Disability Tax Credit: Tackling the Hidden Costs of Diabetes

September 5, 2015 by dccinc

A recent article on the University of Toronto website has exposed the stunning costs diabetes imposes on the Canadian healthcare system. While the article takes a macro look at the problem it also serves to highlight the unspoken fact that individuals with diabetes are forced to bear an enormous financial burden on top of the physical burden of this debilitating disease.

Public Health Ontario scientist Laura Rosella, lead author of the study, states: “Diabetes is one of the greatest public health and health system challenges of the 21st century because it’s among the most costly health conditions to manage.” The article notes:

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health… found that the average per-person health care spending for diabetes cases is more than twice that of non-diabetes controls and results in billions of dollars of healthcare related costs annually. Over the eight-year study, females living with diabetes cost the system $9,731 more than a non-diabetic female and males cost $10,315 more. Roughly $4,000 of these costs related to diabetes were incurred in the first year after diagnosis.

While the study paints a gloomy picture regarding the cost of diabetes to the overall Canadian healthcare system, the picture on the individual level is, unfortunately, darker still and highlights the pressing need for programs like the Disability Tax Credit, which we’ll get to shortly.

A study by the American Diabetes Association determined that an individual diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 40 can expect to accrue more than $120,000 in excess medical expenses during their lifetime compared to someone without diabetes. That’s a staggering amount of money for people with average incomes. To make matters worse individuals with severe or advanced diabetes may be unable to perform work at a normal level and so lost income must also be added to the ADA’s ‘cost of diabetes’ figure.

Sadly Rosella and her colleagues point out that for older Canadians the situation is even worse: “We found that the older you are, the substantially higher the cost… even after adjusting for other complicated medical conditions and socioeconomic status…”

And as if the current situation isn’t bad enough for both individuals and governments, the WHO estimates that diabetes will soon become “one of the world’s main disablers and killers within the next twenty-five years”

The WHO report also touches on the intangible costs of the disease that are often overlooked but play an equally important role in the financial hardship experienced by sufferers. Many have difficulty not just keeping jobs but finding them in the first place since employers are often reluctant to hire diabetics. Experts have also found that diabetics and other disabled persons generally suffer a higher divorce rate than non-disabled person due to a variety of issues including stress on the family’s finances. “What we find is that declines in health have an adverse influence on marital quality,” says Virginia Tech professor of sociology John Edwards.

Faced with a healthcare system increasingly unable to cope with their needs and out of pocket expenses that can easily overwhelm their available financial resources individuals with diabetes need a dependable option that will enable them to tame the dragon of diabetes costs and allow them to get on with the business of living their lives. Enter the Disability Tax Credit.

The Disability Tax Credit was designed specifically to offset the burden of excessive medical expenses many disabled Canadians, including diabetics, are forced to bear and it has been doing a laudable job since its inception. The Disability Tax Credit provides up to $40,000 in tax relief to qualified persons although the application and approval process can be confusing to say the least. Disability Credit Canada is a major force advocating for disabled citizens when it comes to the DTC and we know how to make the system deliver on its promises for you. So don’t let diabetes related expenses defeat you, call Disability Credit Canada today and start fighting back.

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