With over half a million of British Columbia’s population living with an impairment or disability, it is clear that many of the Province’s inhabitants are dealing with the added costs attached to having an impairment.
Luckily, the Canadian provincial government has programs like the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) to ensure those dealing with the various costs of having a disability, such as medication or treatments, are covered.
This British Columbia Disability Tax Credit guide was created specifically to inform almost 600,000 British Columbians that are living with a disability about the DTC. This guide will cover everything from eligibility criteria, how much you stand to receive, how to calculate the DTC amounts and other available British Columbia-specific disability benefits and programs available, and more.
In a nutshell, the Disability Tax Credit is a Federal tax credit aimed at reducing the amount of Federal income tax Canadians with disabilities pay. The DTC is the Canadian government’s way of helping working disabled Canadians and their families with the various costs associated with an impairment or disability.
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 prior to 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.
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 into 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), which 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.
FIND OUT IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO
RECEIVE THE DISABILITY TAX CREDIT!
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:
You’re markedly restricted, meaning performing ADL takes three times longer than a non-disabled person of the same age.
Your conditions affect you 90% of the time, or a combination of restrictions caused by your condition cumulatively affects you 90% of the time.
You spend 14 hours or more a week life-sustaining therapy, such as insulin therapy, physiotherapy, or dialysis.
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 DTC is comprised of a “Base Amount” and a “Supplemental Amount,” if applicable.
- Base Amount: 15% of the Federal base disability amount ($8,576 as of 2020) plus 10% of the Provincial base disability amount ($8,712 as of 2020), equating to around $2,157.60
- Supplemental Amount: 15% of the Federal supplemental portion ($5,003 as of 2020), plus 10% of the Provincial supplemental portion ($5,081 as of 2020), equating to around $1,258.55.
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|
British Columbia Provincial Base and Supplement Amount Table for Last 10 Years
|Year||Provincial Base Amount||Provincial Supplement amount|
FIND OUT IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO
RECEIVE THE DISABILITY TAX CREDIT!
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 straight-forward, 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:
- Download the T2201 Form from the CRA’s website.
- Print the T2201 and take it to your health care practitioner to fill out and sign.
- Send the signed T2201 by mail to the CRA’s processing centre.
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 and straightforward, while others can be complex.
- Missing or incomplete information on 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:
- Assistive Technology BC provides assistive technology resources to make learning environments usable.
- Community Living BC provides funds, supports, and services to adults with developmental disabilities.
- Centre for Accessible Post-secondary Education Resources BC provides accessible materials to students and instructors who cannot use conventional print because of disabilities.
- WorkBC helps disabled British Columbians navigate the Provinces labour market.
The DTC is for disabled Canadians who can still work but require financial assistance to help with fees created due to their impairment. There is no cost associated with applying, and you can apply as many times as needed with no added consequence.
At Disability Credit Canada, we have helped countless Canadians receive the most out of the Disability Tax Credit. Our extensive knowledge of the tax refund and eligibility criteria assures you will have no trouble through the application process. We help you collect information and put you in contact with the proper medical practitioners to ensure you have the best chance for approval – so apply today and discover if you qualify for Disability Tax Credit in British Columbia.
We offer free assessments and work on a NO WIN – NO FEE basis, meaning we only get paid if you do and are incentivized to bring you the most out of your refund!
Call us today at 1-844-800-6020 for your best chance of approval for the Disability Tax Credit.