It may be difficult to find one’s eligibility to the many tax credits offered by the federal government. Their content may also be confusing. Moreover, the disability tax credit requires filling out a long document, Form T2201with the help of a health care practitioner. Using the answers below, you will easily find your way through the disability tax credit form.

How is eligibility determined?

To determine eligibility, the CRA considers:

  • the duration of the person’s physical or mental impairment, which must have lasted for a continuous period of at least 12 months or be expected to last this long;
  • the effects of the impairment, for example:
  • the amount of time the person needs to spend away from daily activities to receive treatment that supports vital functions;
  • the person is unable to perform daily activities because of the impairment;
  • the person needs an inordinate amount of time to perform daily activities, which the CRA usually defines as three times the normal time required to complete an activity.

How much is the disability amount?

The disability amount is $7,697 and is claimed on line 316 of schedule 1 of your tax return. An additional amount can be claimed by those who were under the age of 18 on December 31, 2013.

Why don’t I receive the full disability amount I claimed?

People are sometimes surprised they do not receive $7,697, given that this is the amount they wrote on line 316 of their tax return.

The first thing to know is that the disability amount is a non-refundable tax credit. It only reduces the taxes an individual needs to pay for a year. If a person’s taxes for the year are already at $0 (because of a relatively low income, other tax deductions or other tax credits), the CRA will not pay out the tax credit. In such cases, the disability tax credit may confer more fiscal benefit if transferred to a spouse, a common-law partner or another supporting person.

The second thing to know is that non-refundable tax credits are usually a percentage of an amount claimed, which is 15% for 2013. This means that an eligible person who is 18 years old or older on December 31, 2013, could receive a tax credit of 15% of the $7,697 claimed on line 316:

15% of $7,697 = $1,154.55

Therefore, even though the disability amount claimed on line 316 of the tax return is $7,697, the actual tax credit a person could receive amounts to $1,154.55.

Can I claim additional amounts?

  • A person who is eligible for both the disability amount AND the working income tax benefit (WITB) may be able to claim an additional disability supplement to increase the benefits they receive through the WITB. More information on this topic is available by clicking here.
  • The primary caregivers of a child under age 18 with a severe and prolonged impairment in mental or physical functioning may be eligible for the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), which is a supplement to the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). More information on this topic is available by clicking here.  

How do I claim the disability tax credit?

  • The applicant needs to fill out Part A of the Disability Tax Credit Certificate (form T2201, available by clicking here)
  • A qualified practitioner needs to fill out Part B of that form.
  • The form needs to be mailed to the person’s usual tax centre. The list of tax centres by region is on page 3 of the T2201 package.
  • Once the form has been approved, the eligible person can claim the disability amount on line 316.

Notice: The CRA does NOT accept photocopies or facsimile copies of the T2201 form. You must absolutely send the original form to the CRA.

Who is a qualified practitioner?

Qualified practitioners include medical doctors, optometrists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists. To find out which practitioner can fill out the T2201 for which condition, consult page 5 of the T2201 package enclosed.

Can I get reimbursed by the Canada Revenue Agency for the fees my health care practitioner charges to fill out the Disability Tax Credit Certificate (form T2201)?

No, but you may be allowed to claim those fees as medical expenses on line 330 or line 331 of your income tax return.

When should I send in this form?

The Disability Tax Credit Certificate (T2201 form) can be sent to the CRA at any time during the year. If you submit the Disability Tax Credit Certificate (T2201 form) before filing your income tax return, you can prevent a delay in the assessment of your return.

My Disability Tax Credit Certificate was already approved in a previous year. Do I need to mail in another one?

No, unless the previous period of approval has ended or if the CRA has asked for one.

I did not know the disability tax credit existed. If I am eligible, can I claim it retroactively?

Yes, you can ask to have tax returns for the previous ten years adjusted. To do so, you will need to send the CRA either of the following along with your T2201 form:

(a) a T1 Adjustment Request form T1-ADJ for each year you need an adjustment made OR

(b) a letter containing the details of your request.

Can I claim the disability amount for my child (or other dependant)?

According to this CRA website:

You may be able to claim all or part of your dependant’s (other than your spouse or common-law partner) disability amount (line 316) if he or she was resident in Canada at any time in 2013 and was dependent on you for all or some of the basic necessities of life (food, shelter, or clothing).

In addition, one of the following situations has to apply:

You claimed an amount on line 305 for that dependant, or you could have if you did not have a spouse or common-law partner and if the dependant did not have any income.

The dependant was your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece, and you claimed an amount on line 306 or line 315 for that dependant, or you could have if he or she had no income and had been 18 years of age or older in 2013.

If you have to pay child support, you cannot claim the disability amount transferred from that child. However, if you were separated from your spouse or common-law partner for only part of 2013 due to a breakdown in your relationship, you can still claim an amount for that child on line 318 (plus any allowable amounts on lines 305, 306, and 315) as long as you do not claim any support amounts paid to your spouse or common-law partner on line 220. You can claim whichever is better for you.

You cannot claim the unused part of this amount if the spouse or common-law partner of the person with a disability is already claiming the disability amount or any other non-refundable tax credit (other than medical expenses) for the person with the disability.

If you are splitting the unused part of this amount with another person, attach a note to your paper return that includes the name and social insurance number of the other person who is claiming this amount. The total claimed for that dependant cannot be more than the maximum amount allowed for that dependant.

If you or anyone else paid for attendant care, or for care in an establishment, special rules may apply.

You may also be eligible to claim the family caregiver amount.

For more information, click here.