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Depressed and Filing for the Disability Tax Credit

September 21, 2013

Some severe mental health issues are disabling according to the Canada Revenue Agency. When topics of mental illness arise, people are quick to assume there is no financial support available. Contrary to popular belief, depressed individuals with ongoing pain and inability to function in mainstream society may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.


The definition of “disability” has changed in recent years. The Canadian government once had a narrow view of disability. This greatly impacted the amount of people eligible to qualify for the disability support program. However, with growing reports of mental illness in Canada, the definition broadened to include people with physical or mental impairments that are severe and prolonged.

This means it is possible to claim between $1,500 and $40,000 for depression. Knowing about the different types of depression and debilitating side effects can assist the application process.

While many people are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, some assume they will not qualify because depression is overlooked as a disability.

Disabled by Depression

A person is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit if depression interrupts daily tasks and lasts longer than 12 months. Often times, debilitating depression is the effect of struggling with mental illness for years. To qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, one must have prolonged depression that restricts daily living tasks. In almost all cases, a person who qualifies is clinically depressed.

What Causes Severe Depression

Being diagnosed with clinical depression is a long drawn out process. There are different types of depression, but an individual with a severe diagnosis has likely had multiple nervous breakdowns. These experiences may stem from traumatic life events. They can include divorce, death of a loved one, or loss of a job. Beyond the event, there are psychological and emotional hang-ups that prevent a person from functioning at a typical pace. This can dramatically change the way he or she lives daily life.

Symptoms of Severe Depression

While experiencing symptoms of depression does not make one eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, affects on daily functions (like mobility, eating, dressing, etc.) might.

Severe depression may be present in people with:

– Suicidal thoughts
– Thoughts of harming others
– Loss of concentration
– Weight loss
– Eating disorders
– Substance abuse issues
– Insomnia or sleep deprivation

These symptoms, among others, can impact behaviour and lead to the diagnosis of mental illness. They can also restrict daily living activities and cause a person to fall into financial despair. This can result in depending on family members to support basic living needs.

The truth about depression is that it is a slippery slope. What appears common may actually be a serious mood disorder or mental illness. Unfortunately, this is hard to diagnose and even harder to prove when seeking financial assistance.

The National Benefit Authority assists people with mental illnesses, including severe, debilitating depression. Benefit Specialists guide them through the application process that makes it possible to receive up to $40,000 from government. Free consultations are available. Explore the Disability Tax Credit and all it has to offer. Call 1888-389-0080 or fill out this online form:

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