar Disorder – This mental disorder is very real, and prevents countless otherwise-qualified Canadians from holding down regular jobs. But unfortunately, it often falls into a gray area when it comes to applying for assistance programs such as the Canadian Disability Tax Credit. The reason is that it’s very difficult to establish, from a legal standpoint, that you’re too impaired to work. You may be functioning entirely normally one day, then unable to perform basic functions the next. If you suffer from bipolar disorder, it’s worth your while to discuss your situation with a social services professional. They can guide you through the process to ensure that your application is successful.
- ADD/ADHD – Attention-deficit disorders are always tricky when applying for benefits. Many people truly are unable to work due to severe ADD or ADHD; others suffer from less debilitating cases and are able to return to work with some medication and therapy. For that reason, many people suffering from this disability find themselves rejected.In order to be approved for the tax credit, you need to prove that your ADD is so severe that it prevents you from performing basic work-related tasks, even if you’re using medication.That is something that only a licensed practitioner can vouch for, so be sure to consult with your doctor before applying. But while your doctor’s approval is necessary, your application is ultimately your responsibility. The last thing you want is to be turned away because you didn’t document the full extent of your disability.
- Multiple Sclerosis – This condition is by definition deemed a “disability,” and meets the Revenue Service’s criteria for “prolonged” as well (meaning that it lasts for a period of 12 months of longer). But if you suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), you still may not qualify. The reason is that MS can cause varying degrees of impairment. In order for your condition to qualify as “severe,” it must meet one of the following conditions: cause basic tasks to take at least three times longer than what is considered normal, or require regular sessions of “life-sustaining therapy. ”Granted, most MS patients meet the above criteria. But some don’t, so you need to take pains to submit detailed medical records along with your Disability Tax Credit application.
- Arthritis – Roughly 4.6 million Canadians suffer from at least one form of arthritis. Most of those people are eligible for the Canadian Disability Tax Credit. But like sufferers of all conditions on this list, some of them aren’t. In fact, arthritis is one of the disabilities most often rejected for the tax credit. Arthritis is caused by more than 100 medical conditions, and comes in varying degrees. It’s important that you have a licensed practitioner conduct detailed tests on your condition. If you’re severely impaired, you’ll qualify for the tax credit. If not, you’ll be rejected.
- Autism – This disorder very often is debilitating, but according to the Revenue Service, it isn’t necessarily so. In fact, many people with autism are able to perform basic functions and hold down a steady job. However, if you suffer from autism your situation is much more difficult than most, and you still deserve assistance. You’ll need to take all necessary steps when submitting your application, however.
What to Do if Your Disability Tax Credit Application is Rejected
If you’re reading this, chances are fairly high that you had an application rejected in the past. Considering that your condition is certainly a disability, this was a very confusing and disappointing experience. But don’t give up. Fight for the tax credit you’re entitled to.
Just because you were rejected doesn’t mean you aren’t eligible. The Revenue Service often rejects applications for incomplete documentation or minor errors. And remember, it’s a government agency that is only going to distribute as much funding as it absolutely has to.
So, if you find yourself rejected, there are two steps to follow:
- Re-apply – If you were rejected for the Canadian Disability Tax Credit last year, apply again. But this time, talk with a professional before submitting your application. The more details you get right on your paperwork, the higher your chances of receiving the benefit you need.
- Appeal Your Rejection – The other thing you should do (and this is really important!) is appeal your past rejections. Provided you can provide medical proof of your disability, you can persuade the Revenue Service to overturn its previous decision. The money that you should have received last year will be added to your tax return this year. In fact, statistics show that the majority of appeals are successful.
If you have a disability but were rejected for the Canadian Disability Tax Credit, you and your family deserve justice. Disability Credit Canada is an independent agency based in Toronto that specializes in helping people just like you. Our experienced professionals can help you understand your rights, guide you through the application process, and provide assistance in appealing a past rejection.