Common Questions About Disability Tax Credit for Spinal Stenosis

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December 24, 2015 by dccinc

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The spinal column is used for more than just keeping the body upright. All neurological activity from the brain to the body below the head is carried through the spinal cord within the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal which results in a pinching of the spinal cord. Symptoms of spinal stenosis include numbness, a tingling sensation, loss of motor control and varying degrees of pain. To help with treating impairments brought about by this condition and/or the inability to return to previous work that may be physically demanding, the government offers Disability Tax Credit for Spinal Stenosis.

Serious Conditions Caused by Spinal Stenosis

  • Pinched nerves
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Radiculopathy – weakness, loss of reflex function
  • Cauda equina syndrome – Numbness and lower extremity pain. Bowel dysfunction.

Conditions Which Often Cause Spinal Stenosis

While spinal stenosis is most widely viewed as a degenerative disease afflicting people over 50, it may also come about as a result of other conditions or occurrences including:

  • Trauma – A serious accident may cause the dislocation of discs leading to spinal stenosis.
  • Tumors – Tumors within the soft tissue surrounding the spine may impose themselves on the spinal canal and cause pinching of the spinal cord.
  • Ligament ossification – The ossification of the ligament which runs down the spine may create boney features that put pressure on the spinal canal.
  • Paget’s disease – A chronic disorder which results in enlarged bones that may interfere with the spinal canal and create pressure on the spinal cord.

Spinal Stenosis Treatments

Treatments for spinal stenosis run the gamut from education to surgery and include:

  • Over the counter medications including NSAIDS and acetaminophen that are often helpful in reducing symptoms. Narcotics may be prescribed for intense pain.
  • Light exercise to maintain health including swimming, stationary bike and walking. Your doctor may also recommend a light program of physical therapy.
  • Weight management to relieve pressure on the spine and slow the stenosis process. No good can come from the combination of spinal stenosis and being overweight.
  • Cortisone injections which are a popular but somewhat controversial therapy as the long term positive effects are vigorously debated.
  • Surgery: including interlaminar implant, lumbar laminectomy and cervical fusion.

Disability Tax Credit for Spinal Stenosis

Questions regarding the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) people with spinal stenosis might have:

  • Can I Qualify for the DTC if my Nerve Root Compression is Minimal? – Possibly. But your doctor will need to prove that your condition nonetheless creates a marked restriction in your ability to carry out at least 1 of the basic tasks of daily living.
  • Is Pseudoclaudication Alone Enough to Qualify for the DTC? – Again, it’s possible but your physician will need to prove the aforementioned marked restriction.
  • Can I Have my Chiropractor Fill out Form T2201 for me? – Chiropractors are not currently accepted as qualified medical practitioners. You will likely need an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, or MD to fill out form T2201 for you.
  • Can I Apply for Retroactive Benefits? – If you have suffered from spinal stenosis for some time but have only recently sought a proper diagnosis it may be difficult. Your doctor will establish a date when the above mentioned ‘marked restriction’ began. This date will be considered by the Canada Revenue Agency as the date when you became DTC eligible.

If you or someone you know suffers from spinal stenosis and has questions regarding their possible eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit for Spinal Stenosis, call Disability Credit Canada today on and talk to one of our disability specialists. We’re one of Ontario’s leading advocates for the disabled when it comes to the DTC and we fight tirelessly on behalf of all our clients to ensure they’re able to get the maximum assistance they’re entitled to by law.

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