Disability Tax Credit Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the Disability Tax Credit? We've got the answers!
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August 28, 2015 by dcci

This section answers some frequently asked questions in detail about Disability Tax Credit. Consult the full Disability Tax Credit guide for a comprehensive look at the Disability Tax Credit Program as a whole.

Can I Receive the Disability Tax Credit If I Don’t Pay Taxes?

The DTC is a “refund” on federal income taxes paid but if you can not work due to your age (a minor or retired) or impairment you can have the “credits” go to your supporter as long as you can prove their support throughout the years in question. For example: a parent, spouse, adult son/daughter etc.

Can I Apply on Behalf Of A Family Member (Child, Spouse Or Sibling)?

Yes, you can apply on behalf of a dependent family member (child), a spouse, sibling, or a parent as long as you can prove you’re supporting the disabled person.  

Do I Have to Wait To File My Taxes To Claim The Disability Tax Credit?

No, you don’t have to wait. If you were found eligible for previous years, the CRA will re-assess your previous years automatically. Moving forward, when filing your taxes, you or your accountant must “remind” the CRA of your eligibility to receive the credits for that year. If you do not, you will not receive the credits and will have to ask the CRA for a “reassessment”.

How Do I Claim The Disability Tax Credit If I Am Approved?

After getting Approved You can claim these tax credits annually while filling your yearly tax returns. For yourself you can claim it under line 31600 of your tax return, In case you are claiming on behalf of a dependent you can claim it under line 31800 (Disability amount transferred from a dependent) of tax return and if you are claiming it on behalf of your spouse or common law partner, You have to claim it under line 32600 of tax return. If a person was eligible for the Disability Tax Credit for previous years but did not claim the disability amount when they filed their tax return, they can request the CRA to reassess their adjustments for up to 10 years retroactively.

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How Do I Know If My Disability Tax Credits Have Been Claimed?

You can always access your CRA account to check if you have claimed or been claiming Disability Tax Credit or alternatively your accountant can check that for you if you are not accessible to your CRA account. In your online CRA account check your past year Income Tax Report for Line 316 (if you were claiming for yourself), Line 318 (if you were claiming for your dependant) or Line 326 (if you were claiming for your spouse or common-law partner).

Does the Disability Tax Credit Expire?

Yes, the DTC does expire, and most DTC applications are approved for a few years in the future, usually 4-6 years. If the CRA thinks your impairment and/or your personal situation may change and get better with time, they will approve you for those years and once the eligibility period expires you will need to re-apply again with a new DTC application.

In some cases, the CRA may determine that the impairment and/or the disabled person situation may not change therefore they will approve the DTC indefinitely. 

How Do I Claim the Disability Tax Credit Refunds For Previous Years?

In part B of the t2201 your medical practitioner will tell the CRA of the years your impairment began. The DTC eligibility can go unlimited years in the past but the CRA can only reassess up to 10 years retroactively. 

If you were found eligible for previous years and not sure if you received all credits you should submit an adjustment request for all previous years through your online access or mail a T1ADJ form to the CRA.

Where Do I Send My Disability Tax Credit Certificate (Application)?

Once your T-2201 is filled out and certified by your medical practitioner you can:

 How Is the Disability Tax Credit Paid?

The Disability tax credit can be paid in a few ways:

    1. Adult retroactive payments: the CRA will reassess taxes paid during the period of eligibility and send you a one-time payment for all retroactive years.
    2. Child retroactive payments: In case of a child DTC the CRA will reassess taxes paid by the claimant (as in the point above) AND will calculate the “supplemental amount” for these years and pay it out to the parent receiving the Canada child Benefits as a “Child Disability Benefit”
    3. Annually: When filing your taxes you should claim the DTC and the amounts will be credited to you, offset the amount of taxes owed.

Use Our Simple Calculator to Estimate Your Disability Tax Credits

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How Long Does It Take to Get The Disability Tax Credit?

Each DTC application is different and may have unforeseen issues or circumstances but on average a successful DTC will take 3-6 months.

If a Doctor “Questionnaire” is required, the process may take an additional month or two.

Who Can Claim the Disability Tax Credit?

All Canadians and/or permanent residents can apply for the DTC

How Much Money Will I Receive If I Am Approved For The Disability Tax Credit?

Calculating the amount of money one can receive from the Canadian Government once approved for the DTC is a little complicated because it depends on a few factors: Age, amount of taxes paid, province, number of years approved.

To simplify the calculation, use the following formula:

Adult can expect to receive approx. $1,500-$2,000 per year.

Child can expect to receive approx. $3,000-$4,000 per year.

For more accurate results please use the Disability Tax Credit Calculator

Can I Apply for The Disability Tax Credit On Behalf Of A Deceased Family Member?

Yes, you can if your family member or dependent passed away in any of the last 10 years, DTC eligibility criteria remains the same for a deceased person. If the CRA approves your application, your legal representative or legal heir can claim the DTC on behalf of the deceased person’s final and/or past tax returns (up to ten years)

Can I Re-Apply for The Disability Tax Credit If I Was Previously Denied?

Yes. There is no limitation to the number of times a person can apply or re-apply for the DTC.

Once denied you stand two options: you can either appeal the decision by writing to the CRA or you can start a new application from scratch.

The CRA acknowledges that a lot of qualifying impairments are progressive in nature and if someone does not qualify now doesn’t mean that their impairment can not progress and aggravate further affecting basic functions of daily living. However, applying again and again without demonstrating a significant change in your condition or providing new information is useless.

Can I Still Be Eligible for The Disability Tax Credit If My Impairment Changed?

Almost all approved DTC applications have a time limitation of 4-6 years in the future due to the CRA’s belief that impairments do change, medications may alleviate the effects on daily living activities OR perhaps the impairments gotten worse. 

Therefore, when your eligibility expires you must start a new application from scratch.

If I Receive The Disability Tax Credit, Will It Affect My Chances Of Getting Approved For Government Loans Such As OSAP or other provincial disability programs?

No. The DTC is a federal tax credit, and it is not connected or influenced by other federal or provincial programs. It will not limit your eligibility for OSAP, ODSP or AISH etc.

At Disability Credit Canada, we take pride in helping disabled Canadians claim Disability tax credit. Check our other Resources

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