Policy Brief - Why is Uptake of the Disability Tax Credit Low in Canada?
Author: Jennifer Zwicker, Stephanie Dunn
Topic: Tax filing and benefits
Publisher: The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
Location: Canada
Format: Brief
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: December 5, 2020

Disability supports should be designed to provide benefit and not burdens to eligible recipients. Unfortunately, this is not a reality when it comes to one of the main benefits open to Canadians with disability: the federal Disability Tax Credit (DTC). Designed to recognize some of the higher costs faced by people with severe disabilities and their caregivers, the DTC appears to be more of a burden for many, with estimated utilisation unacceptably low at around 40 per cent of working-aged adults with qualifying disabilities.

Low uptake is a concern not only because people are missing out on the credit itself but also because eligibility to the DTC – which is not automatic – is a gateway to other important and more valuable benefits such as the Child Disability Benefit and Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP).

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