Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an invisible disease that requires constant vigilance and is impossible to take a vacation from. Since there is no cure for T1D, one must constantly be on the alert to manage, plan, and perform tasks that require cognitive as well as emotional abilities. The treatment of T1D, therefore, implies a major burden for the individual, as well as for those involved in their care (e.g. parents, spouse).
For people living with T1D, the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) can help reduce the financial burden of unavoidable and necessary expenses associated with diabetes (e.g. devices, supplies, treatments).
As of June 24, 2022, this tax credit is now available to all people living with T1D without exception.
This is a big step forward as individuals who wanted the DTC before this date had to justify that the time spent on T1D care was at least 14 hours per week. Unfortunately, many activities that are essential to the management of T1D (e.g., carbohydrate counting, exercise, medical appointments) did not qualify for the 14-hour requirement.
Many people living with T1D were thus denied access to the tax credit for many reasons such as:
- the « poor » justification of the time required for their care,
- the refusal of some physicians to sign the document,
- arbitrary interpretation by the Canada Revenue Agency employee who received the application.
Access to the DTC was therefore totally unequal.
This long-awaited change to the accessibility of the DTC is great news for all people living with T1D in Canada.
Here is a summary of the changes.
A new form to be signed.
For the person living with T1D to obtain the DTC, the physician will have to complete and sign pages 15 and 16 of this new form.
Please note people who were on the DTC before this date will only have to have this form completed at the time of renewal.
Warning: no retroactive credits without justification.
Before June 24, 2022, anyone applying for the first time and receiving the DTC was eligible for up to 10 years of retroactive credits.
Unfortunately, the new application form will not automatically provide any retroactive credits.
If a person wishes to benefit retroactively from the DTC for the years of living with diabetes prior to the year 2022, they will have to complete the form and justify that they meet the old requirements (14 hours/week).
Obtaining the DTC and receiving the RDSP
When the DTC is granted, the person can also contribute to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). This savings plan is designed to help people living with T1D, or their parents, save for long-term financial security.
What about the province?
For now, the changes are only effective at the federal level.
We will have to wait and see if Quebec will follow the recent changes and grant the Severe and Prolonged Impairment in Mental or Physical Function Amount, equivalent to the DTC at the federal level, to all people living with type 1 diabetes.
So this is a case to watch!
Originally written in French
WRITTEN BY: Sarah Haag RN. BSc.
- Amélie Roy-Fleming Dt.P., EAD, M.Sc.,
- Meryem Talbo Dt.P., M.Sc., Ph.D. (c)