Section 4 – Health, Seniors and Caregivers
Special provisions apply for disabled persons. A person is generally considered disabled if he/she has a serious and prolonged mental or physical impairment that has lasted, or is expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months5 .
A disability is serious if a taxpayer’s ability to perform his/her day-to-day activities is significantly limited. Day-to-day activities are activities such as talking, seeing, hearing, walking, eliminating, feeding and dressing, perceiving, thinking and remembering.
The first time a taxpayer claims a disability deduction or credit, he/she must obtain a certificate from a doctor or a nurse practionner or from an optometrist, an audiologist, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a speech therapist or a psychologist for disabilities related to their areas of competence.
5 There is a series of questions on the CRA’s Internet site for determining eligibility for the mental or physical disability credit amount at: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/segments/tax-credits-deductions-persons-disabilities/disability-tax-credit.html.
Persons suffering from a disability may benefit from a non-refundable tax credit. At the federal level6 , a supplement is added for children under 18 years of age. The supplement is reduced by the amount by which child care and attendant expenses claimed as a deduction or a medical expense credit for the child exceed the prescribed maximum.
Details about the amounts applicable for 2018 are included in Table I2 of the Schedule – Individuals Taxation for your province.
Transfer of Credit – Federal
The disability tax credit and the supplement may be transferred to the spouse or another person in charge who is the dependent’s child, grandchild, mother, father, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew or one of his/her spouse’s.
6 Including Ontario and New Brunswick. Quebec does not allow a supplement.
An individual who supports a child or a member of his/her or his/her spouse’s family7 who is 18 years of age and older and who suffers from a serious or prolonged mental or physical disability is entitled to a non-refundable tax credit for dependent disabled persons (see Schedule – Individuals Taxation for the province for the applicable amount in 2018). The taxpayer may also claim the credit for an eligible dependent8 but not the amount for caregivers in respect of the same individual.
7 Parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew.
8 It is not possible to claim the credit for a disabled dependent if someone else claims an eligible dependent amount in respect of the same individual.
The disability supports deduction includes attendant care expenses as well as other disability supports expenses incurred by disabled persons for education and employment purposes, or for carrying on a business unless such expenses were reimbursed (except if the refund is taxable) or were claimed for purposes of the medical expense credit.
See Section II.
When a taxpayer is entitled to claim the disability tax credit, he/she may not have to include in his/her income certain benefits received from his/her employer (see Section V).
This document has been updated on August 31st, 2018 and reflects the state of the Law, including draft amendments, at that date.