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What is a disability?

The answer is far from obvious. Is a person who requires a cane to walk down the block disabled? What about a child with ADHD? How about a senior experiencing memory loss?


Determining what constitutes a ‘disability’ isn’t clearly defined. There are no set parameters or variables that all disabilities share, making a seemingly simple question ‘what is a disability?’ complex and difficult to answer definitively.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines disability as follows:

“Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.”

As the WHO states, a disability can be both physical and/or mental, the latter including mental disorders such as depression, addiction, and anxiety. Disabilities can be lifelong afflictions, or may arise after an incident or accident in a person’s life. Regardless of when or how a person is diagnosed with a disability, their lives, depending on the severity of the condition, won’t be the same.

Though an individual may have to make meaningful adjustments in lifestyle, remember that there’s help out there. We help Canadians with disabilities apply for the Disability Tax Credit through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a process that most Canadians are inexperienced with. We help those who shy away from disability benefits – those who see the procedure as tedious and tiresome.

The NBA is solely focused on helping disabled people recover Disability Tax Credits from the Government of Canada. Our credibility and track record in assisting Canadians is unmatched, having succeeded for over 40,000 Canadians in the Disability Tax Credit application process. While we maintain a strong relationship with the CRA, our clients are always our priority. Clients aren’t weighed down by the intricately detailed T2201s or other Disability Tax Credit forms – we assist with all the paper work that tends to dissuade disabled persons from filing claims.

Because we’ve specialized in the DTC for almost a decade, and have a sterling reputation with the CRA, Government of Canada, and our past clients, our claims are processed quickly, accurately, and confidentially.

At the NBA we only concern ourselves with the disability classifications and definitions as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency. These classifications are extensive, which you can browse through on the right side of the page. They range from specific to vague, though our Benefit Specialists will consider all factors (symptoms, severity, medication) when assessing a particular case to ensure a high likelihood of a successful Disability Tax Credit application.

To see if you or your loved one with a disability qualifies for one of these disability benefits, you can fill out a T2201 form for the DTC.