What is the Disability Tax Credit (DTC)?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, the “DTC” is a non-refundable tax credit that aims to lessen the amount of income tax owed for recipients (and their supporters) with disabilities, for parents of children with disabilities. 

The DTC is broken down into both provincial and federal amounts, and while the federal portion is the same for every eligible Canadian, the provincial amount varies considerably between provinces.

If you’re a parent of a child under 18 with a disability, you may also be entitled to a supplementary amount called the “Child Disability Benefit”, which is a tax-free monthly payment.

Who qualifies for the DTC?

This can be tricky, and the qualifications have been scrutinized by medical professionals over the years. In fact, even if you are receiving other types of disability compensation (CPP or workers compensation, for example) it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll qualify for the DTC. This can lead to a lot of confusion.

Generally speaking, you may qualify for the DTC if you are living with a prolonged and/or severe mental or physical disability that makes daily living difficult or prevents you from working.

List of medical conditions that qualify for disability tax credit

If you have difficulty hearing, speaking, walking, feeding yourself, or some other serious ailment that affects day-to-day living, then you have a decent chance at being approved.

It’s hard to find an “approved list” of conditions online, but some legal websites have included conditions that generally are most recognized as “most likely” to be approved. 

Some of the conditions include:

  • Addictions
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Mania
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral 
  • Depression
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Diabetes
  • Post-Traumatic Stress 
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Psychosis
  • Blindness
  • Eating Difficulties
  • Schizophrenia
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Epilepsy
  • Sclerosis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Colitis
  • Hearing Disorder
  • Stroke

Can a learning disability qualify for the DTC?

Learning disabilities may qualify, but it all depends on the severity of the disability and whether-or-not it interferes with daily living. To have the best chance at being approved, work with your doctor or medical practitioner to build the strongest case for illustrating the difficulty that your learning disability has on your life.

How much is the disability tax credit amount?

If you get approved, the DTC will include the year (or years) you can claim the DTC on your taxes. The maximum federal amount for 2019 is $8,416, and the maximum supplement for children under 18 is $4,909. The child supplement is in addition to the Canada Child Benefit, not in replacement, so make sure you’re utilizing both.

The good news is that you can claim the credit retroactively, up to 10 years under the CRA’s Taxpayer Relief Provision. To do so, you’ll need to request a T1 adjustment.

According to the CRA, you can claim the amount on your return as soon as you (or the person you’re caring for) becomes eligible.

  • To claim the disability amount for yourself, see line 316 on your tax return.
  • To claim the disability amount for your dependant, see line 318.
  • To claim the disability amount for your spouse or common-law partner, see line 326.

The provincial amounts for the DTC vary. 

Below is a table of the different amounts, whether for yourself or for someone under your care of the information needed. Some are straightforward, while others require further calculation.

Province For Self For Dependant
Alberta If over 18 years of age, $14,940 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet AB428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
British Columbia If over 18 years of age, $8,012 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet BC428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
Manitoba If over 18 years of age, $6,180 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet MB428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
New Brunswick If over 18 years of age, $8,310 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet NB428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
Newfoundland/Labrador If over 18 years of age, $6,352 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet NL428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
NWT If over 18 years of age, $12,011 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet NT428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
Nova Scotia If over 18 years of age, $7,341 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet NS428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
Nunavut If over 18 years of age, $13,618 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet NU428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
Ontario If over 18 years of age, $8,549 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet ON428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
PEI If over 18 years of age, $6,890 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet PE428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
Quebec Quebec develops its own tax laws & policies so you may need to file a completely separate tax return.  For children, visit Retraite Québec
Saskatchewan If over 18 years of age, $9,464 on line 58440
If under 18, complete calculation using Worksheet SK428
Line 318 of Federal Schedule 1
Yukon See Schedule 1 - Federal Tax See Schedule 1 - Federal Tax

How to apply for the Disability Tax Credit - the t2201 form

You can apply for the DTC by filling out the t2201 form and submitting the application to the Canada Revenue Agency. As mentioned, a medical practitioner must certify that you have a severe impairment of physical or mental functions. After your application is reviewed, you will be informed of the CRA’s decision with a notice of determination. 

What other benefits am I eligible for?

  1. The Family Caregiver Amount Tax Credit: If you have a dependant (adult or child) with a serious physical or mental disability, you could be eligible for this tax credit. 
  2. CPP Disability Pension: A taxable monthly payment that is available to people who have contributed to the CPP but can’t work due to their disability.
  3. CPP Post Retirement Disability Benefit: A monthly benefit for those who have contributed to CPP but are under 65 and can’t work because of their disability. 
  4. Children’s CPP Benefit: A monthly benefit for dependent children (under 18 or between 18 and 25 if in school full time) of someone who is receiving a CPP disability benefit (listed above). 
  5. Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP): A savings plan that helps you save for long-term financial well-being for someone who’s eligible for the DTC.
  6. Canada Disability Savings Bond: If you’re receiving the RDSP, you may be eligible for a savings bond of up to $1,000 a year, depending on your family income. Lifetime benefit is $20,000.
  7. Canada Disability Savings Grant: A grant that pays into your RDSP and matches up to 300% depending on income. The maximum annual amount is $3,500 per year with a $70,000 lifetime amount. 
  8. Medical Expenses Tax Credit: You may be able to claim some medical expenses relevant to the disability you have, or for a dependant. 

With Fresh Start Finance, you can get a personal loan of up to $15,000 to help with your unique disability needs, whether you’re an ODSP recipient or on other benefits. It takes just minutes to apply and less than 72 hours to get approved. At Fresh Start Finance, we’re here to deliver the financial assistance you need!