The Disability Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit available to Canadians who spend over 14 hours per week on Life-Sustaining Therapy. Children with diabetes are assumed to easily spent that much time on their care and are eligible based on their diagnosis. It is different for adults. Adults with diabetes must prove that they spend over 14 hours per week on approved therapy in order to get the Disability Tax Credit.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean that you qualify.
Not everyone with diabetes will qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). Adults (anyone over 18 years of age) must be reliant on multiple daily insulin injections. They must show how they spend over 14 hours per week intensively managing their diabetes care.
Why do children qualify for the disability tax credit?
The reason that children qualify for the Disability Tax Credit is because CRA feels that the time that they spend on their care AND the time that their parents spend on their care, together is equal to more than 14 hours per week. Adults do not require the help of others for the most part. They, therefore, must prove that they, themselves spend over 14 hours per week on therapy to keeping themselves alive.
How do I calculate how much time spent on diabetes management?
The best way to see how much time you spend on your diabetes care is to log all of your tasks and your time spent. To make it easier, we have created a workbook and spreadsheet. They outline various tasks and allow you to document how much time you spend.
When considering tasks that could be noted remember…A person who is not reliant on an external source of insulin to live does not have to be concerned about blood glucose readings, anticipated activity levels, impending illness, or fat contents of meals when planning their day to day activities. The average person does not have to draw up a syringe, put in an infusion set or calibrate a continuous glucose monitoring sensor. A person without diabetes does not have to keep track of their insulin requirements, blood glucose levels or activity levels in a journal.
These tasks are commonplace for a person with diabetes. They are also all tasks that are recognized by CRA and count towards the 14 hour total required to be certified for the Disability Tax Credit as requiring life-sustaining therapy.
Do adults with diabetes qualify for the DTC?
In 2017, many adults were experiencing a harder time getting approved for the disability tax credit. This situation has since been re-examined and rules are much more aligned across the country.
Not all people with diabetes will be approved for the DTC. There can be many reasons for your application being denied.
You may be including tasks that are not recognized by CRA as being an allowable part of therapy. Things like grocery shopping, doctors appointments and trips to the pharmacy are not allowed to be included in your total.
You must also be very detailed when describing the tasks involved in your diabetes care. Use the information found online and in groups as a guideline. You should then fill out the T2201 application in your own words with your own specific care details.
Things for adults with diabetes to remember when applying for the DTC
When you are filling out your T2201, here are a few things that you will want to keep in the back of your mind to ensure that your application is approved the first time.
Make your application your own
Spend one week detailing what you do each day. It will take you time to stop and write everything down but it will be worth it. Time each task. Note how often you perform it. If you have trouble deciding what to document, our workbook or spreadsheet might help you.
Make sure that you have only included CRA approved tasks
Take this week’s worth of information and then compare it to your online resources. Eliminate the tasks that CRA won’t approve. Add in the tasks that you did but forgot to add in your personal list. Now total your time spent.
Have your list of time spent available to your doctor
Most likely, you will find that you spend more than 14 hours per week on your care. This data can also be shared with your doctor at your appointment. It will help he/she understand who much time you do put into your care. This will further be of use if he/she if they receive a follow-up letter from CRA asking for more details on your care.
Who should apply for the Disability Tax credit?
Adults with insulin-dependent diabetes who test regularly (6+ times per week), who inject insulin multiple times per day through injections or an insulin pump, and make their own adjustments to their insulin regimen should apply for the Disability Tax Credit. If you are turned down, you have the right to ask for your application to be approved by another CRA staff member. Sometimes the second review still does not turn out in your favour but don’t despair. At that point, you have the right to see all correspondence used in your file and begin a formal appeal process.
Learn how to fill out your own T2201 with our easy four-step course.