The Disability Tax Credit: Do You or a Family Member Qualify?

Common conditions such as Diabetes, Depression, Epilepsy or being injured in a motor vehicle accident may entitle you to tax savings.

Do you or someone in your family suffer from depression, anxiety, a learning disability or other mental illness? Perhaps you, or someone you provide care for, are dealing with a serious medical condition like Alzheimers, diabetes, epilepsy, or even an injury from a car accident.

If so, financial relief may be available in the form of the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), a little known benefit available to all Canadian taxpayers who qualify. At first glance you might assume that such a credit would only apply to someone physically handicapped. But in fact the DTC covers a huge host of mental and physical conditions, and – assuming you qualify- it is also transferable, under certain circumstances, to spouses, children or other relatives who may be caregivers of the disabled person.

The DTC also happens to be one of the more lucrative non-refundable tax credits, providing real financial support if your family is dealing with the stress of illness or a health care crisis.

It’s our experience here at Sloan Partners that most people are not familiar with the qualifying conditions permitting the entitlement to the DTC, and so miss out on potential tax savings. The good news is, it’s never too late to benefit from the tax savings a qualified taxpayer would be entitled to receive.

Disability Tax Credit is Retroactive Up to 10 years

Has the qualified disability been present for many years? You can actually apply for this tax credit retroactively. Assuming approval is granted, the tax laws allow us to amend prior year tax returns, up to ten years maximum from the first year the DTC is used in the most current tax return filed.

How Can I Get the Disability Tax Credit?

The Canada Revenue Agency requests that, assuming a valid disability exists, you submit a disability certificate provided by us. Your disability certificate has been signed by a qualified individual and provided to us to be forwarded to the Canada Revenue Agency for final approval.

Transferring the Disability Tax Credit

It must be noted, if the taxpayer qualifying for the disability credit is lacking sufficient income to use this credit, tax laws permit the transfer of any unused portion, to many optional relatives. This disability may not apply to you, however, it may be a child, parent, grandparent, spouse or an in-law relative.

What Disabilities Qualify for the Disability Tax Credit?

See the list below for qualified disabilities that may meet the requirements. Please note these are just a small group, as the full list is too large to mention every entitled disability. If you do meet the qualifications, there are also other disability benefits available to qualified candidates. To determine your eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit, take this useful quiz on the CRA site.

Feel free to contact us if you think you or a loved one may qualify for the DTC. We’d be happy to explain all the benefits and details of this program to help you determine your eligibility and benefits.

The following is a just a partial list of some of the medical conditions that may entitle you to the Disability Tax Credit and other benefits. This list does not include every medical condition that may qualify for assistance.

 Some of the Medical Conditions that May Qualify You for the DTC (list is not exhaustive.)

  • Agoraphobia
  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Amputation
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Ataxia
  • Autism
  • Bipolar
  • Bladder Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BDP)
  • Bowel Disorder
  • Brain Tumour
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
  • Chronic Pain
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (COPD)
  • Colitis
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Cri du chat Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
  • Deaf
  • Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Developmental Delay
  • Diabetes
  • Down Syndrome
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Herniated Disc
  • Hip Injury or Pain
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Juvenile Arthritis
  • Learning Disability
  • Lou Gehrig’s (ALS)
  • Mental Illness
  • Motor Vehicle Accident
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Obsessive Compulsive (OCD)
  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Paraplegia
  • Paralysis
  • Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
  • Personality Disorder
  • Physical Impairment
  • Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD)
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Psychosis
  • Quadriplegia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Schizophrenia



by Michael Cooper, CPA, CA

Associate Partner, Sloan Partners LLP.

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