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Who is Eligible for Disability Tax Credits?

September 30, 2014

Automatic-QualificationA severe disability often leads a person to experience trouble completing daily activities. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers tax credits for people who struggle with disability. By offering this credit to people with disabilities, the CRA is able to refund significant sums of money annually and retroactively.

To qualify for the Disability Tax Credit a person must have a disability that lasts longer than 12 months and prohibits daily activities. These activities include:

    • Dressing
    • Elimination (bowel and/or bladder function)
    • Feeding
    • Mental functions necessary for daily activities
    • Speaking
    • Walking

A person may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit if he or she is markedly restricted in one of these areas or significantly restricted in two or more categories.

Markedly Restricted

A markedly restricted individual has difficulty with at least one of the activities listed above. His or her struggle may be evident in the amount of time it takes to accomplish a basic task. Having trouble with this task must persist majority of the time, if not consistently. This inconvenience must go on for over 12 months. Even when a person with disability receives assistance through therapy, he or she probably shows signs of struggle when completing the task.

For example, consider a person who uses a wheelchair to boost mobility. While most daily activities can be accomplished independently, mobility will prove to be difficult every day. This individual cannot walk and, as a result, is markedly restricted.

Significantly Restricted

When a person is restricted in two or more daily function categories, he or she is considered significantly restricted. In this context, the term “significantly” means less than markedly. Still, two areas of significant restriction may mean a person is markedly restricted. This is especially true if two activities occur at the same time, such as walking and bladder function.

The effect of being partially limited in two areas often causes an individual to be considered “markedly restricted” when it comes to performing daily living tasks. A good example of this is someone who has limited mobility and difficulty with certain mental functions. Or, a person with low vision who also has trouble feeding him or herself.

Why Do Types of Restriction Matter?

The Canada Revenue Agency reviews Disability Tax Credit Certificates before qualifying individuals for the tax credit. More than looking for the title of a disability, the CRA seeks to know about daily limitations that result from disability. They want to know how one restriction impacts daily living and they want to understand how multiple restrictions prohibit a person from conducting certain tasks.

Whether a disabled individual is markedly or significantly restricted, there are options. Applying for the Disability Tax Credit opens doors to many opportunities. Listed here are general guidelines for Disability Tax Credit eligibility. Personalized advice is available in a free consultation provided by Benefit Specialists at the National Benefit Authority. Seek the advice of professionals when applying for the Disability Tax Credit. With limited restrictions, financial assistance offers some relief.

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