Need of Disability Tax Credit for Families with Special Children
A new article on todaysparent.com sheds a long overdue light on the real cost of raising a special needs child in Canada. It starts right off by putting its finger on the pulse of the problem:
…our publicly funded healthcare system protects most parents from being bankrupted by medical bills—when a baby is born prematurely and spends a month in the neonatal intensive care unit, for instance. But kids with conditions such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, and more “invisible” challenges like ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), need equipment, services and care that may not be covered by provincial health plans, other government programs or private extended health insurance.
As the article points out the financial stress put on parents of special needs children is an issue that seems to have fallen through cracks in the social discourse and left many families with few options and nowhere to turn for help. As an example the article highlights the plight of parents of children with autism and how the amount of assistance available to them varies wildly depending on where they live. In B.C. for example:
each child gets up to $22,000 per year up to six years old and up to $6,000 a year after age six (until age 18) to spend on approved therapies, programs, equipment, tools and parent training. What’s more, parents get to decide how to spend the money.
Yet as the article states, in Ontario: “…only one type of treatment—called Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention—is funded (typically 20 to 25 hours per week) and its waiting lists for funded treatment can stretch for two to four years, depending on the region.”
As a result parents with special needs children often find themselves facing terrible dilemmas other parents simply never have to face. They often need to cut back on work, making their already precarious financial situation even more acute. Some even relocate to an area where assistance is more generous and readily available. Situations like this only serve to emphasize the important role a program like the Disability Tax Credit can play in the life of a family with a special needs child.
The Disability Tax Credit was created to meet the exceptional financial challenges faced by just such families. In many cases it is the difference between a family staying together in their home and one parent or even the entire family needing to relocate either to make more money (the parent) or to take advantage of better provincial benefits (the family).
Making The Disability Tax Credit Work For You
There have been dozens of studies that deal with the causes and effects of doctors migrating to find better jobs. However, the subject of, and impact on, individuals and families who have had to migrate for the good of their special needs children has been largely ignored.
While statistics for Canadian families with autistic children are incomplete, large scale studies have been conducted on families with autistic children in the U.S. An article on livescience.com goes into detail regarding the staggering financial burden such families are forced to bear beginning with the fact that mothers of autistic children earn $14,755 less every year on average than do mothers of healthy children. All told families that include an autistic child earn on average $17,763 less than their counterparts with healthy children. Canadian numbers can be assumed to be roughly equivalent.
Those incredible numbers go a long way toward explaining why so many families affected by autism and other disabilities depend on the Disability Tax Credit to help keep them afloat. It also speaks to the need for families to make sure they have a powerful advocate on their side during the application and approval process to ensure they receive the maximum benefit they are entitled to.
Disability Credit Canada is That Advocate: Contact Us Today to Learn More
At Disability Credit Canada we’re proud of our work advocating on behalf of the disabled and their families. We step in and fill the gap created by misunderstanding of the rules, intimidation caused by the confusing application process and what is often inaccurate advice from medical professionals unfamiliar with the vagaries of disability law. Our mission is to get you the financial assistance you’re entitled to. Period.
Read our child disability tax credit guide to get more information or call us today at 1-855-7 65-4458 and put our highly trained, experienced benefits team to work for you.