Government Financial Support
Federal and provincial governments provide income support to Canadians in the form of tax credits and savings plans. You will need to investigate the criteria, and in some cases, such as the Disability Tax Credit, you will need to apply in order to qualify for the tax credit.
Tax credits are classified as 'refundable' or 'non-refundable'. Non-refundable tax credits generally reduce the taxes an individual owes taxes owing. If a tax credit is identified as non-refundable, you will not get extra money back if you have more tax credits than taxes owing.
You will require support from your medical practitioner in order to qualify for these benefits. Click here for a sample Letter of Support which can be given to your medical practitioner to complete on your behalf.
FEDERAL TAX CREDITS
Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
Medical Expense Tax Credit
- You can claim medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, and certain relatives, such children or dependents.
- Many items do not qualify as medical expenses. For example, medications which you can purchase without a prescription, and medical expenses for which you are reimbursed or are entitled to be reimbursed for.
- Do not send any documents with your tax return. Keep the documents on file in case the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks to see them at a later date.
- For a list of items which can be claimed and how to make the claim on annual returns, please click here.
Family Caregiver Tax Credit
The Canada Revenue Agency provides general information about all of the tax credits noted above. For more information, please visit www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/disability.
FEDERAL SAVINGS PLANS AND BENEFITS
Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
- The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities who are under the age of 60, as well as their family members, to save for the future.
- The Government of Canada assists by paying a matching Canada Disability Savings Grant.
- Individuals who open an RDSP may also be eligible to receive a Canada Disability Savings Bond.
- To learn more about the RDSP, click here.
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit (CPP-D)
- The Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit (CPP-D) is a taxable monthly payment which is available to people under the age of 65 who have contributed to the Canada Pension Plan and who are not able to regularly work at any job due to a disability.
- The CPP-D benefit does not pay for medications or assistive devices.
- To learn more about the CPP-D, click here.
Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits
To learn more about federal tax credits and benefits, please visit the Canada Benefits website. The website is a useful tool as you can view information about available tax credits and benefits programs based on your individual circumstances.
- The Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits provides financial support for long-term caregivers for terminally ill family members.
- These benefits can be taken within a period of 52 weeks, and can be shared amongst family members.
- To learn more about these benefits, click here.
Provincial governments offer health and drug plans that provide varying levels of support. Each province has designed its coverage program around different needs.
Visit the Canada Benefits website to learn about the programs in your province.
Download the Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC) "How To" Health Guide for a comprehensive look at how drugs are covered across Canada
Even if you are eligible for coverage under a public plan, you may still be required to pay some amount in the form of either a copayment (a flat fee you pay with each prescription); coinsurance (a percentage you pay with each prescription); deductible (a certain amount you pay with each prescription until you reach a maximum amount, at which time the public plan pays 100%); and/or a premium (a payment you make whether or not you receive a prescription).
Click here for a full glossary of terms for insurance and drug coverage.