Now that you have an idea what a Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is, it would be prudent to determine whether you or your loved ones meet the Disability Tax Credit eligibility requirements. Trying to familiarize yourself with the DTC while at the same time dealing with your own, or a loved one’s, new or chronic ailment and all that entails (doctor visits, lost work, physical therapy and the like) can be a daunting task. For some, the research involved alone is one too many things to contemplate. Because we understand the physical and emotional hardships many disabled Canadians are dealing with on a daily basis, we’ll try and present the information you need to know here, in as clear and concise a manner possible.
Our goal at Disability Credit Canada is to educate people about the different kinds of disabilities. A lot of us are still unsure about what qualifies as a disability due to lack of available information. Here, we are able to reach out to you to help increase awareness on various kinds of disabilities and how you may qualify to receive benefits for which.
Comprehensive Disability Tax Credit Guide
How to determine your Disability Tax Credit Eligibility?
The first step in figuring out how to get back on your feet after a life-altering diagnosis or accident is to determine what kind of help is available to you; including whether or not you or your loved one meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the Disability Tax Credit program. So, before you begin the DTC application process, take the time to read the information provided below. It will help you get a better idea of the disability tax credit eligibility requirements, the various steps involved in applying, the information you need to have ready before you begin and what to expect after you’ve filed the application.
Take your time. Read the information carefully. If you have access to a printer, print this page so you can review it whenever you have questions at any stage of the application process.
Disability Tax Credit Eligibility & Application
Many factors are taken into account when reviewing your eligibility for disability tax credit. Before your Disability Tax Credit eligibility is determined, you must first apply and you do that by downloading Form T2201 from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website or visiting one of their regional offices and picking up the form in person. Form T2201 consists of 2 distinct parts. Part A is where you fill out your personal information and describe your disability. Part B is filled out by your doctor or health practitioner. In Part B, the health professional details the nature and extent of your disability and provides any other relevant information CRA may require or request. It is vital to any successful application that Part B is filled out in full.
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Part A and the Importance of “Markedly Restricted”
One phrase you’ll see and hear repeatedly when applying for the DTC is “markedly restricted”. In short, a “markedly restricted” person is one who will have difficulties performing at least one of the following basic functions of daily life:
- Elimination of bowel and/or bladder
- Mental functions necessary for daily living
The restriction must be acute in at least one area or ‘significant’ in 2 or more areas and last for more than 12 months. The marked restriction will consistently interfere with the individual’s ability to perform the task or tasks. A person that requires life-sustaining therapy to support one or more of the above outlined vital functions may also qualify.
Note: Recent amendments to DTC legislation introduced a new set of criteria that should more accurately reflect the reality of many disabled people. That is the “cumulative effects of significant restrictions”. In other words if you or a loved one suffers some restriction in several of life’s basic functions the cumulative effect of all those restrictions is now taken into consideration, even if there is no single overwhelming restriction.
To get a better idea of the factors that are taken into account when reviewing your eligibility for disability tax credit, here are a few standard guidelines.
1. Have you been impaired for, or expect to be impaired for, at least 12 months?
If the answer is yes then you should continue asking yourself the remaining questions; otherwise, you are not eligible for a disability tax credit.
2. Are you blind?
3. Do you receive life-sustaining therapy?
Examples include any therapy or devices used to facilitate breathing, or kidney dialysis.
4. Does your impairment cause marked restriction to any of the following daily activities?
- Elimination (bowel or bladder functions)
- Mental functions necessary for everyday life
The CRA defines “markedly restricted” as: “You are markedly restricted if, all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time), you are unable or it takes you an inordinate amount of time … to perform one or more of the basic activities of daily living … even with therapy (other than therapy to support a vital function) and the use of appropriate devices and medication.”
5. Do you meet all of the following conditions?
- Are you significantly restricted in two or more of the daily activities mentioned above even with the appropriate medicine, therapy and devices?
- Do these restrictions exist together at least 90% of the time?
- Is the cumulative effect of these restrictions equivalent to being “markedly restricted” in a single basic activity of daily living?
If you answered yes to question 1 and yes to one or more of questions two through five then you may qualify for disability tax credit. Keep in mind that if you receive disability benefits from the Canada, or Quebec, Pension Plans, workers’ compensation benefits, or other types of disability or insurance benefits, you do not necessarily qualify for the tax credit.
You may also find it helpful to check specific requirements prescribed by your province in our province eligibility resources.
Part B and the Cooperation of your Doctor or Health Practitioner
As mentioned, in order for the CRA to determine Disability Tax Credit eligibility, Part B of the DTC application must be filled out completely and correctly by the health practitioner most familiar with your situation. A relevant health practitioner may include an MD, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist an optometrist an audiologist or anyone else with specific, specialized knowledge of your case.
The medical practitioner must take care to fill in all required fields and provide any supporting information CRA may request or require. Failure to comply with CRA requests or requirements will likely lead to the application being rejected. In addition the CRA reserves the right to ask for supplemental information relevant to the application at any time during or after the initial consideration process.
The CRA alone reserves the right to accept or reject any application. Should your application be accepted and you qualify for the Disability Tax Credit the length of time for which you receive the credit is again, up to the CRA. Be aware that once approved, you have the right to apply for up to 10 years of retroactive benefits which, if approved, could make a significant impact on the quality of life for both you and your loved ones. To apply for these retroactive benefits you’ll be required to file Form T1-ADJ for each of the years in question. The benefits specialists at Disability Credit Canada are uniquely qualified to help you with this process.
Right to Appeal
Should your DTC application be rejected, you still have options. If you filled out the application yourself, your first step should be to review your entire application with a qualified benefits specialist and see if there were any omissions or mistakes and then re-filing the application. If it is rejected yet again you may file an appeal with the CRA. You will be assigned an appeals officer who will review all aspects of your case and make a decision whether to uphold the rejection or reverse it and approve your application.
Disability Credit Canada helps disabled Canadians receive the life changing assistance they are entitled to under the Disability Tax Credit program. We understand every nuance of the process and have shepherded scores of applications through the system to final approval. If you believe you may be eligible for the DTC or have questions related to your Disability Tax Credit eligibility call Disability Credit Canada today, and set yourself on the road to recovery.
And here, we tell you how to do just the opposite – live a full life, and live with a disability. Here, we tell you how life goes on no matter the limitations of your or your loved ones’ disability.
ADHD or ADD: Qualifying for disability tax credit when you or your child has ADHD or ADD is a big challenge due to the various aspects of the disability.
ALS: An estimated 2000 Canadians are currently afflicted with ALS, with two or three fatalities from the disease each day. Having ALS is devastating to the disabled and family members.
Alzheimer’s Disease: About 500,000 Canadians are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia, Confusion, nervousness, and poor memory may all be signs of this un-curable disease.
Amputation: An estimated 200,000 Canadians are amputees and diabetes is the main cause for the majority of amputations. We have helped several Canadian’s with amputation get Disability Tax Credit.
Anorexia: There are two specific Anorexia diagnoses depending on the behaviors and symptoms a patient exhibits: Anorexia Nervosa and Anorexia Athletica.
Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety disorders can affect any person of any age, ethnicity, or social class, and if symptoms become disabling, many can seek financial support for treatment through the Canadian disability tax credit.
Arthritis: Arthritic conditions can range from mild tendinitis in the hands or bursitis in joints, to crippling systemic conditions, or a variety of related pain disorders. When the arthritic symptoms become disabling, one can certainly be eligible for the Canadian disability tax credit.
Asperger Syndrome: Asperger syndrome is a form of autism that affects patients neurologically and behaviorally, and may need special care depending on how the condition manifests. Patients with this condition can certainly be eligible for disability tax credit.
Autism: In Canada, autism affects roughly 1 in 88 children (This number is a 78 percent increase from the year 2006) and a child can be diagnosed with different autistic tendencies on the autism spectrum. Autism patients may qualify for disability tax credit and this credit could be used to assist patients with any therapies or medications that may be required.
Bipolar Disorder: Patients who are classified as bipolar exhibit erratic changes in behavior. Depression, lowered energy levels, and mood swings. Diagnosed patients may be eligible for the disability tax credit.
Blindness: For those suffering from blindness in one or both eyes, it is important to recognize that every case is different and therefore disability tax credit eligibility is done on a case by case basis.
Celiac: Though celiac restricts and limits the available food options for those with the disease, it does not automatically make one eligible for disability tax credit and may be very challenging to qualify for it.
Cerebral Palsy: Approximately 40,000 Canadians live with cerebral palsy, and the overwhelming majority of diagnosed cases are congenital, meaning they are present at birth or develop very soon after. As every case of cerebral palsy affects each patient differently, it is not always a sure eligibility for disability tax credit.
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Chronic Fatigue: Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder with no known cause and no test that can easily diagnose it therefore it is not so clear if one is eligible for disability tax credit or not.
Chronic Pain: The general consensus is that any pain lasting more than 12 weeks can be considered chronic pain yet the elusive nature of this condition makes it difficult to decide its disability tax credit eligibility.
Crohn’s Disease: It is estimated that approximately 200,000 Canadians are currently diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Though it is a lifelong condition, symptoms often come and go, and a person can experience months without flare-ups therefore disability tax credit eligibility should be determined on individual basis.
Deafness: Hearing loss is unequivocally the fastest growing chronic condition Canadians currently face and there are more than one million Canadians with some level of hearing disability. Some may be eligible for Canada’s disability tax credit and some may not.
Depression: Roughly around 12 percent of Canadians met the criteria for major depression at some point in their lives. The severity of the depression as well the effect of it on your life is the deciding factor when it comes to your eligibility for the disability tax credit.
Diabetes: it is estimated that about nine million Canadians live with diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions. About 10 percent suffering from Type I Diabetes, and the number of people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes increasing at a dramatic rate. The eligibility for disability tax credit is determined when evaluating the severity of the diabetes on a patient’s life.
Down Syndrome: Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that occurs in approximately 1 out of every 800 live births and life expectancy for persons with Down syndrome has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Disability tax credit eligibility is pretty straight forward and should be applied by the parents as soon as they receive the diagnosis.
Dyslexia: Dyslexic persons and their caregivers (parents, if the disabled person is still a child) may be eligible for the disability tax credit. Money spent on special tutors, counseling, etc., can be partially reimbursed through the disability tax credit.
Emphysema: Emphysema is a lung disease which occurs when the air sacs of your lungs are slowly destroyed, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Living with emphysema can be a very costly affair and should you suffer from it you should seek help figuring out your eligibility for disability tax credit.
Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a disorder within the brain that causes the electric system to cause seizures. These seizures are marked by a change in the ability of the person to move and respond to stimuli appropriately; they may also lose consciousness. Find out more about being eligible for Disability Tax Credit if you or a loved on have been diagnosed with Epilepsy.
Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread pain and accompanied by a rash of secondary indicators. For this condition, the Government of Canada offers support through Disability Tax Credit.
Gout: In Canada alone gout, or “gouty arthritis,” afflicts an estimated 1.5 million people. We at Disability Credit Canada, can help you claim Disability Tax Credit if you or your loved one have been diagnosed with gout.
High Functioning Autism: In the recent change of the DSM, four diagnoses (autism disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive development disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder) were rolled into one diagnosis now known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Learn more about how it affects eligibility for Disability Tax Credit.
Interstitial Cystitis: Interstitial Cystitis is a chronic condition that deals with issues of the bladder. It is more commonly known as painful bladder syndrome or PBS. Learn more about how we can help you claim Disability Tax Credit if you have been diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis.
Mental Retardation: Mental retardation, otherwise known as an intellectual disability or MR/ID, happens when a child’s brain does not develop as it should. There are programs available to help families with intellectually disabled children. One such program is the Child Disability Tax Credit that is offered in Canada.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Multiple sclerosis, known as MS, is a disease that targets the central nervous system. More than 2.3 million people worldwide are likely affected by MS. Learn more about Disability Tax Credit eligibility if you or your loved one has been diagnosed with this disease.
Muscular Dystrophy: Muscular dystrophy (MD) is the name given to a group of muscle diseases that weaken the voluntary muscles. Muscular dystrophy can appear at any time of life, but often manifests itself in early childhood. A Disability Tax Credit can help ease the financial burden faced by ones suffering from this disease.
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis (also called OA, degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis) is the most common form of arthritis and a leading cause of chronic disability in Canada and many other countries. While there is no working cure at this time, a Disability Tax Credit can definitely help reduce some financial burden for those diagnosed with Osteoarthritis.
Parkinson’s Disease: Nearly 100,000 Canadians suffer from Parkinson’s disease, which is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that can rob a person of the ability to lead a normal, productive life. Learn more about Disability Tax Credit eligibility if you or your loved one have been diagnosed with this disease.
Sensory Processing Disorder: Sensory integration disorder, which is also known as sensory processing disorder or SPD, is a condition in which the brain is unable to properly take in information from the senses and create an appropriate response. Make sure to look into your eligibility to receive assistance through Canada’s Disability Tax Credit program.
Speech Disability: A disability such as speech disability works to keep a person from being able to accurately articulate thoughts in a verbal fashion, from being able to speak clearly or concisely, or from being able to form full sentences without trouble. Find out more about your eligibility for Disability Tax Credit.
Spinal Cord Injury: According to studies, there are more than 1,500 Canadians that suffer a spinal cord injury per year. A spinal cord injury can result in marked restrictions of physical movement which could lead you to get approved for Disability Tax Credit. Find out more about the help available and eligibility for Disability Tax Credit.
Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a common affliction that causes back and leg pain, usually in men and women over 50 years of age. This pain can interfere with day-to-day tasks and make certain types of work impossible which can qualify you to claim Disability Tax Credit.
Tendinitis: Tendinitis occurs when the tendon (a connective tissue that attaches the end of the muscle to the bone) becomes inflamed due to injury or repetitive overuse. This can lead to problems performing day to day living tasks. If you have been diagnosed with tendinitis, you could be eligible for Disability Tax Credit.
Ulcerative Colitis: Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that fall into the category of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Colitis creates irritation and swelling in the large intestine & painful sores known commonly as ulcers also develop on the sensitive lining of the colon and can be very painful. Canadians suffering from this condition can absolutely be eligible for disability tax credit and receive substantial refunds from the government.