Federal tax breaks for children with disabilities in Canada

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A helpful resource on federal tax breaks for children with chronic condition in Canada.

Key points

  • If you have a sick child and have extra expenses you may be able to get financial support from federal programs such as the disability tax credit; child disability benefit; and registered disability savings plans.
  • Talk to the social worker on your child's health care team to learn more about the types of financial assistance you may be eligible for and what community health services may be available to you.

If your family has extra expenses or needs special support because of your sick child, you may be able to obtain financial assistance from the federal government or other groups. A member of your child's health care team might suggest that you talk to a social worker about financial assistance. They can also direct you to useful community health services.

When you complete an application, always mail the original and keep a copy for yourself. Develop an organization system to keep track of all documents and receipts for expenses related to your child's care.

Canadian tax credits and benefits for children with disabilities

Some of the options available in Canada are described here. Your child and family may quality for other resources not listed here.

Disability tax credit

The federal disability tax credit lowers the amount of tax you may owe if your child has severe, long-lasting mental or physical disabilities. If your child has a job, they may be able to claim this tax credit against their own income.

People who are eligible for the disability tax credit may also be able to claim additional tax credits, such as for medical expenses or education.

Child disability benefit

If your child is under 18 years old and qualifies for the disability tax credit, and if your family income is low to moderate, you may qualify for this benefit.

Registered disability savings plans (RDSPs)

RDSPs are savings plans that help parents save for the future needs of a child with a disability.

More information about federal taxes

For more information on tax exemptions and credits for people with disabilities, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency web site at: www.cra-arc.gc.ca.

Tax credits and benefits for adults with disabilities

Adults who have significant disabilities may be eligible for various forms of financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments. Depending on your child's needs, they may also be able to get help from other programs.

It is a good idea to begin looking into these programs well before your child turns 18. Ask your health care team if they can help you find information about programs in your area. To apply for these programs, you may need a letter or other assistance from your child's doctor or another member of your child's care team.

A number of federal tax credits are available for people with disabilities or medical problems and their caregivers. In many cases, your child's doctor will need to certify that they have a prolonged impairment that significantly restricts an area of daily living. You will need to fill out a copy of form T2201, the Disability Tax Credit Certificate.

Caregiver tax credit

If you live with a child who is over 18 years old and who is dependent on you because of mental or physical disabilities, you may be able to claim this amount.

Last updated: June 13th 2012