British Columbia Disability Tax Credit Calculation, Eligibility and Application

April 19, 2024 by dccinc

With over 20% of British Columbians aged 15 to 64 living with a disability, it’s evident that a significant portion of the province’s population faces the added expenses associated with impairments. Fortunately, the Canadian provincial government offers programs like the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) to ensure that those coping with the various costs of living with a disability, such as medication or treatments, receive support.

This guide, updated and revised in February 2024, is tailored for almost 600,000 British Columbians living with a disability. It aims to provide comprehensive information about the DTC and how to navigate the application process, as well as how to handle appeals and obtain the tax refund you are owed. This updated guide covers new eligibility criteria, potential benefits, updated amounts and methods for calculating DTC amounts, and other specific disability benefits and programs available in British Columbia.

In essence, the Disability Tax Credit is a federal tax credit designed to reduce the federal income tax burden for Canadians with disabilities. It serves as the Canadian government’s initiative to assist disabled Canadians and their families in managing the diverse expenses associated with impairments or disabilities.

There are two different refunds one can receive from the Disability Tax Credit:

  • An annual refund of up to $2,000 per year for eligible adults or up to $4,000 for those caring for a child with a disability.
  • A retroactive refund of up to $20,000 for adults and up to $40,000 for those caring for a child with a disability, paid in a one-time lump sum if found eligible for years before being qualified for the DTC.

This guide was made specifically for those in British Columbia applying for the DTC, but to learn more, we suggest that you read our comprehensive Disability Tax Credit guide as it goes into all aspects of the DTC in depth.

PLEASE NOTE: This guide has been written based on our extensive knowledge and years of industry experience to ensure its accuracy and comprehensiveness in educating and informing our fellow Canadians. However, this should not be used as a substitute for official documentation provided by the CRA on the DTC. Therefore, we request that you use it wisely!

What is the Disability Tax Credit?

The Disability Tax Credit is a non-refundable Federal tax credit created by the Canada Revenue Agency for individuals with severe or prolonged mental or physical impairments. The DTC reduces the amount an eligible person must put into income tax to help with any costs that come with their impairments.

To be eligible for the DTC, you must have a severe impairment and have paid Federal taxes for the year you are applying for the tax refund.

Also, being eligible for the DTC is the only way to qualify for the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RSDP). This savings plan helps disabled Canadians save for long-term financial security.

The Child Disability Tax Credit & Child Disability Benefit Explained

The Child Disability Tax Credit is the same as the adult DTC – sharing both eligibility criteria and the application process. The only difference is that the Child DTC’s refund is calculated after the person is found eligible rather than before.

If found eligible for the DTC as an adult, you will get a refund based on the amount of federal taxes paid. If a child (under 18) is found eligible for the DTC, their caregivers may receive two different refunds:

A Federal tax refund if the impaired child’s supporter has paid into Federal income taxes.
The Child Disability Benefit (CDB), is a tax-free monthly payment that does not require any contributions to Federal taxes.

To learn more about the Child Disability Tax Credit, check out our in-depth guide.


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Are you Eligible for Disability Tax Credit?

The majority of all the DTC-eligible conditions fall under three categories: physical impairments, mental illness / psychological impairments, and neurological impairments.

It is important to note that you are not automatically qualified for the DTC just because you have been diagnosed with a certain condition. Instead, the CRA looks at how your condition affects your “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL).

To determine if someone’s condition is eligible for the DTC, the CRA will see if it falls under one of the three following criteria:

Markedly Restricted

You are unable to perform the activity, or it takes at least three times longer than someone of similar age without the impairment, even with the use of appropriate therapy, medication, and devices. 

This restriction is present all or almost all of the time, generally at least 90%. Furthermore, the restriction has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

Life-Sustaining Therapy

If you spend 14 hours each week or more on life-sustaining therapies to support vital functions such as dialysis, insulin therapy, oxygen therapy, and chest physiotherapy, and require these therapies at least 2 times per week, you may be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) under life-sustaining therapy.

To learn more, visit our Disability Tax Credit Eligibility article.

How to Calculate the Disability Tax Credit in British Columbia

The following section breaks down how the DTC refund is calculated using up-to-date British Columbia refund numbers, but if you’re not an accountant or your math skills are not great, you can head to our Disability Tax Credit Calculator, which can quickly and accurately estimate your expected refunds.

To calculate your DTC refund, you should first understand what the Disability Tax Credit consists of.

The Federal and Provincial amounts consist of a ‘Base Amount’ and, if applicable, a ‘Supplemental Amount.’ The Supplemental Amount is provided to eligible individuals who are under 18 years of age at the end of the tax year. We’ll further explain these components below:

  • Base Amount:
    The Federal base amount is around 15% of the base amount ($9,428 as of 2023), equating to about $1,414.2.
    The Provincial base amount is around 5.6% of the disability amount for that tax year ($8,986 as of 2023), equating to about $503.2.
  • Supplemental Amount:
    The Federal supplemental portion is 15% of the base amount ($5,500 as of 2023), equating to about $825.
    The Provincial supplemental portion is around 5.6% of the disability amount for that tax year ($5,242 as of 2023), equating to about $293.55.

Therefore, the base amount from both Federal and Provincial sources is around $1,917.4, and the supplemental amount from both Federal and Provincial sources is approximately $1,118.55.

Based on the calculation example above, an adult in British Columbia would receive approximately $1,917.4 for the year 2023. When combining the “Base Amount” and “Supplemental Amount,” an eligible individual under 18 in British Columbia would receive $3,035.95 in Disability Tax Credits for the 2023 tax year.

While the Federal amounts are the same across the country, the Provincial amounts change for each Province.

Here are some examples of what you could receive if you’re eligible:

Federal Base Amount and Supplement Amount Table for Last 10 Years

Year Federal Base Amount Federal Supplement Amount
2013 $7,697 $4,490
2014 $7,766 $4,530
2015 $7,899 $4,607
2016 $8,001 $4,667
2017 $8,113 $4,733
2018 $8,235 $4,804
2019 $8,416 $4,909
2020 $8,576 $5,003
2021 $8,662 $5,053
2022 $8,870 $5,174
2023 $9,428 $5,500

British Columbia Provincial Base and Supplement Amount Table for Last 10 Years

Year Provincial Base Amount Provincial Supplement amount
2013 $7,394 $4,314
2014 $7,402 $4,318
2015 $7,454 $4,349
2016 $7,521 $4,388
2017 $7,656 $4,467
2018 $7,809 $4,556
2019 $8,012 $4,674
2020 $8,212 $4,791
2021 $8,303 $4,844
2022 $8,477 $4,946
2023 $8,986 $5,242


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How do I Apply for the DTC?

One of the main complaints Canadians have had with the DTC is the complexity of the application process, but we are happy to report that the CRA has listened to Canadians and greatly simplified the application process.

However, even though the application process is considerably straightforward, it isn’t easy to get your DTC application approved.

Through the years, we’ve found that many applicants and their medical practitioners do not fill out the T2201 correctly, overlook important information, and therefore get denied.

While more severe impairments are easy to diagnose and be approved for, less visible conditions will be harder to prove and, in turn, much more challenging to be considered eligible. A large percentage of applicants will be denied, so it is essential to acquire a lot of evidence to legitimize your claim.

Applying for the DTC can be broken down into three steps:

It is advantageous for you to fill out the T2201 form as accurately and thoroughly as possible – this is crucial for your DTC application’s success, and you have to wait anywhere from 1 month to over a year to hear back from the CRA regarding your DTC application.

Most Reasons for Your DTC Application to be Denied

For those with severe, noticeable impairments, approval should be no problem; however, for conditions that fall in a “grey area” and are less visible, being approved is not a simple task. Being denied also makes the process much more difficult as you then must “re-explained” and elaborate further on your condition, seeking our new medical practitioners and undergoing more tests in the process.

Throughout our many years of experience, we have seen many reasons applications are denied. Some reasons are simple, while others can be complex.

  • Missing or incomplete information on the T2201 form
  • Lack of knowledge of the DTC
  • Inconsistent medical diagnosis
  • Impairment didn’t qualify
  • Duration of impairment too short
  • Cumulative effects of impairment not included.
  • Lack of supporting medical documents to prove the severity of your condition.

What to do If Your Application is Denied

It is important to note that just because your application was denied, it does not mean that you are unable to receive the tax refund. You can apply to the DTC as many times as necessary with zero consequences, so be sure to know your options if your application is denied.

Some of the options available to you are:

    • You can appeal the CRA’s decision by raising a formal objection.
    • Submit a new T2201 form with new information about your impairments.
    • Use a different medical practitioner with more knowledge about the DTC.
    • Call/write the CRA for further clarification regarding your application.

What are Other Disability Programs Available for British Columbia?

If you are living in British Columbia and living with an impairment, there are many other programs created to assist with daily living, such as:

In Conclusion

The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is intended for disabled Canadians who are still able to work but require financial assistance to cover expenses related to their impairment. Applying for the DTC is free of charge, and you can submit multiple applications without any consequences.

At Disability Credit Canada, we have assisted thousands of Canadians in maximizing their benefits from the Disability Tax Credit. Our expertise in tax refunds and eligibility criteria ensures a smooth application process. We assist you in gathering necessary information and connect you with appropriate medical practitioners to enhance your chances of approval. Apply today to find out if you qualify for the Disability Tax Credit in British Columbia.

We provide complimentary assessments and operate on a NO WIN – NO FEE basis, meaning we only receive payment if you do. This incentivizes us to ensure you receive the maximum refund possible.

For your best chance of approval for the Disability Tax Credit, call us today at 1-844-800-6020.

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