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Understanding BADL, and How it Affects Your DTC Eligibility

November 13, 2018

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is which medical conditions or disabilities qualify for the Disability Tax Credit in Canada.

Disability Tax Credit eligibility isn’t determined by a rigid checklist of medical conditions created by the Government of Canada or Canada Revenue Agency, but how these conditions impact the basic activities of daily living (BADL), and how long they’ve persisted.


Basic Activities of Daily Living, Defined

In the broadest terms of Disability Tax Credit eligibility, three conditions must be met, as outlined by the Canada Revenue Agency:

  • You must have a severe impairment in physical and/or mental functions all or substantially all of the time.
  • This impairment should have lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least one year.
  • A qualified medical practitioner needs to certify that your impairment is severe and prolonged by completing the Disability Tax Credit Certificate (otherwise known as the T2201 form).

The impairment(s) must restrict the ability to perform basic activities of daily living, which primarily consist of self-care tasks. The Canada Revenue Agency provides a list of these BADL, including examples and videos explaining each impairment:

If it’s an everyday struggle for you to manage one or more of these BADL, you should first determine the exact time period you’ve been impaired. Anything exceeding a year, or is expected to last for a period of at least a year, means you could qualify for the Disability Tax Credit and potential retroactive disability benefits, regardless of what your medical condition or disability is.

Marked and Significant Restrictions

What the CRA considers a ‘severe’ impairment is further divided into two categories: marked restriction and significant restriction. Though the CRA classifies marked as more severe than significant, both restrictions can qualify for the DTC, as they each refer to limitations of a person’s BADL.

The CRA classifies marked restrictions as being unable to perform BADL, or taking three times as long as the average person to perform BADL. This includes assistance from medication and devices. The impairment must also be present at least 90% of the time.

Prolonged impairment – exceeding a year, or expected to continue for a period of 12 months – is considered in marked restrictions, too.

A person is significantly restricted if he or she is unable to perform two or more BADL, and combine to affect the person as severely as one marked restriction would. While not as severe as a marked restriction, a significant restriction can still qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.

For the best chance at a successful Disability Tax Credit claim, ensure your physician understands how to apply BADL and marked/significant restrictions as outlined by the CRA’s definitions to your Disability Tax Credit certificate.

If you need assistance determining your Disability Tax Credit eligibility, completing your Disability Tax Credit application, or applying for the Disability Tax Credit, The National Benefit Authority is the country’s largest Disability Tax Credit service provider.

Join the 40,000 Canadians we’ve helped successfully receive their disability benefits – apply online today!