How Can the Disability Tax Credit Help Seniors?

  • InformedSenior
  • March 29, 2017 8:59 pm


How can the Disability Tax Credit help seniors?

The National Benefit Authority

Finding the proper care and assistance for our aging parents and loved ones can be daunting. And nursing homes, retirement centres, and care facilities can become costly – resulting in mounting debt or concern for finances.

Some seniors may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) – a non-refundable tax credit meant to assist people with disabling conditions. When claimed, the DTC can result in a significant tax refund.

What is the Disability Tax Credit worth for seniors?

The maximum Disability Tax Credit amount someone may receive is $20,000 (for qualifying seniors) – though keep in mind that amounts vary depending on hundreds of combinations of factors, including income tax paid, province of residence, participation in some government-run financial programs, etc.

While some qualifying seniors may not pay or owe enough income tax to benefit, the Disability Tax Credit could be transferred to a supporting family member.

How can seniors qualify for the Disability Tax Credit?

Simply put, there’s really no such thing as a medical diagnosis for “disability”. The question, “I have X condition, am I qualified?” is not enough.  The Canada Revenue Agency lays out who qualifies for the DTC:

  • Do you have a restriction in a basic activity of daily living (BADL): walking, feeding, mental functions, vision, dressing, hearing, eliminating or bowel/bladder functions, or requiring life-sustaining therapy?
  • Is this restriction marked or significant – either the restriction lasts for at least 12 months continuously and takes at least 3 times longer than normal to perform the BADL, or there are more than 1 restricted BADLs that are affected 90% of the time.

This means any condition with the above criteria may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit – granted that a) a qualified medical practitioner certifies the condition and b) Canada Revenue approves one’s application.

Examples of some conditions that qualify are: IBS, Crohn’s, Addictions, Diabetes, or Depression. Just remember that not everyone with the same condition qualifies, it all depends on the two criteria listed above.

So there’s a lot of room for interpretation – and sometimes misinterpretation – by all parties involved in the DTC process.

Additional Disability Tax Credit benefits for seniors

There’s a reason why the DTC is casually known as a “gateway” tax credit – you need the DTC to qualify for additional senior benefits.

For example, you’ll need to be approved the Disability Tax Credit before you can claim any attendant care expenses.  An eligible senior (and their supporting family members) may claim attendant care expenses such as housekeeping, laundry, transportation and meal preparation.

That summarizes how seniors and their family can benefit from the Disability Tax Credit. Consider checking out the Disability Tax Credit yourself or for a family member.

If you find yourself looking for more information, we’ve assisted over 40,000 Canadian families with the Disability Tax Credit and we’d be more than happy to answer your questions or sharing what we do.

The National Benefit Authority is Canada’s largest disability benefit service provider and has helped over 40,000 Canadians living with disabilities and their families successfully apply for and claim the Disability Tax Credit. Call us today at 1-844-875-9955.


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