Bill C-462 : Protecting Disabled Canadians or a Paper Tiger ?

For those of  you unaware Bill C-462 the Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act ,was passed into law and received Royal Assent (2014-05-29) . 

Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restriction Act

Penalties must be set for overcharging DTC Consultation Firms (link to CBC article on the act)

This Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act  summary

This enactment restricts the amount of fees that can be charged or accepted by persons who, on behalf of a person with a disability, request a determination of disability tax credit eligibility under the Income Tax Act. It establishes a prohibition against charging or accepting more than an established maximum fee and establishes offences and penalties for failure to comply.

The Act was passed, given royal consent, however,  it seems to have never been made law. If you read the bill it looks like it would be easy to enforce, however in the summary you read:

“…an established maximum fee and establishes offences and penalties for failure to comply…”

The problem is the Act never defines maximum fees or the penalties for them.  The other issue is that the act has never “come into force”. I guess it is dead, which is unfortunate. A maximum charge and penalties are needed.

While I have always said you should Do It Yourself, I also realize some folks will need help. These firms must stop gouging their customers.

Who Should You Contact About This?

If you want to voice your concerns about the Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act, contact the sponsor of the bill  , she would like to hear from you as well. I have been in conversation with Ms. Gallant.


Notice of Determination on Disability Tax Credit

About three weeks ago we mailed in (via certified mail, so we got a tracking ID for the envelope we sent to the CRA) our re-application for the disability tax credit certificate (DTC) for my son. We were not really sure how long it was going to take to receive the notice of determination. Yesterday we received the response about our son’s eligibility for the DTC.

We sent enough, and the correct information, as the CRA completed their review and now my son is eligible for another 8 years (until he turns 18), and his DTCC was extended (i.e. a positive response in the notice of determination), which is a relief to us. This means we can continue to receive the child tax benefits, and also continue to contribute to his Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) as well.

Can the disability tax credit be backdated? For us, backdating was granted, as Autism is viewed as a brain stem injury, and thus from birth. We asked for this in our application letter.

The notice of determination for the DTC from the CRA is very clear but it has two very interesting paragraphs:

You will have to file a new, full completed Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, for the 2024 tax year or earlier if we ask for one, so we can review your son’s eligibility for DTC.

In the meantime, if your dependant’s medical condition improves to the point that the impairment would not longer meet the eligibility criteria for disability tax credit, you must let us know.

Interesting how the CRA can still ask for an updated T2201 at any time, if they wish to review my son’s eligibility, and that I must tell them if he is no longer impaired ? Autism Spectrum isn’t cured, but I guess this is the CRA being thorough ?

Final Bits to Notice

Another interesting stanza in the notice of determination states:

Please note that you are responsible for any fees charged by a medical practitioner to complete Form 2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, or to provide us with additional information. These fees are medical expenses. See line 330 of the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide

In our case we did have to pay for the Speech Pathologist Report, which was included in the documentation sent to the CRA, so that is now a medical expense (remember other things can be a medical expense as well).

A final helpful section stated:

If you need more information about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), please see the additional RDSP information sheet.

Yes, there was a helpful sheet about RDSPs included with the letter. It suggested checking out the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) web site, which is helpful as well. It also pointed out that the Government may deposit up to $90,000 into the RDSP over the lifetime of the beneficiary (another good reason to have one). ESDC is on Twitter too.


Time to Re-apply for the Disability Tax Credit Certificate

Let me preface this post with a thank you to Milburn Drysdale at His documentation is what we based most of this work on, and if anyone asks you, they should check out his site before you read anything over here about Registered Disability Savings Plans for Disability Tax Credits. I’d also like to thank my wife who has fact checked my statements.  Is it time to re-apply for the disability tax credit ? 

As I have mentioned my son’s disability was “verified” by the CRA in 2009. At the time it was a “conditional” verification, and the CRA said that he would need to re-apply for the disability tax credit in 10 years (i.e. back dated to 2005).

A few months ago, we received a child disability benefit notice from the CRA saying, the DTCC (Disability Tax Credit Certificate) would “expire” in December 2015 . I hadn’t thought about the fact that my son’s disability was viewed as a disability from birth, so the CRA credited me back taxes from when he was born. This meant that his disability tax credit period started from birth. Given my son has turned ten this year, it is logical that the CRA is now asking for a reassessment.

The first steps towards re-applying for the DTC for my son was to go see our pediatrician and have him fill out the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate. Our pediatrician could have turned us down and said, “No I won’t fill in the forms for you because in my opinion your son is no longer disabled”. This, however, was not the case.

We then added to this documentation, a report from my son’s Occupational Therapist and a Speech Pathologist (Effect of Impairment Document), to help reaffirm my son’s disability diagnosis for the reapplication. It is better to have plenty of supporting documents for the application.

Is the reapplication a “slam dunk”? No, not by any means, we need to make sure that we have all supporting documentation done. The decision relies on the CRA’s ability to decide whether that documentation is sufficient or not. What if the CRA denies the reapplication for my son? A few things happen:

Final Notes

The advice we got from our pediatrician is you can never have too much documentation. I think I view our pediatrician as a subject matter expert, as he has done many of these. You must make sure the information is easy to follow for the CRA folks that will be making the decision. The goal is to have a well written clear application.

Some other notes from my wife, that I am not sure I completely comprehend, but here they are:

  • There is a list of qualified practitioners on the forms (T2201). This information is on the forms. Supporting documentation can be from other professionals, but you need a specific professional to sign the forms.
  • Make sure you get your pediatrician or Doctor to fill in the right sections of the forms. Try not to have the CRA return the forms with a note saying, “You forgot to fill in the following sections:….”

The signed forms were sent via registered mail and we must now wait to see whether the Disability Tax Credit will continue for us.

re-apply for the disability tax credit

An Excellent Graphic from our friends at Moneysense about the RDSP benefits



Tax Tips for Parents with Kids with Disabilities

Our friends at Turbotax had one of their associates tax expert and personal finance consultant Robin Taub send me a few Tax Tips for families with disabled family members .


Some Answers for Parents with loved ones with disabilities.
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, at

Here are a few of her tips:


Some important points to remember, remember to take advantage of all the tax credits that you can, it is your money to have. Remember to check out my RDSP page where this and many other helpful posts like this are archived.


CRA Child Disability Benefit (How To)

As a way of paying it forward for all the help the Blunt Bean Counter (BBC) gave me for setting up my son’s Disability Tax Credit for School Fees, I think the best place to start is a quick How To (or more of a How I, not sure your situation will work exactly like mine) setting up a CRA Child Disability Benefit (Disability Tax Credit ( DTC )) . This is the first important financial thing you must do if you have a disabled child. I will attempt to point to all the relevant parts of the CRA web site. You can call the CRA (OK February is a bad time to call, but call anyhow) and ask for clarification or help on how to do this.

Step One Does Your Child have a Recognized Disability ?

First thing is, if you have a child with a recognized disability, you must take advantage of all the help you can from the Government (at all levels) and all the programs you can get.  We were quite lucky when our son was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum that the Psychologist at OCTC (Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre)  at CHEO (The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) filled out all our CRA forms for us (they even provided them).  We also worked with a social worker. There was a list of things for us to do, given we had a diagnosis.

At the time I was having a very hard time coming to grips with the diagnosis, and giving my brain something tangible to do, helped me, help our son. One day Mrs. C8j may write her perspectives on this, but for me just having a list of things to do made it easier to cope (in some ways).

So to sum up, the first thing for this Disability Benefits. You must get a diagnosis from an accredited medical professional (for that disability).

What Does the CRA Say?

I will quote the CRA website on this just for clarity sake the CRA Child Disability benefit states:

Not all children with disabilities are eligible for the disability amount. To be eligible a child must have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions. An impairment is prolonged if it has lasted, or is assumed to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months

In a great many cases, a child’s disability is obvious, and there should be no issue with getting this disability benefit, however, in the case of the Autism Spectrum and other developmental disabilities, whether you get this benefit relies heavily on the documentation supplied by the diagnosing professional. The CRA can refuse your request for the Child Disability Benefit (Child Disability Tax Credit ( DTC )) if your documentation is not to their liking, so make sure the diagnosing professional has filled in the forms before (and knows what needs to be said in the documentation).

Next Step Time to Find a Medical Professional

Second you need to get the professional to fill in a T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate  for your child. If your Doctor or other professional says, “I have never done this before” or “I don’t have very good luck with these”, I would strongly suggest you find a Doctor or Hospital that does have experience with child disability benefit forms (CHEO in Ottawa, Sick Kids in Toronto, The Children’s Hospital in Montreal as a few examples). These folks know the correct phraseology needed to help you out. Nothing can be more frustrating than not getting benefits you deserve because of the writing shortcomings on a form.

Attempting to claim the Child Disability Tax Credit (DTC) without a T2201 will fail, it must be filled in first! The Psychologist at OCTC knew the correct terms to use for our form, so our claim was accepted, for 10 years. When Rhys turns 15 we will have to reapply for the Disability Benefit, to stay Disabled (in the eyes of the CRA). (Update: OK, so it was actually at age 10 that we had to reapply).

After you have the T2201 (disability tax credit form for child), you can now start applying for the Child Disability Benefits, by filling out RC66 – Canada Child Benefits Application Form. The form is relatively straight forward to fill in, and wasn’t hard for my wife and myself, but there was an added wrinkle suggested by the OCTC Social Worker.

Can I Get Back Credit for my Child Disability Tax Credit (DTC) ?

Can the disability tax credit be backdated? Since our son was diagnosed at age 3, we also applied to have the diagnosis and thus the benefit retroactive to my son’s birth. This means we actually applied to get the benefit ongoing, but also for the earlier 3 years of my son’s life. OCTC gave us a template letter to fill in asking for this, to be included with the T2201, and RC66 application forms (remember to send ORIGINALS, the CRA will ignore photocopied T2201 forms, as they state on their site, this is important).

The letter we included was quite simple. It was a simple statement of my son’s birth date, the fact that his diagnosis of Autism is a neurological disorder and that it was present at birth.

Time To Mail it Into the CRA

Once you have finally compiled all of this information, you then can mail it into the CRA for their approval. As I stated, there are no guarantees here, but as long as you have followed all of the steps and have a well written set of documents you should be OK (in our case the diagnosis was accepted, but I have heard of other cases where the diagnosis was not accepted).

Hope this helps those parents with disabled kids. While this may not be a complete list, it is what we went through with our son.

If your diagnosis is approved by the CRA the next step is to start looking for Medical and Disability related Tax implications, and asking the CRA for refunds. You can read about that in Child Disability Tax Credit (DTC) Application Letter (Template).

If your child is diagnosed, and they are in need of special schooling, you can also apply for the Education Costs to be treated as a Medical Expense. Here is a Template Letter to apply for that as well. All of this is also needed for when you apply for an RDSP.


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