How to Tell If You Qualify for Disability Tax Credits

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January 26, 2015 by dcci

Are you wondering whether or not you are eligible to receive a Disability Tax Credit from the Government of Canada? You’re not alone. The Government of Canada offers several types of Disability Tax Credits, and it’s not always completely clear who is eligible to apply. To make things simple, we’ve done the research for you, and we’ve got all your answers right here.

qualify for disability tax credit

Terms of Eligibility for Disability Tax Credit in Canada

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says that in order to be eligible for a Disability Tax Credit, the disability in question must be prolonged, and must markedly restrict the person’s actions at least 90% of the time. In other words, activities and functions that people do on a regular day (getting dressed, feeding themselves, walking, or even sight) are compromised by their disability.
Basis for the disability impairment is broken down into the following categories:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Walking
  • Elimination (bowel or bladder functions)
  • Feeding
  • Dressing
  • Performing the mental functions required for everyday life
  • Life-sustaining therapy
  • Cumulative effects of significant restrictions

In the above cases, life-sustaining therapy must meet the following conditions:

  • Therapy is needed to support a vital function – even if the therapy reduces or alleviates symptoms.
  • The applicant receives a minimum of 3 sessions per week, totalling a minimum of 14 hours.

Therapy in this case must mean that you must need to take time away from normal day-to-day activities in order to receive it. Meaning that portable devices (insulin pump) or implanted devices (pacemaker) do not count while they are actually delivering the therapy – but the time in which these things take to set up does count.
Being on a strict diet and rigorous exercise regime does not count towards meeting this minimum time threshold. Neither can the time it takes to drive to the therapy, attending other medical appointments, or recuperation time after the treatment.

It can, however, include a dosage of medicine that must be administered on a daily basis.

If the therapy is for a child (under 18 years of age), the time spent by his/her primary caregiver both supervising and performing therapy-related activities can be counted towards the 14-hour requirement.

Cumulative Effects of Significant Restrictions

It is not completely uncommon that a person can be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit even when they do not meet the criteria for being blind or markedly restricted or in any one area.
In some cases, the cumulative effects of the disability can count in the following way (definitions set by the Canada Revenue Agency):

  • Due to your impairment, you are significantly restricted when completing more than one basic activity required for daily living. Or, your vision is significantly restricted and you possess another impairment that also affects the completion of basic activities – even with the aid of therapy, medicine or other possible devices.
  • These restrictions must exist all together, and must exist the majority of the time.
  • The cumulative effect of these multiple restrictions is seen as equivalent to being markedly restricted in any one of the basic activities of daily life.

*markedly restricted: 90% of the time or more, a person is unable (or it takes more time than the average person) to perform one or more of the basic activities of daily living even with therapy (other than life-sustaining therapy to support a vital function) and the use of appropriate devices and medication.
*significantly restricted: majority of the time, a person is unable (or it takes more time than the average person) to perform one or more of the basic activities of daily living even with therapy (other than life-sustaining therapy to support a vital function) and the use of appropriate devices and medication.

Self-Assessment Questionnaire

If you’ve read the above information and still feel unsure whether or not you should proceed with an application for the Disability Tax Credit, why not fill out the self-assessment form provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? Find out more about the Disability Tax Credit Form here.

In order to apply for the Disability Tax Credit, you must fill out Form T2201 which includes a self-assessment questionnaire. You can find the form online, or you can ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you expect your impairment in physical or mental functions to last (or has it already lasted) a minimum of 12 months? (If yes, continue answering the following questions. If no, you are not eligible for the Disability Tax Credit)
2. Are you blind? Y/N
3. Do you receive life-sustaining therapy? (defined above) Y/N
4. Does your impairment cause you to be markedly restricted at least 90% of the time in any of the categories mentioned above (vision, speaking, feeding, etc.), despite appropriate therapy, medication and other devices? Y/N
5. Do you meet all of the following conditions? Y/N
a. You are significantly restricted in more than one basic daily living activity/significantly restricted vision and at least one more basic function
b. These impairments exist together at least 90% of the time.
c. The cumulative effect of these impairments is equal to being markedly restricted in a single activity.
If you answered yes to question one, and yes to question 2, 3, 4 or 5, you may be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. If this is the case, you must fill out Part A of Form T2201, and have a medical practitioner certify the effects of your impairment in Part B. Once the claim has been certified by a medical professional, you must submit the completed form to the Canada Revenue Agency.
If you answered no to all questions numbered 2 through 5, you are not eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.

Need More Help?

If for any reason you’re still unsure about whether or not you qualify, call us and speak to one of our disability tax credit consultants. All required forms and further information can be found on the CRA website. To avoid delays, be sure to apply early. These forms often need clarification and this may cause the process to take longer than expected.

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