Arthritis is commonly thought of as a singular disorder, though the term is an umbrella description used to encompass over 100 different conditions associated with joint pain. Arthritic conditions affect over 4.6 million adults in Canada each year, and the condition can vary from minor joint pain to permanently disability. Many who suffer from conditions under the umbrella of arthritis often qualify for Disability Tax Credit for Arthritis, a form of assistance from the Canadian government.
Types of Arthritis and Diagnosing the Condition
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. Some disorders that fall under the umbrella of arthritis include:
- Systemic Conditions—Rheumatoid, juvenile, psoriatic, and osteoarthritis fall into this category, as do Lupus and Scleroderma.
- Pain and Musculoskeletal Conditions—Falling into this category are common diseases such as Fibromyalgia, EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), Ankylosing Spondylitis, and RSDS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome)
Patients often approach their doctors with joint or musculoskeletal pain. Symptoms may be constant or reoccurring with no specific cause. Inflammation causes the pain from arthritis, which can also show up as redness or swelling in various joints. Upon recognizing these symptoms, your physician will perform an overall physical examination to add into your medical history, and may order x-ray images or blood tests to rule out other causes of pain.
Though commonly thought of as a disease of the elderly, arthritis can affect any person of any age. Obtaining an early diagnosis is critical to pain management and improving quality of life. As the disease progresses, many therapies and other treatments can be covered by the Canadian Disability Tax Credit for Arthritis if the condition has made it difficult or impossible for normal movement or body function.
Disability Tax Credit for Arthritis and Other Support
Suffering from arthritic conditions can not only be personally devastating, but can often involve costly treatments, various therapies, and lost productivity, if the condition becomes disabling. It is estimated that between healthcare costs and productivity losses, arthritis costs the Canadian economy approximately $33 billion each year. This number is expected to double as healthcare costs continue to rise.
While there is no cure for the disease, the following are a few preventative measures that you can take to reduce the likely hood of developing an arthritic condition, or slow progression of the disease.
- Be physically active and maintain a healthy weight
- Protect your joints by maintaining proper form during exercise and being smart when working around the house or yard
- If you develop arthritis, take steps to educate yourself about the condition and learn how manage it.
Patients diagnosed with arthritis can apply for the Canadian disability credit to assist with financing treatment and physical therapy if their condition worsens. Support can also be found through a number of organizations, including:
- The Arthritis Research Centre of Canada—provides clinical research trials, a patient research Centre, and support for rehabilitation. Counselors can also assist with the disability tax credit application.
- Arthritis Alliance of Canada—provides support for physicians to develop models of care specifically for inflammatory arthritic conditions, and assists patients with getting connected to an appropriate rheumatologist.
- The Arthritis Society—provides charity services, education, and care programs for Canadian patients with arthritis. Will also assist in providing information about the Canadian disability credit available for patients with arthritis.
The Disability Tax Service estimates that those who qualify for a disability tax credit amount can receive anywhere from $1,600 to $35,000 to cover costs of medical care and therapies to treat arthritis. If you or a loved one is suffering from a form of arthritis, contact your physician for a diagnosis and plan of treatment to improve your overall quality of life.
We can help you live a life free from pain. Give us a call today for a free consultation about the Disability Tax Credit for Arthritis application!