Disability Tax Credit – 2017 update

The maximum disability amount for the 2017 year is $8,113. The disability amount can be claimed on your tax return once the person has been approved by the CRA as eligible for the disability tax credit. The disability amount can be claimed by the disabled individual personally, for your dependent or for your spouse or common-law partner. There are specific criteria required by the CRA for an individual to be eligible for the DTC. To qualify for the disability tax credit, the individual must meet all of the following requirements:

  • is prolonged, which means the impairment has lasted, or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months
  • is present all or substantially all the time (at least 90% of the time)
  • life-sustaining therapy, which also has 2 criteria:
    • the therapy is needed to support a vital function, even if it eases the symptoms
    • the therapy is needed at least 3 times per week, for an average of at least 14 hours a week

These requirements must be certified by a professional doctor.

Recent news has released that it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain the disability tax credit. In May 2017, CRA has been rejecting certain individuals and also requiring further application to continue on the DTC. Several of these concerns involved diabetic patients. Patients must meet the 14 hour requirement in order to qualify for the DTC. Activities that do not count in the 14 hours requirement include:

  • the time a portable or implanted device takes to deliver the therapy (such as an insulin pump, a CPAP machine, or a pacemaker)
  • activities related to dietary restrictions or regimes, even when these activities are a factor in determining the daily dosage of medication (such as carbohydrate calculation)
  • activities related to exercising, even when these activities are a factor in determining the daily dosage of medication
  • travel time to receive the therapy
  • going to medical appointments (other than appointments where the therapy is received)
  • buying medication
  • recuperation after therapy

Visit this link to see to determine whether you or someone you know is eligible for the disability tax credit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/segments/tax-credits-deductions-persons-disabilities/disability-tax-credit/you-eligible-disability-tax-credit-3.html