Yesterday I did something I haven’t had to do in close to ten years…I filled out my son’s Disability Tax Credit form.
For those who are not in Canada, and those in Canada who just don’t know, the Disability Tax Credit(DTC) is a credit that people with diabetes who are insulin dependent can use on their taxes to reduce their taxable income. People who receive the DTC are also eligible for the Registered Disability Savings Plan and children, like my son, who receive the credit may receive a Disabled Child Benefit through the Child Tax Credit.
The Disability Tax Credit (DTC), for people with diabetes, is not given because the government views diabetes as a disability. It is given because people who are insulin dependent require insulin to live–they require Life-Sustaining Therapy. Life-sustaining therapy is a subcategory of the DTC.
Years ago, I embarked on a lengthy journey to see this tax credit be given to people with diabetes. At that time some people got it, some didn’t. It simply seemed to depend on your stamina and the whim of the Canada Revenue Agency agent processing your application. You can read my real-time frustrations here but to make a long story short, after a lengthy time frame, the legislation was amended and people with diabetes were given more fair and equal treatment.
While some friends were given the credit for a lifetime, my son wasn’t. I
knew it was personal.
I wasn’t paranoid honest! I would go to events and see the CRA booth set up. As I walked by and they saw my name, they would instantly recognize me. I was sure that having agents of the Canadian Revenue Agency recognize your name was not a good thing!
Visions of audits and extended periods of time spent on my returns haunted my nights. With this in mind, imagine my anxiety at having to complete a new application for my son?
I had been advised that my son’s Disability Tax Credit status would change on January 1, 2013 unless my credit was submitted earlier. We had a diabetes clinic appointment the next week and the doctor had told me to bring along the form for her to sign. I was still nervous.
Would they still recognize the name? My last name had changed. I have gone back to my maiden name. Would they still make a connection with my son and his last name? Would I have to fight to prove that yes, we really and honestly do intensively manage his diabetes care?
We really do use up well over 14 hours per week in diabetes-related junk. I had won this battle once. Thousands have since had their applications approved.
The tax agency couldn’t hold a grudge forever could they? My mind was cynical but confident. Others get the credit. I help others, including adults, get the credit. My application would not be denied!
I then received an email from a friend. “FYI…in case you didn’t know…” and she proceeded to send me a copy of a memo that noted CRA had made changes to the disability tax credit guidelines. All children under the age of 18 who have diabetes and have applied for the Disability Tax Credit would now be approved without further question.
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