disability tax credit
New eligibility criteria have stripped many Canadians of crucial benefits.
My colleagues and I learned that both of Canada's Disability Tax Credit programs are failing our most vulnerable people.
There are issues that the CRA can, and should, address immediately, such as amending eligibility criteria to better align with the Income Tax Act.
The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary has issued a report pointing out that very few Canadians receive any help whatsoever from the program. And the main reason, they suggest, is that it only helps those who have sufficient income to benefit from a tax credit.
According to advocate Lembi Buchanan of Victoria, "It has become virtually impossible for the majority of people living with severe psychiatric illnesses to access the DTC without appealing to the Tax Court of Canada."
As Canadians we like to take pride in our publicly funded healthcare system, but the truth is many of us -- especially those with or caring for someone with disabilities or chronic conditions -- pay out of pocket for a wide range of essential health services. Studies show Canadians pay as much as 30 per cent of our health needs privately.
A private member's bill proposed by Cheryl Gallant, Member of Parliament for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, received Royal Assent on May 29. The Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act aims to regulate the amount of money that can be charged to applicants for the credit.