One of my favourite topics to write about is the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) offered to parents of children who have mentally or physically disabled children to help start saving for their children’s future. The RDSP is important to me because I have a son who is diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum, but I also know many families that need help, and if anything I write here helps them, I will be very happy.
This is the Real RDSP page you should check out as well. What follows here are some of the posts that I have written about this program, and other articles from other authors on Tax Issues, and other ways to save for your loved ones future.
As a note to those who are sure no one knows how the system really works, I have met the Zen Master for the RDSP. He works for the Government (at ESDC who runs the program), but he does talks in the Ottawa area to help folks understand the RDSP program. He has said I can ask him questions, too!
Before you can get an RDSP you must do the following:
- My New Born needs a SIN ? Yes your child does if you want to open an RESP or an RDSP.
- CRA Child Disability Benefit a how-to outline of what my wife and I did to get the CRA child disability tax credit (with the help of CHEO). It seems hard, but you can do this.
- Child Disability Benefit Application Letter (Template) is a sample letter asking for the benefit to be made retroactive for your child, and this depends on your child’s disability.
- If you are applying for the Disability Tax Credit I implore you to either do it yourself or see an accountant, don’t use the Services out their that are working on a commission from your CRA settlement. The government did bring an Act in to protect you from “Promoters” however, as I outline in, Bill C-462 : Protecting Disabled Canadians or a Paper Tiger ?, nothing seems to be happening there.
- A very useful page to help with the Disability Tax Credit application is here. Check out the owner of this info at Autism Funding In BC as well, some very good information there.
- Remember that sometimes you must reapply for the Disability Tax Credit Certificate, and with that in mind I wrote Time to Re-apply for the Disability Tax Credit Certificate
- The response to the re-application was actually quite quick, and positive too Notice of Determination on Disability Tax Credit
Are you having issues applying for the DTC? Your medical professional can ask for help, as we found out with this helpful answer from the CRA
These outline the work I have done with TD to set up my son’s RDSP:
- If you don’t have time, read this quick 5 Steps to Setting up an RDSP. You can get more details later.
- New Financial Programs Are Never Easy outlines some of the early on pains we had with TD as they tried to get the RDSP system stood up in their bank
- RDSP Completion of Initial Work which sums up what had to happen to set up my son’s RDSP with TD
- Registered Disability Savings Plan an introduction to the program.
- New Financial Programs are Never Easy I outline the steps we took to actually set up the account with TD
- No You Are Not Married to Him outlines the issues we ran into with my wife’s identity that got tripped by applying for the program
- RDSP the Journey Continues continues the saga of attempting to put money into the RDSP.
- RDSP The Journey Continued is me ranting about how long it took to actually transfer money to the account (while watching the Monaco Grand Prix).
- RDSP: The Other New Government Savings Plan which is a guest post written as an overview of the program as well.
- RDSP and TD Aggravations is where I stood at the start of this year
- Pensions and Disabled Children outlines what can be done to get more money into your child’s RDSP, from your RRSP, but remember to read all the rules on this one.
- Budget 2012: The RDSP Changes outlines some of the changes that were added to the program in 2012, remember always stay up to date on this stuff.
- RDSP Update: Nice Payback outlines just how much money $1000 added to this program pays out in terms of grants.
- Borrow to Max Out My Contributions is an interesting question about whether it is better to borrow money now to get the Maximum pay out on the RDSP.
- RDSP Update and a TD Explanation was when someone from TD actually called me after yet another post complaining about the program.
- RDSP TD and a Little Progress is what provoked the call from TD.
- RDSP Update with TD is the latest update dealing with TD and trying to get them to make the system easier to use as a savings plan (i.e. make it easier to put money into the account).
- RDSP: Question for Canadian Big Banks asks why do most of the major banks only offer a Mutual Fund solution for RDSPs. Yes, I am tilting at Wind Mills again.
- TD is trying to fix things (slowly) so I was heartened to see them take a Step in the Right Direction for RDSPs, let’s hope they keep making changes to make things less complicated (to make payments to the accounts).
- David Hodges from Money Sense interviewed me and wrote an excellent article as well with RDSP: A Path to Prosperity.
- I get a lot of requests about this topic, and in preparation for another one I wrote up some notes which turned into RDSP: Questions and Answers .
- I didn’t write this, but it is a fantastic resource from Milburn Drysdale at Autism Funding in BC, about how to get the T2201 done.
- Doug Hoyes and I did a podcast about Do I Lose My RDSP If I Go Bankrupt? The answer should be no, but as usual the bankruptcy laws are not clear. I clarified my answers in my own post, RDSP Clarifications and Podcasts .
- Does the ODSP & RDSP Clash ? Yes, and no, you can have an RDSP and it should not affect your ODSP income, but if you cash things in, you will have to be careful.
- The RDSP Statement of Grant Entitlement is a yearly statement you should read carefully as it will help plan your contributions for that year.
Other Tax Topics
There are other tax areas where you can get financial help from the CRA:
- Disabled Children School Fees Medical Tax Credit is something you can apply for if your child goes to a private school that helps with their disability.
- Medical Tax Credit Letter Template shows a model of the letter you need to send to the CRA to ask if you can claim the Medical Tax Credit.
- An excellent article from Brighter Life asking Do you qualify for the disability tax credit ? I am mentioned in this article.
- A good BDO Newsletter that explains Upcoming Changes To The Taxation Of Trusts Benefitting Disabled Folks
- The Henson Trust is another way to save for a disabled loved ones future, and Katy Basi wrote an excellent article on it, Estate Planning for Disabled Beneficiaries – Henson Trusts . The RDSP is not the only answer.
- If you are not sure Please Apply for the DTC , don’t simply not do it because you think it is hard. The only certainty is if you don’t apply you will never receive it.
For those worried about apply for the CRA Medical Tax Credit, here is (hopefully) a helpful video:
Autism Specific Articles
I don’t have many posts about the Autism spectrum, but I will be writing more:
- Sometimes I really need to vent and with Autism and Advice I try to help folks who really do mean well, but end up not doing much good with their advice.
- A very interesting video from Ted Video: Temple Grandin the example that many point to about Autistic Folks finding their place.
- A new topic that I will be investigating further is Power of Attorney for Autistic Family Member? The answer is not as straight forward as you might think. You must do something about this for your loved one before they reach age of majority.
Autism Help Programs
I know of a few programs out there for parents as well, here are links to check out:
- The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario has an Autism program you can read about THE AUTISM PROGRAM OF EASTERN ONTARIO
If you live in Nova Scotia near Wolfville, here is a great program that I can recommend for disabled kids (offered at Acadia U).