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Do You Qualify for the Disability Tax Credit?

August 06, 2013

Disability comes in many shapes and sizes. Do you wonder if your physical or mental challenges qualify you for the disability tax credit?

It can be surprising to learn that a doctor’s diagnosis may not lead to qualification. In fact, many people are denied for this credit even though a severe diagnosis is reported. This is because the disability tax credit is available to those who spend time and money managing symptoms of their disabilities.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has money reserved for people with disabilities. This is accessible by filing for a disability tax credit certificate. The tax credit is available to Canadians “who have a severe mental or physical impairment which markedly restricts the basic activities of daily living…”. This also pertains to those who must, “dedicate time for Life Sustaining Therapy.”

To break this down, let’s define life sustaining therapy, significant restriction, and taxable income as seen by the CRA.

What Is Life Sustaining Therapy?

Do you follow a daily or weekly treatment plan to manage the symptoms of disability? Examples of life sustaining therapies include insulin shots, kidney dialysis, chest physiotherapy, and more. This term usually encompasses most types of therapies that are necessary to sustain your life or quality of life.

According to the CRA guidelines on the disability tax credit certificate, one must devote a significant amount of time to such therapy. This therapy must “occur at least three times per week or more than 14 hours per week.”

In addition, a caregiver who devotes time and resource to maintaining someone’s health may also qualify for the disability tax credit.

What Does It Mean To Be Significantly Restricted?

Getting diagnosed with a disability can be scary; especially if it means you are “significantly restricted.” Although, this title is not as extreme as some of our readers think.  This regulation means that you can still perform daily tasks but are restricted in one or more areas of normal function. Some of these actions include “walking, feeding, dressing, mental functions, vision issues, [and more].” Being significantly restricted means these tasks take a long time to perform due to disability.

Taxable Income

The final qualification when applying for the disability tax credit certificate is that you must have some type of income. This benefit program is designed to alleviate the financial burden of paying taxes. Unfortunately, if you are not currently paying taxes on any income, this option is not for you. The disability tax credit is purposed to put more money into your pocket. It is a reimbursement of sorts and can balance out your expenses according to how much time you spend managing the symptoms of disability.

Applying for the disability tax credit is easy. Contact the National Benefit Authority and have this professional organization guide you through the process. They can help you understand how your disability qualifies you to receive this assistance.

If you are wondering whether or not your disability qualifies for the disability tax credit, it is best to file the T2201 form. Should your claim be denied and you still feel burdened by the daily cost of disability, you can reapply at a later time. When your claim is accepted in the future it is possible to receive retroactive payments.

Refuse to let disability consume your time and wrack up debt. The government has financial benefits reserved for you.

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