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Kids health

Families of Neurodivergent Kids Could Be Eligible For Thousands In Tax Credits

What you need to know about Canadian disability tax credits and benefits and how to apply.

By Brianna Bell
Families of Neurodivergent Kids Could Be Eligible For Thousands In Tax Credits

Last year I was struggling with the financial cost of parenting two neurodivergent children. An acquaintance asked if I had applied for the Canadian disability tax credit (DTC). I immediately explained that there was no way my children would be eligible for the credit.

They suggested I join a Facebook group to learn more about the application process and government funding. I was surprised that they were both eligible.

I applied on behalf of my neurodivergent children, and a few months later was approved for both kids. So far, we have received nearly $30,000 in backpay for previous years’ taxes and credits. I am still waiting on additional government revisions.

The government has no restrictions on how families or individuals use their tax credits or funding. Our family will use the money to pay for various therapies and to make up for lost income. Earlier this year, my husband had to pull back from work because of the additional needs in our home. We’ve also spent thousands on various therapies and supports and are considering private education for the future.

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A woman places her hands on the shoulders of a small boy, who with a sad expression on his face. They sit on a couch.

What is the Disability Tax Credit?

The disability tax credit helps people with disabilities or their families by reducing the amount of income tax they have to pay. The tax credit is non-refundable and available to approved individuals who must first apply for the credit. Eligible individuals must have a severe and long-term mental or physical impairment.

The purpose of the DTC is to offset some of the costs associated with the individual’s impairment.

What is the Child Disability Benefit?

The child disability benefit (CDB) is a monthly, tax-free payment for eligible families who care for a child (under the age of 18) with a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment. Families do not have to apply to receive the CDB. Families must first be approved for the disability tax credit (DTC) to receive the CDB.

Does ADHD qualify for the Disability Tax Credit?

Individuals with ADHD may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). Eligibility is based on a few factors including how severely daily life is impacted. People with other neurodivergent and mental health conditions may also apply. Eligible mental impairments include:

  • Mood disorders, like major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia
  • Personality disorder, like obsessive-compulsive personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
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To qualify, your child must be unable or take at least three times longer than children of a similar age to perform mental functions necessary for everyday life.

A man and woman sit on the floor of a living room. A girl sits in the man's lap. A boy sits in the woman's lap. They are all smiling or laughing.

How to apply for the Disability Tax Credit

To apply for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) you must first find a medical practitioner to complete Part B of the application form. There are two ways to apply. You can fill out the digital form or print and mail the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate.

Approved medical practitioners include medical doctors, nurse practitioners, and psychologists (for mental functions). Keep in mind that your practitioner has the right to charge you a fee for completing the form.

If you are filling out the digital form:

The applicant, or legal representative, fills out Part A of the form. Once you’ve completed Part A of the digital form you will receive a reference number. With that number, your medical practitioner will complete Part B of the form, certifying that the applicant has a severe, prolonged impairment.

How to apply for the Child Disability Benefit

You do not have to apply for the Child Disability Benefit (CDB). Families eligible for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and the disability tax credit (DTC) will automatically receive the CDB.

Do you live in the U.S.?

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If you live in the U.S. and have a child with a disability, you may be eligible for disability benefits through Social Security. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a benefit program available for children with physical or mental impairments with severe functional limitations.

This article was originally published on Jun 05, 2024

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