Section 4 – Health, Seniors and Caregivers
Terms and certification
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 months.5
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.
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/you-eligible-disability-tax-credit-3.html.
The first time a taxpayer claims a disability deduction or credit, he/she must obtain a certificate from a doctor or a nurse practitioner 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.
Disability Tax Credit
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 2020 are included in Table I2 of the Schedule – Individuals Taxation for your province.
6 Including Ontario and New Brunswick. Quebec does not allow a supplement.
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.
Tax Credit for Disabled Dependents – New Brunswick
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 dependent8 disabled persons (see Schedule – Individuals Taxation for the province for the applicable amount in 2020). The taxpayer may also claim the credit for an eligible dependent 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.
Disability Supports Deduction
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.
Child Care Expenses
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 is up to date as of September 3, 2020 and reflects the status of legislation, including proposed amendments at this date.