Disability Tax Credit Serving to prevent the Caregiver Crisis
A recent article in the Globe and Mail raises a troubling issue. According to the article…
Statistics Canada shows that 8.1 million Canadians are caregivers, and of those, 6.1 million are in the work force. Most of the caregivers are aged 45 to 64, a group that also comprises the most experienced workers, says Allison Williams, a professor at McMaster University in Hamilton and research chair for the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
As the article continues the true nature of the problem is slowly revealed:
Since more than half of caregivers are helping their aging parents, Dr. Williams says the problem is set to worsen as the number of seniors requiring care is projected to double between 2012 and 2031.
The implications of the article regarding the dedicated care needs of an aging population are ominous enough, but the article points out that the problem is really a double-edged sword. The first side of the problem is one of human resources. Society faces a pressing need for more caregivers, but many family members who currently act as primary caregivers are falling victim to the overwhelming stress caused by their responsibilities. According to Dr Williams:
What usually happens first is fatigue, then mental health issues like depression and anxiety, and then finally physical health issues.
So the number of elderly requiring full-time care is set to double, but many caregivers are succumbing to health issues resulting not only in disability but also:
- Decreased income
- Decreased productivity
- Diminished career advancement opportunities
- Increased health related expenses of their own
And the list goes on. The bottom line is that more professional caregivers are going to be required in the near future, both to handle the demand of the aging population and to fill the void created by family members who are no longer able to care for their elderly parents. Which leads us to the other side of the sword: cost.
Most elderly people lean on their children to care for them in old age for two reasons. The first is obvious; it’s always better to be cared for by the people who know and love you. The second reason parents depend on their children is because professional caregivers can be an enormous expense. According to CARP nine hours of professional care a day can add up to more than $6,000 a month. Extrapolate that out over perhaps 10 years and you start to understand the financial reality facing many elderly citizens.
Nonetheless more and more elderly Canadians are going to need full time professional care in the future. Though no one is quite sure where the money is going to come from to pay for it, consider this: today, nearly half of all Canadians eligible for the Disability Tax Credit are not taking advantage of it. This program offers up to $40,000 in benefits for qualified individuals, creating breathing space in their financial life they otherwise wouldn’t have.
What it can also do is free up valuable funds to put toward professional care. While not all elderly who require care will qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, many of our elderly, who often suffer crippling disabilities, will. And since you are able to claim as much as 10 years of credit retroactively the Disability Tax Credit is potentially a financial life saver for many disabled elderly who require the services of a professional caregiver.
Nothing will increase your chances of being approved for inclusion in the Disability Tax Credit program more than having a dedicated, knowledgeable advocate on your side to shepherd your application through the often labyrinthian approval process. And no one is more qualified to do that than Disability Credit Canada. We’ve helped thousands of disabled citizens get the financial relief they need through this important tax initiative.
The Disability Tax Credit is not the answer to all of Canada’s pending social problems, but it can be a valuable tool in helping many elderly Canadians and their families retain their dignity and access professional care when it’s required. Call us today to find out how we can help you claim this valuable benefit.