Preface: I am carefully writing this since the firms I am NOT mentioning by name seem quite litigious (i.e. they like suing folks). I am very UNHAPPY to read about these “services.” The firms claim to help get their clients their Disability Tax Credit, DTC, but for ludicrous fees. There is an ACT in place, Bill C-462: Protecting Disabled Canadians or a Paper Tiger, but it is inactive.
I have written about getting the Disability Tax Credit ( DTC ) from the CRA and the steps I have to take to receive them for my son. My apologies if I portrayed the process as being extremely hard. I fear I have inadvertently also brought into play a whole new Service Provider, that of the “Disability Tax Credit Adviser.”
These Advisory firms offer services to help the disabled (or parents of disabled folks) get their Disability Tax Credits from the CRA. While these firms want to help the disabled get the tax breaks they deserve, they do it for a very steep price.
Most of these services will not charge a “client” anything up front, and they will either help your Doctor fill in the forms or, better still, they will supply their own “Doctor” for a diagnosis. This again sounds fair in that some Doctors may not know the correct vocabulary to use. However, this still must be the professional’s opinion (as they are the one who signs the form).
How much does the Disability Tax Credit Service company make? I have a few samples from a few of the sites I am aware of:
- “…our fee is 20% of the amount you receive…”
- Others can charge up to 30% “of the amount you receive.”
This (in my opinion) is a ridiculously high fee for a service that should be done by you (or by an accountant). If you go to the Testimonial sections of many of these sites, you will see that folks can receive large settlements from the CRA (upwards of $10,000), thus giving these firms 25% of this settlement.
I hope that folks who are “at wit’s end” do not turn to one of these firms when they could do it themselves, or maybe they should contact an Accountant (or Tax expert) to try to get their Tax Credits.
There are allegations that the “commission” charged by some of these firms is not just on Disability Tax Credit part of the tax refund. It is in fact 20-30% of ALL of the tax refund received by the “client”. There are stories of the CRA auditing the Disability Claims prepared by some of these firms and disallowing the claims (and asking for all settlement money to be returned to the CRA (the credit, including any fees paid)).
I have been quite critical of the Pay Day Loan services for preying on desperate people. If the allegations that I have read are true (I include links to articles in the Star and the CBC for you to form your own opinions), these folks should have a special place in Hell for taking advantage of Disabled Folks (and their families), this way and let me be a little more clear:
I implore anyone seeking help to receive the Disability Tax Credit not to use any service that charges a “percentage of settlement” fee for their services.
Do it yourself!!! Or Find a service with a set flat fee!
Articles from newspapers about some “Disability Tax Credit Services” firms and the allegations levelled against them:
- Article from the Toronto Star about one firm (the firm is fighting the claims made in court)
- CBC overview on another firm (that has advertised on this very site).
If there are folks who have used these services, please comment about your experience.
I noticed that many of these “Disability Tax Credit Service Companies” seem to come up in advertising on my site (especially those articles that talk about the RDSP or Disability Tax Credit), and these firms advertise themselves as an advocate for the disabled Canadians. I have blocked their ads, and as new firms come up, I will investigate (as best I can) and block any that I feel charge a ridiculous service fee.
If there are other ads on this site you find offensive, feel free to leave a comment, I will investigate them and block them if I agree with you.
Related RDSP Pages
- The RDSP Page is the Overview of all articles I have written about the RDSP (including DTC and other areas).
- RDSP : Laying the Ground Work (first things first)
What needs to be done BEFORE you can apply for a Registered Disability Savings Plan? A major aspect of this is the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), make sure you click on this page to get started.
- RDSP : Working with The Account
Now that you have succeeded in getting your Disability Tax Credit (DTC) you need to open an RDSP account with a bank or such, but how is that done? It is not as easy as you might think. This page outlines many of the issues that have arisen for my family working with an RDSP account.
- Disability Tax Related Topics
Thanks for my RDSP and DTC work I then had to learn a great deal about the tax implications of having a disabled child.
- Autism Specific Articles
Being the proud Father of a child on the Autism Spectrum I also ended up writing a great deal about Autism specific things as well.
- RDSP : Laying the Ground Work (first things first)
It’s great to know that there are professionals for DTC that will not charge the client front and will help your doctor fill in forms. I can imagine how big of a help that would be for my sister now that she is thinking about DTC Canada when they move there with her husband who is actually a Canadian. This will be a huge help for their family, since their son has special needs which showed during his toddler years.
The feds need to change the criteria for the disability tax credit. This tax credit is set up to help ameliorate direct and indirect expenses incurred because of one’s disability and if that is the case, it should be that – period. It should not be the gateway to other benefits. What about those that don’t qualify for the Disability Tax Credit because their disabilities do not carry the “right” restrictions and have to go on a provincial disability program and then drain all of their RRSPs because they are over-asset, while those that do qualify can hope for at least somewhat of a retirement later in life with the RDSP? Why can’t all get an RDSP, regardless of what your disability is?
I know way too many people who applied and can’t qualify, yet their disability related expenses are astronomical! Where do they go for help then? This is only helpful for those with clear physical disabilities that can be proven. It should be tied to direct and indirect expenses due to ANY disability. What about those who have a disability that causes them to be unable to get a driver’s license and have to pay for private cabs and drivers to get places? What about those whose disability leads to hoarding, for example, and may have to pay for private housekeeping? Those that have chronic anxiety and cannot leave their homes a lot to pay for delivery of groceries, etc.? These people do not count! Yet they have to pay a king’s ransom because they have a disability and nobody gives a damn.
The maze that is the world of the disabled person in Canada is hard to navigate. I know of more than 1 veteran who lost a limb in battle, had to prove their limb was still missing? #WTF?
As for the monetary aspects, to help my son, we have made sacrifices, but our story is easier than so many other parents.
I hear your words, and they resonate.
My family doctor filled out the form, signed it. I’m a newb and didnt check over it, he left the mandatory effects of impairment blank. When I went back to him he said that my child didnt qualify because she wasnt physically AND mentally disabled and he hasnt known me long enough(only 2 years.) Suggestions? Ethics committee?
Ethics? Not really worth it, I would look for someone else who might help. Do you know other parents of kids on the spectrum? Who were their Doctor? Are you near a large city that has a Children’s Hospital? Call them if that is the case, see what they can do. You said he “signed the forms” did he fill anything in, other than signing? Seems odd to me, but some Doctors are very worried about their governing body coming down on them (or worse the CRA).
Thank you so much for this information, I was trying to decide whether using one of these firms was a good idea or not. I had a bit of an odd feeling about it and initially never signed the forms. That was about a year and a half ago. I received a random email a few weeks ago from the woman I’d spoken to last year, which came as a surprise. She asked if I still wanted to apply and I said I was considering it. She sent forms and I’ve been mulling it over for days, and finally came across your blog. I’ve declined the forms, thank you again for writing this.
I do have a couple of questions. I was told I might be eligible for the tax credit as I have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disorder (an auto immune disease), as well as chronic migraines. These things have caused me a lot of pain and fatigue over the years, and made working a regular job pretty much impossible. My husband is the one who works full time (though at present with COVID-19 he’s out of work). But when I look on the CRA website, I can’t actually find a list of the conditions they consider for the tax credit. Would I be eligible or not? And do I apply for it or does my husband? Any insight you can offer would be much appreciated.
The application for DTC is less about the actually condition(s) (though you have to document that) but more based on the impact of the condition(s). Either it is one condition that makes you unable to care for yourself or multiple conditions which combine result in the same. A portion of the forms needs to be completed by a practicing medical person as detailed on the forms.
The applicant is the person with the disability. If you qualify but do not have enough income to take advantage of it, your DTC can be transferred to anyone that you are dependent on, e.g. your husband.
You need to show to the CRA how your conditions (I think as a whole, as was pointed out) impacts your ability to live your day-to-day life. Many Doctors will fill in the T2201, but you can also get a Nurse Practitioner to help out or not. If your conditions are not on the list, that does not mean they don’t allow it, just that it is not on the list. Apply and see what comes of it.
We are filling in the forms for our Autistic son and amputee daughter but I am looking for some guidance. I just need some help in where to start in filling in the “Give details” section in Part A. Write in paragraphs, bullet points, lots of details or just the most significant? Thanks in advance for the insights.
You need to give details about the disability and how the disability affects the child’s day to day life. Your daughter should be straight forward, describe the amputation, and how that affects her day to day life. For your son what problems does he have with his autism? Can he talk and communicate easily? Can he feed himself? Is he toilet trained? Can he deal with normal day to day social interactions? What do you have to do for him, to ensure he has a quality of life? The more details the better. Your Medical professional’s note can mention these things as well. You can always put more detail in any cover letter you might include with your tax return.
So what happens if I just don’t pay my bill? I was approved. Received my money in May. Had tons of bills to clear up. My second round is coming in August and all my tax refunds are going against taxes owing as I’m in a consumer proposal. Stupid question I know lol. I mean what? Goes to
A collection agency? My credit is screwed for the next 5 years anyways. After initially getting up approved it’s like they have dropped off the face of the planet. They messaged me once asking for the payment from May. Told them I mailed a cheque. Haven’t heard from them.
I would ask whoever created your consumer proposal, they may have a better opinion on this. I was under the impression that if you are in a Consumer Proposal, I didn’t think (and this is only a guess on my part) that the collection agency is part of the consumer proposal?
When looking into this for my son and myself in early 2016, we were referred to one of these tax recovery services. It sounded good as at the time they only collected 10% of the recovered funds (with a $250 refundable deposit), or to avoid the deposit, a total of 15%. Note that they also charge HST on ALL recovered funds (more on this). (As per their website in Mar 2019, they now seem to only offer their services for 15%).
Though we had sent in the T1013 authorizing them as representatives, we never signed the contract. There were a few clauses that troubled me, so I sought clarification. They were:
Client agrees to pay the Company a contingency fee as per the attached Schedule “A” Fees and Compensation, of all recovered tax refunds, child disability benefits and adjustments received in the form of refunds and benefits from the CRA + HST.
The Client acknowledges that the contingency fee as outlined in Paragraph 3 above and in Schedule “A” will be applicable to any refunds received for the 2016 and prior taxation years
Should a dispute arise and Client does not honour and abide by the terms of this Agreement, Client agrees to pay the Company a minimum fee of $2,500 (per case) unconditionally or without hindrance at the request of the Company, in lieu of the Compensation duly noted in Paragraph 3 above and Schedule “A’.
My questions were (and should be) obvious:
1. their fee is based on ALL recovered funds? what about refunds due to adjustments not related to the DTC? And this includes child disability benefits too? Answer: they do not differentiate and it includes ALL refunds as listed above.
2. My application applied to the 2015 tax years and prior… why are they getting a fee based on the 2016 return too, which has not even been filed yet? And again it applied to ANY refunds? (So they are collecting fees on the current non-applicable year.) Answer: That is how they do it.
Also notice how they cover their losses with a min of $2500 if you try to back out. (#3 above)
Naturally, I did not like any of these answers… the fees are too far reaching and do not consider other issues.
A couple of other things to point out:
1. I was concerned about optimizing our claims. In my case, it was a matter of figuring out who should claim the DTC for our son, myself or my wife. If you are single, this is not as big an issue. But for us, believe me, it was not so simple, as optimizing this got complicated when you do the analysis.
For example, donations, other child tax credits (Fitness, Art)…It may not seem like it but I discovered that these 3 TOGETHER actually play a big role on who should claim what…. NO ONE could help work through that…. not even my accountant, as this took be literally days to work through to find the right optimization…AND it was well worth it… It helped carry forward over $8000 in donation receipts to be used in later years which even my accountant missed. (It was a slow and very tedious process). (Waiting on the verdict by the CRA on whether it would also free up an additional $40,000 in cumulative donation contributions from past years to carry forward).
Our past tax returns were undergoing an appeal and going through the tax court process, which meant we were anticipating more money coming back on past taxation years. This contract would mean they would have access to that too, even though they would not be doing any of the work for this (netting them at least $12,000+HST at their lowest 10% rate).
So thankfully, we never did sign up. So far, we have collected a little over 50% of the refunds from the CRA. Due to our complexity, we are still working on the balance (3 years later; we just cleared the appeals and tax court case last summer after 7 years– in our favour, by God’s grace, YAY) so expect the rest in the next few months.
If we had let them do it, it would have translated into about $4,500 fee (at the 10% rate) for them (for both our applications) (about $6,500+ at the 15%), once all is said and done (not including any $ from the tax appeals/court stuff).
The hardest part is the doctor’s part, for which the service has little to do other than potentially giving the doctor some guidance in filling out the forms (this service does do that). For standard applications, it really is not hard (harder for us due to some tax complications). Even an accountant may not be the best as they may still leave $ on the table.
I cannot say NEVER use these services… I can say, be sure you do not pay high prices (30%+ is outrageous). Even 15% I consider high, but it seems to be the lowest available (not sure if the 10% is still offered).
Just keep in mind that getting the DTC is a 3 part process:
1. apply for the DTC, including getting a doctor to fill out their part. The hardest part is finding a supportive doctor (and now even a nurse practitioner).
2. the DTC will apply automatically to the last 3 years of your returns.
3. depending on how far back your DTC approval goes, you have to manually claim to apply the DTC retroactively for up to 10 years. This is NOT automatic but is straightforward.
That is it.
Bottom line is, take the time to educate yourself and do it yourself. It may take time BUT it is not that complicated. It was worth it for us.
One more comment… after we decided NOT to use them, they still kept calling for well over 6 months to see if we still wanted their help… they did not seem to take the hint when we simply would not return their calls.
Talk about persistent.
A very complete comment, and I appreciate the information.
Forgot about my post on this…so an update…On this part of my post “(Waiting on the verdict by the CRA on whether it would also free up an additional $40,000 in cumulative donation contributions from past years to carry forward).”
Turns out that last May the CRA APPROVED my retroactive changes to our donations from retroactively applying the DTC back 10 years. Though it took a lot of time, this was a VERY WORTHY exercise indeed!
So when you get around to retroactively applying your DTC 10 years, though it may not impact your refund in some years, look to see if you can reduce any other deductions you applied in those years to reduce your taxes that can be carried forward (like I did for donations).
Excellent to hear! Excellent advice as well.
Would legal aid in Alberta help ?
I don’t know, but if you called them they might help point you to the right folk. (disclosure, I live in Ontario, so don’t know about Alberta laws and such).
My husband recently completed a questionnair form they sent in the general mail. After that he received two form letters indicating everything looked good and who they assigned to work with him. He hadn’t heard from them in a while and tried calling repeatedly to cancel their service. No response to his call, so he sent an email. It was our financial advisor who should us the form we need the doctor to complete, we paid the doctor’s fee and our financial advisor mailed it off for us. That was Aug 7th. Sept 17th we received a letter from CRA indicating my husband did qualify. Oct 4 (the day our money from CRA was deposited), a Ontario Benefits rep called to tell my husband the money will be deposited and that they would be invoicing him for $1,383.12.. The letter and Bill they emailed my husband are dated Sept 28th. We also receive a copy of the documentation in the mail today with a prepaid envelope- we get $15.00 off if we etransfer the money. We’ve cancelled them as our CRA representive and sending them a written notification in their prepaid envelope. We also are requesting a copy of the signed contract before we submit any funds – do we need to seek legal help now?
Interesting dilemna. I would suggest consulting legal folks at Legal-Aid Ontario.
The form is not hugely hard. I would say almost no one needs to use the services of one of the companies to fill out the form. If you have a hard time with the form, then seek out your local disability organisations who can help. No one should need to pay money to be able to get the form filled. It is just not that hard.
I agree. Yes, the forms look daunting, but you can do it, or you can find free help don’t lose 20% of your settlement for something you can easily do yourself.
Please help with disability tax credit , if there’s any company that does a flat fee in Edmonton Alberta As I don’t always understand whats being read?
Have not heard of any companies that do flat fees, however, you can call the CRA, find disability support groups they may know of Doctors or Nurse Practitioners who could help.
NDCA have recently been representing me and help me get the most money that I deserve. Yes their fee is 20%. Mind you though that with all my university schedule and lack of knowledge on the tax and credit system, they have been working for me and they got the application approved for me! They wouldn’t have charged that 20% if I did not get approved. They only take their commission when you receive something as a result of the work they have done. Quite honestly this firm specializes in this area and just like a lawyer or a doctor knows what they are doing, these guys do as well. Having a bit of credit card debt I am more than happy to have been approved for this type of a credit support which will help me off a lot of things. If a person has the knowledge and isights into how the system works then they can attempt in applying themselves and keep trying if they don’t get approved for whatever reason. For what I know I was also entitled to a “disability benefit” going back ten years after I turned 18 but I only received one years worth of benefit payment made to my mother because we had no information or awareness that we were entitled to a
lumsum disability benefit. So you see lack of knowledge can have you miss out on opportunities like that. If you are going to have this ego that “why should I pay a firm a chunk of what I am getting?” then get ready to deal with CRA, doctors, applications, paperwork and willingness to follow up. Maybe I could have done this myself, who knows, but all I knew is that I had a busy schedule with university and I needed money to help me with my expenses. Rather than waiting for months of failed attempts, the NDCA took my case and as a result I have been approved within 6 months and that is just a payment approval with me having the information that there is more to come. Ask yourself this, do you have the knowledge and specialization in this type of work? Now lets say you are in need of money and you hire this firm, is it so bad getting approved for a lumsum amount within months? I am making these numbers up but let’s say you get approved for $5000, it’s not so bad receiving even $4000, is it? Many people don’t even get approved for whatever reason and they have try a few times to get success or no success at all which can get quite frustrating. At the end it’s your call but I say let the professions do their job and have some success. As far as the customer service goes I have a direct phone number of the agent who has no problem answering me questions and updating me when some good news comes out. In a world full of problems, it feels so good to receive a phone call hearing some good news!
While this comment seems to be genuine, how anyone can espouse giving up 20% of their overall credit money? I didn’t have time to do it? It makes it sound like it takes weeks to get done? You are paying someone $1000 for what? I feel this comment is completely off-line, but for the sake of argument it is included.
Please do not assume that because I allowed this comment, that I espouse or agree with it, I DO NOT!
Having attempted to “Do It Myself” and being sabotaged by a doctor whose only interest seemed to be in getting paid (which resulted in a negative assessment upon refusal) I am now in the position of having to go to one of these c***-suckers in order to get ANYTHING.
I wish you would try again, there has to be a Doctor who can help out there, or a Nurse Practitioner.
The fact that your pet name for them is fellators, while amusing shows you know they will not do you good. Them taking a big portion of your cheque is never a good thing, and the CRA has said they will be putting their clients under closer scrutiny as well.
Don’t give up.
The $4000 is the total bill for their “services” and I have cancelled them as an authorized representative with the CRA. I have also notified the company in writing that I am no longer using their business and that it will conclude our contract. So as far as I know, they will have no further legal claim.
Interestingly enough, I asked them to send me a copy of our contract. They did, and it had my name in print at the bottom but my signature and the date signed were not present. I am going to ask them to provide me with proof of the contract with my signature before I forward the funds.
I also have a meeting with my MLA tomorrow to discuss Bill C-462. I want clarification on the intention of the bill and whether or not it only applies to additional hidden fees and costs or if it could apply to the exorbitant percentages as well. I may be at a loss for reclaiming what is mine, but perhaps my MLA would be interested in furthering the application of Bill-426 by giving it some teeth.
Thank you for your reply. And to anyone else reading this – please be confident in your ability to do this on your own or with the help of somebody honest and trustworthy! It is NOT as complicated as these companies would have you believe!
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Good luck with your investigations, and keep us posted on what your MLA says. No it isn’t complicated, but it is a long process.
I was recently swindled by one of these companies and it breaks my heart. My brother is permanently disabled and I have been looking after him for years. One of these companies told me that it is a complicated process with a high rejection rate. They said that they know the intricacies of the forms and are able to maximize the returns in a way not normally possible on your own.
My brother is approved for life due to his disability and the CRA had already approved me as his caregiver – this company did literally nothing to get their 30% except forward the forms from me to the CRA. It breaks my heart to know there is nothing I can do to hold on to that extra $4000 to help us pay our bills.
I guess I’m a fool, but at least I won’t fall for it again. I haven’t yet received the credit (coming tomorrow) so if anybody has any last minute advice it would be appreciated.
I would contact the Better Business Bureau first, see if they have any advice?
Unfortunately if you have signed an agreement with them, I am not sure what else can be done. You could talk to Legal Aid to see if there is a way out of the agreement?
You are not a fool you wanted to help someone you love.
Was the $4000 the total bill, or are they taking any more off every year?
I too have a similar story to the person up further with mental illness. I suffer from severe and sometimes crippling anxiety. am i crippled in the sense i need a wheelchair to get around? no. but yet my doctor too told me the only people who get approved are people who are bound to a wheelchair for life. and she too wasn’t going to fill the form out. so how are we supposed to get benefits that we are entitled to? just because i am not physically disabled i am mentally and yes it affects my everyday life and my ability to work. i think the system has been taken advantage of by those who don’t need it leaving us who do truly need it in the dark and jumping through hoops.
Agreed, as the parents of kids with Autism have learned, it is not easy to get the DTC for a “non-visible” disability. All I can advise you to do is, find a different Psychologist or Psychiatrist who would be willing to fill the forms in. Depression and Anxiety are areas I am not as clear on success rates for folks applying for the DTC. I do know the debilitating aspects of both of these, so please keep trying! If anyone has any stories on this, please send them to me.
I normally don’t edit comments, however, in this instance the Canadian libel laws might come into play. My apologies to the author, I have attempted to keep the spirit of the post.
I have had words with CRA, they should not allow these companies that are so called trying to help you, ha ha. (deleted portion) This is money that is due to the person. CRA needs to step up, ban and not allow these (deleted portion)companies to be in business. The forms are easy and the Doctor does most of the work anyway filling out the forms. Then you can do your reassessment online at CRA. I did it all and got my money (12,500) ALL for me ,then got myself signed up for the RSDP (sic).
after dealing with one of these consultant companies for the last 12 months…they’ve finally told me that i’m approved (today)…however they’ve also told me that my authorization form has to be signed again , because my initial form only covered 2017..and since it’s spilling into 2018, they need me to authorize them to “access my return info” into 2018 for the deal to be finished.
My question is….without me authorizing them how would they know the amount I got back? (their plan is to send an invoice with their 20% fee AFTER my return amount is finalized). Since their fee is based on how much I get back…if they didn’t know how much I get back i can’t see how they can send an invoice
You must have given them permission somewhere, or they are guessing (maybe). They may be doing this on estimated values, but you need to contact the CRA and ask them if your account has an agent associated with it.
I was just on the phone with CRA and they told me to block any activity with disability credit consultants. They claim to get you approved but when I was speaking with cra they said there is absolutely nothing that the do besides mailing in your paperwork that you sent in. They have my vois cheque to give to the cra but cra have no record of it. What would happen if I were to block them? Change my bank info etc?
That sounds like fairly reckless advice from the CRA. If you have entered into an agreement with the firm, you need to end the agreement. If you have signed anything, you will need to consult with legal aid about getting out of the agreement. As for the Void Cheque thing, again, sounds odd to me as well.
My son has been approved by CRA for the DTC also the child disability benefits for the years from 2011 to 2022.
I was wondering how long it takes to have the CDB for the previous 2 years as the CRA said that thay have transfer our file to the readjustment office to recalculate our benefits. Thank you
It can take a LONG time, but I would suggest you check your MY CRA account and you can watch the status. Normally it is about 6-8 weeks, but I can guarantee it either.
Can someone please tell me how long it takes to process the DTC form once it is sent to the CRA?
A while? Sorry, that is being a smart-ass, it can take a few months depending on how busy the CRA is (if you send it in March, it is going to take months, if you send it in August, maybe less). You can check the progression on line using the My Account access at the CRA. You can call and ask about status too, but it is not a fast process, no.
I’m disabled with a mental health issue, unable to work since 2010. The problem with your “do it yourself” advice for the DTC is that we can’t “do it ourselves” because we need a DOCTOR to fill out Part B of the application. In my case I have asked three doctors (psychiatrists) and all three told me I had to be in a vegetative state to apply!
Disabled people are getting screwed over because of physicians’ ignorance of the DTC criteria. The mentally ill suffer the most, because our disabilities are not visible, our symptoms are variable and many of us are unable to see that our behaviour is bizarre or detrimental, and because we frequently don’t have the ability to apply successfully on our own.
Our so-called primary care physicians (again, psychiatrists) do nothing but fill out prescription pads, and they neither know nor care anything about our symptoms, so they are not qualified to fill out any forms on our behalf. Many times I’ve had applications for services turned down because my quack didn’t know the first thing about me or my symptoms and wrote nonsense on the form. So I’m one of those people who feels forced to go to a sleazy company to fill out my DTC application. At least I’ll have a chance of being approved that way, despite the cost. CRA has been re-re-re assessing a 5 year old return of mine in which I received a one time settlement from my ex employer. This year’s bill is $700. I received less than $10K last year. Something has to give…
Yes, you very much must have a Doctor sign your forms (my article was saying don’t use the Private Firms that then attempt to charge you for a service that should be essentially free) for a disability.
In the case of children (and adults) on the spectrum is finding Doctors who know how to fill in the forms correctly.
As for your psychiatrists’ commentary about needing to be in a vegetative state, that sounds, at best insensitive. My advice would be, find another psychiatrist or psychologist? (yes, easy for me to say, but if they are not doing you any good, time to find someone who will help).
Your argument of getting something using the private firm as opposed to getting nothing trying to get it done yourself is concerning. The system needs to be looked at, if folks who need help must pay to get help (my opinion only).
This is an update to my earlier comment. I did hire one of those DTC services that charged the lowest rate I could find (I think 15%). They filled out the form and attached a letter to my doctor with instructions to fill out his portion. The doctor took one glance at the form, and started shouting abuse at me for being a con artist and a fraud! That was my last appointment with that abusive quack. I tried a psychologist, a family doctor, another psychiatrist, and a doctor at a clinic I use. All refused to fill out the forms despite the letter etc. The consultant didn’t get any money, so now they’re calling me every couple of weeks asking me if I found a doctor who would fill out the forms yet.
Doctors won’t fill out these forms for several reasons. First, they recognize the discrimination against the mentally ill which is inherent in the questions on these forms. The DTC forms are deliberately designed, and biased, to exclude the mentally ill. Secondly, they second guess CRA’s assessment of the form, refusing to sign because they “believe” that the form will be rejected. I try to tell them that even if it is rejected it won’t reflect on them, but that brings us to the third reason they won’t sign – CYA. They’re afraid of repercussions to themselves if they sign and the application is rejected.
Another reason they won’t sign is ignorance about the form and application criteria. I had two doctors tell me that the applicant has to be in a vegetative state, and another told me the credit goes to the caregiver, and if the patient is well enough to apply on their own that means they’re “not disabled enough” to qualify. Trying to explain otherwise to them falls on arrogant, deaf ears.
So this is what disabled people are up against when trying to claim what they should be entitled to. I get your point about the disability consultant firms, but if I can find one which has its own doctors on staff I’ll be signing in a heartbeat, no matter the cost. I need the money, and some of the credit is better than none at all. The benefits of receiving the DTC in years to come will eventually pay for the consultant fee.
So, my sources tell me the CRA look like they are doing Full Audits on folks using any of the Disability Tax Credit Helper companies and are looking at a few of the bigger Toronto firms in specific. As for your problems with the Doctors, it may be that they are aware of this “clampdown” and they are (as you pointed out) protecting their asses.
I would tread very carefully using any of these firms and be aware of what you are signing. Yes sometimes something is better than nothing, but be very clear on the Something you are getting before signing anything.
If you are in a large urban area (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, etc.,) see if you can find any Parents support groups in this area, they typically know of Doctors who can competently fill in the forms (and are not gun shy about doing it).
I can only wish you luck, and please be careful, there are vultures out there
I’m trying to navigate this process on behalf of my in-laws. Father-in-law is permanently disabled, unable to work, and has no income. Mother-in-law has a temporary disability, but does have some income. Is there a point where their family income would be too low to warrant claiming the disability tax credit? Also, recent CBC article in your post today suggest tax credit form must be filled out before filing taxes? Is that true? Isn’t there an option to ask for an amendment/readjustment afterwards?
Yes, you must have agreement from the CRA before you attempt to claim the disability tax credit. Once the CRA has agreed, you can ask for a reassessment for when the disability began. As always, check with the CRA first if you are not sure about things, they can answer your questions (when you do call, either record the call or note the date, time of call and who you spoke to, just to be thorough).
I do income tax preparation for a living and I am after getting many disability tax credit claims filed and approved for the price of getting a tax return prepared. I don’t believe anyone has the right to money that is not theirs!! Why pay some one for your suffering!
That is good to hear, and I am glad you are helping folks that way! Good on you and a Gold Star! 🌟
Thank You for this article. I first heard of The Disabilty Tax Credit from a pop up ad..and I contacted the people and they told me they would help me to earn up to $15,000 but they would take %30 plus an extra $500 if I got money….also my doctor told me its a scam.
I’m glad I didn’t fill the paper work the “agency” sent me.
HOLY CRAP that is highway robbery!
The good news is, our Government agrees and did something! Bill C-462 received Royal Assent on May 29, 2014 so we have some measure of protection now but great article to raise awareness!
See : http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?
Bill C-462 -An Act restricting the fees charged by promoters of the
disability tax credit and making consequential amendments
to the Tax Court of Canada Act
And for that, I was happy to see! Also, have heard the CRA has cracked down on these sorts of firms, in terms of their practices to get the credits and such
And for that, I was happy to see! Also, have heard the CRA has cracked down on these sorts of firms, in terms of their practices to get the credits and such
We needn’t pay an accountant, etc, either. Please use the services of an advocate working within a non-profit agency. Many are volunteers, a handful are paid, most are excellent. (Feel free to shop around for the one that suits you most.)
To locate one, see http://www.povnet.org/find-an-advocate/
I did my son’s on my own, but accessed BCCPD (now Disability Alliance) for free and excellent help with my more complex matter. When mine comes through, I personally will be choosing to give a donation to the agency that assisted me, so that they may continue this work for others, but they don’t even so much as request or suggest even that. It is provided absolutely without charge.
Excellent article, thanks for being the first to point out this growing scam.
These firms seem to be tarketing seniors, encouraging them to see if they qualify. They would seem to be going after people who may not even realize that they’re disabled (?), so they assist with the technical definition, then the paperwork, then take their substantial cut. It’s milking the government.
My father in law got approached by this and was going to proceed until I investigated. But a very typical ‘prey on seniors’ approach.
As I said, hopefully there is a special part of hell for those folks who prey on folks like that.
RDSPs are supposed to be about helping those most vulnerable. It’s a shame that there are people out there who take advantage of those less fortunate. Hopefully financial institutions offer better investments with RPPPs, but I have my doubts.
Someone I know did this and paid the firm $1300 and then when they contacted someone else about it they said they were paying too much. They paid a further $300 to an income tax company to finish it off. These are seniors who believe the people they talk to and likely why many end up paying for things they don’t need to. I’ve done my homework on this topic as well and it’s pretty simple to do on your own. I think that some people feel that they need people to help them do everything when it comes to services when that is not the case. You are right, do it yourself, for free. Mr.CBB
Or ask for help from a Professional like an Accountant or approach your Doctor or Hospital maybe they have some expertise they can share. At least read some of the excellent posts around the net on the topic.
Hmmm.. I filled in the paperwork, the doctor did his thing and sent it in and bingo it was done. How hard is that?
Not that hard, worth $2000 ?
Denis from above…
My dad’s accountant suggested that he apply for the DTC. Gave him the paper, I filled it in for him, he brought it to his doctor, and he was approved. He told his neighbour, I spoke with him, he filled it in, saw his doctor, and was approved. If these two elderly gentlemen can fill them in themselves or by a relative, then it should not be too hard for anyone to fill in the paperwork. Getting the doctor to sign off on it though might be more of a hassle if they are not familiar with it.
Excellent and good on you for helping out as well. Yes, some Doctors are warey to fill in the forms, and some just don’t know what they are doing, but most seem to know what needs to be done. Don’t waste your money on these “helper firms” if you can help it, please!.
Good on you! Nice selfie.
Charming. These firms sound right up there with the “immigration consultants.”
Good on you to block their ads!