Federal Government

The federal government of Canada provides support to people affected by chronic disease or disability in the form of tax credits, savings plans and benefits. 

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. 

Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

A non-refundable credit which helps an individual living with a ‘severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions’ receive credit on their annual personal taxes. The government considers issues with bowel or bladder functions as a qualifying condition.  

You must meet the requirements first, and then apply to the federal government in order to claim the DTC on your income tax. Click here for more information on how to apply for DTC

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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. 

For a list of items which can be claimed and how to make the claim on annual returns, please click here. 

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.

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Family Caregiver Tax Credit

This non-refundable credit provides tax relief to those who care for a dependent because of an impairment in the dependent’s mental or physical functions. The amount of the Family Caregiver Tax Credit is not tied to the Disability Tax Credit. For more information about the Caregiver Tax Credit, click here

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.

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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, please click here

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Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits (Caregiving Benefits)

The Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits provides financial support for long-term caregivers for a critically ill or terminally ill person that is close to you. 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. 

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. 

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