Disability Tax Credit: Extending Fairness to the Disabled
An article on the website of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities points to the need to extend the scope of the landmark Disability Tax Credit by making it refundable.
A refundable DTC would help offset additional costs for persons living with significant disabilities, regardless of the person’s income,” states Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson. “It would provide a modest annual amount of money to many people with disabilities living on low income. It would be a first step toward poverty alleviation for people with disabilities.
In Canada the poverty rate for the disabled is nearly 50% higher than for the non-disabled while in the U.S. 28% of disabled adults are living in poverty while the poverty rate for the non-disabled is 12.5%. These figures only serve to underscore the fact that something needs to be done to extend the reach of programs like the Disability Tax Credit – which does such a commendable job assisting a large percentage of Canada’s disabled – into the lives of those who, because of their disability, have little or no income. As the CCD article points out:
The DTC [Disability Tax Credit] was created as a tax fairness measure that increases equity between taxpayers with and without disabilities by offsetting the extra costs of disability of taxpayers who have a taxable income.” Yet what of the disabled poor? Those unable to find or hold down a job because of their disability?
The Disability Tax Credit: Not Just a Handout, a Hand Up
The disabled with little or no income have for some time been left out of the conversation regarding tax fairness. Popular perception often paints things like assistance to the disabled as nothing more than handouts. But Canada’s disabled have never sought handouts, only a hand up out of their predicament which, more often than not, was not one of their doing. The government regularly scours their meager earnings looking for taxable dollars but offers them precious little in return. You and I get well-maintained roads but what good is a road to someone housebound by their disability? Isn’t it time the government gave something back to these individuals as well? As Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson notes:
When Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2010, it committed to ensuring that Canadians with disabilities enjoy an adequate standard of living. A refundable DTC would move Canada closer toward achieving this benchmark.
No one is suggesting that the Disability Tax Credit hasn’t been one of those rare governmental bright spots, because it has. Disabled citizens from coast to coast have better, more fulfilling, more engaged lives today due to the benefits they receive under the auspices of this landmark program. Yet work remains in order for the DTC to fully realize its potential as a game changer in the lives of all disabled Canadians, regardless of income.
The CCD article indicates that there are today more than three quarters of a million Canadians whose disability would qualify them for the Disability Tax Credit yet are unable to claim any benefit because their incomes are too low.
So they can’t get steady or good paying work because of their disability, yet they don’t qualify as eligible for the Disability Tax Credit because they don’t earn enough. This phenomenon is what the article calls ‘enabling poverty’ and the goal of a refundable Disability Tax Credit would be to right this wrong by providing the disabled poor with a very modest $2000 refund regardless of how much tax they were able to pay.
Allow Us to Help You With Your Disability Tax Credit Application Today!
Disability Credit Canada is a powerful ally of disabled citizens in Canada. We are your key to making sense of the Disability Tax Credit application and approval process. We’ve helped thousands of disabled Canadians reap the benefits of this crucial government assistance program and we can help you too. Even if you are a Type 1 diabetic there are benefits available to you under the program and by enlisting our help now you can be certain we’ll be in your corner the minute the long-overdue changes mentioned above come into effect as well.
Don’t let the weight of health-related expenses keep you down. Call Disability Credit Canada today and start yourself on the road to financial recovery.