Disability Tax Credit Tool

The Canadian Disability Tax Credit (DTC) can help reduce the taxes you or someone who supports you owe. It also offers a lot of other great benefits.

To apply for the DTC, your healthcare provider will need to fill out the Disability Tax Credit Certificate (form T2201). This tool is designed to give them the information they need to fill out that form



2020 Second Annual Report of the Disability Advisory Committee

In November 2017, the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, announced the creation of the Disability Advisory Committee to provide advice to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on interpreting and administering tax measures for persons with disabilities in a fair, transparent and accessible manner. The committee’s full mandate is attached as Appendix A. Key disability tax measures are described in Appendix B.

Our first annual report, Enabling access to disability tax measures, was published in May 2019. Since that time, we believe there has been important progress with respect to the administration of and communications about the disability tax credit (DTC). Our second annual report describes in detail the many improvements that the CRA has introduced over the past year in response to the recommendations in our 2019 report. These changes are summarized in “The Client Experience” on the following pages.

Section 1 of this second annual report presents a review of the 42 recommendations made in our first annual report. Each recommendation summarizes the relevant context and associated follow-up actions.

Section 2 covers the new areas of conversation during the second year of our mandate. Selected topics focus, for example, on DTC data, concerns of Indigenous peoples and eligibility for a registered disability savings plan.

Section 3 includes the appendices, which provide details not covered in the text.



Roadblocks and Resilience

This report, Roadblocks and Resilience Insights from the Access to Benefits for Persons with Disabilities project, provides insights on the barriers people with disabilities in British Columbia face in accessing key income benefits. These insights, and the accompanying service principles that participants identified, were obtained by reviewing existing research, directly engaging 16 B.C. residents with disabilities and interviewing 18 researchers and service providers across Canada. We will use these insights to inform development and testing of a pilot service to support people with disabilities to access disability benefits.

The related journey map Common steps to get disability benefits also illustrates the complexities of this benefits application process. 

This journey map illustrates the process of applying for the Disability Tax Credit.

The journey map Persons with Disability (PWD) status illustrates the process of preparing for and applying for and maintaining Persons with Disabilities Status and disability assistance in B.C.



Disability Alliance BC

Disability Alliance BC supports people in British Columbia with disabilities through direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications.

Their website provides information on disability benefits including the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), CPP Disability, Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP) and more.



Infographic: An overview of Canadian financial programs for people with disabilities

One in five Canadians are currently living with a disability. This infographic provides an overview of financial programs for people with disabilities in Canada based on findings in Morris et al. (2018) "A demographic, employment and income profile of Canadians with disabilities aged 15 years and over, 2017". 



Benefits and credits toolkit

Benefits and credits provide income and financial support for many individuals. This toolkit contains information on common tax credits and benefits, benefits for specific populations, and practitioner resources including case studies and information on identification documentation for accessing benefits.

We are grateful to West Neighbourhood House in Toronto, Ontario for their contribution in the development of the practitioner resources in this toolkit and to Momentum in Calgary, Alberta for their content consultation support.

Worksheet resources in this toolkit are available as fillable PDFs. Please open with Adobe Acrobat Reader for full functionality.

Latest update on May 5, 2021: Benefits and Credits for people living with disabilities - resource links

March 29, 2021:
 Disability Tax Credit Tool - Disability Alliance BC
Disability Inclusion Analysis of Government of Canada's Response to COVID-19 (report and fact sheets) - Live Work Well Research Centre



Common benefits and credits

Resource links:
Benefits and credits for newcomers to Canada – Canada Revenue Agency
Benefit Finder – Government of Canada
Electronic Benefits and credits date reminders – Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Income Assistance Handbook Government of Northwest Territories
What to do when you get money from the government – Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

General emergency government benefits information & navigation
Financial Relief Navigator tool (Prosper Canada)
Changes to taxes and benefits: CRA and COVID-19 – Government of Canada

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA – Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Questions & Answers on CERB – Government of Canada
What is the CERB? – Prosper Canada
FAQ: Canada Emergency Response Benefit – Prosper Canada (updated June 10th)

Who can get CERB? – Steps to Justice
CERB: What you need to know about cashing your cheque – FCAC
COVID-19 Benefits (summary, includes Ontario) – CLEO/Steps to Justice
COVID-19 and Income Assistance – CLEO/Steps to Justice

GST/HST credit and Canada Child Benefit
COVID-19 – Increase to the GST/HST amount – Government of Canada
Canada Child Benefit Payment Increase – Government of Canada
Benefits payments for eligible Canadians to extend to Fall 2020 – Government of Canada

Support for students
Support for students and recent graduates – Government of Canada
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) – Government of Canada

Benefits and credits for seniors

Resource links:
Canadian Retirement Income Calculator – Government of Canada
Comparing Retirement Savings Options – Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)
Federal Provincial Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum – Employment and Social Services Canada (ESDC)
Retiring on a low income – Open Policy Ontario
RRSP vs GIS Calculator – Daniela Baron
Sources of income for seniors handout – West Neighbourhood House
What every older Canadian should know about: Income and benefits from government programs – Employment and Social Services Canada (ESDC)
 

Government of Canada Benefits Finder

Answer the questions in this Government of Canada online tool to get a customized list of benefits for which you may be eligible. The Benefits Finder may suggest benefits from federal, provincial or territorial governments.



2019 First Annual Report of the Disability Advisory Committee: Enabling access to disability tax measures

The mandate of the Committee is to provide advice to the minister of national revenue and the commissioner of the Agency on:

  • the administration and interpretation of the laws and programs related to disability tax measures;
  • ways in which the needs and expectations of the disability community can be better taken into consideration;
  • increasing the awareness and take-up of measures for persons with disabilities;
  • how to better inform persons with disabilities and various stakeholders about tax measures and important administrative changes; and
  • current administrative practices and how to enhance the quality of services for persons with disabilities

This report makes recommendations on support for persons with disabilities based on surveys and responses from individual Canadians, organizations, tax preparers, health providers, and policy experts. The recommendations seek to ensure clarity and fairness in Disability Tax Credit eligibility criteria and administration,  reduction of barriers in accessing the DTC, and more attention to the costs of disability-related assistance.

 



Breaking down barriers: A critical analysis of the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan

The Disability Tax Credit helps Canadians by reducing the amount of income tax they are required to pay. The Registered Disability Savings Plan helps people with a disability or their caregiver save for the future by putting money into a fund that grows tax free until the beneficiary makes a withdrawal.

This report, released by the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, makes 16 recommendations aimed at improving both programs. They are divided into short-term objective to make the process for the two programs simpler and clearer, and a long-term philosophical shift in the way Canada deals with people who are in financial distress but cannot advocate for themselves.  Recommendations include removing barriers that prevent people from taking advantage of the Disability Tax Credit and making enrolment in the Registered Disability Savings Plan automatic for eligible people under 60 years of age.



Policy Brief – Why is Uptake of the Disability Tax Credit Low in Canada?


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).




The Disability Tax Credit: Why it Fails and How to Fix It

When the government establishes a social program whose primary purpose is to help provide support to low-income people with disabilities, its success should be measured on how well it achieves that purpose. Unfortunately, there are reasons to seriously question the usefulness of Canada’s disability tax credit since it is helping so very few of the people it is intended to support. In fact, the credit is helping only a small number of Canadians with disability who qualify for it, and least of all those in the poorest families who receive an average of only $29 annually.

There is an uncomplicated way to begin rectifying this: By making the disability tax credit refundable. Along the same lines as a guaranteed minimum income, or negative income tax, those low-income Canadians with disabilities who qualify for the credit but lack sufficient income to benefit from the credit could simply be made eligible for a refund of the amount they cannot claim.