Health Impairment Refunds (HIR) for Canadians - The Disability Tax Credit
What is it?
It is firstly a refund from the government for Canadians with a health impairment or disability. The refundable portion is based on income taxes paid and can go back up to 10 years! Secondly, it is an amount that an individual can claim as a credit to reduce their taxes in the future. In both cases, the impairment first has to be certified by an appropriate medical practitioner in order for the individual to get an approved certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The CRA calls this a Disability Tax Credit (DTC) which is an umbrella term covering impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. We are calling it a Health Impairment Refund (HIR), mainly to avoid the negative connotations associated with the word "disability" and to ensure more Canadians know it applies to them.
The refund and savings are designed to recognize a person with a physical or mental challenge that impairs that person's ability to perform one or more of the "basic activities of daily living" such as walking for example. So, if you require a cane to walk and you walk at least 3 times slower than someone your age without your impairment, then you qualify for a refund and savings. The money is there to help you pay for devices and things you need to cope with your challenge.
According to a 2001 Census study of disabilities in Canada, mobility problems affect 31.5% of the Canadian population over the age of 65. This makes Walking the most prevalent impairment in the country. Other activities of daily living that apply are speaking, hearing, feeding, dressing, mental functions necessary for everyday life and bowel or bladder functions. Also qualifying are vision problems and the need for life-sustaining therapies.
Who is Eligible?
To be eligible for the DTC, you must meet all three of the following conditions:
- You must have an impairment that is prolonged, which means it has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
- Your impairment must be severe and it must restrict you all or substantially all of the time.
- Your severe and prolonged impairment must be certified by a qualified practitioner like your family Doctor.
The CRA does not consider an individual's ability to work when it is determining eligibility for the DTC.
To be eligible for a refund of any monies, you and/or your spouse must have paid taxes in the past. Since the refund is based on taxes paid, you need to have paid a minimum amount in order to make the application worthwhile. Please call us Toll Free at 1-888-999-2221 to discuss so we can determine if you are eligible.
Why Hire Grants International?
Applying for the DTC is complicated and difficult to understand. Certainly some Doctors and individuals do understand it, but we have found that many do not or are not aware it exists.
Grants International is the refund expert and has 20 years of experience assisting individuals in navigating the complex hurdles of government bureaucracy to obtain refunds. Since 1991, our company has helped over 15,000 Canadian families and businesses save more than $75,000,000 (most of this in the form of EI Refunds).
For HIR, we have a Medical Doctor on staff who will assess your condition and provide detailed information for your Doctor regarding the form. This saves your Doctor time and the headache of trying to understand the complex details of the application. Your own Medical Doctor must still fill out and sign the form to certify that the information is true.
"What shocked me... was hearing from people who obviously qualified
for the DTC, but whose doctors have told them things like "you are
not disabled enough," and refused to fill out the form so that these
patients could get proper tax treatment.
That is obviously not a good situation. The underlying theme may be
that many medical practitioners do not understand this program well
enough, they find the application process tedious and difficult, and are
too busy and harried in their professional lives that they cannot
possibly give proper time and care to a DTC application."
Winnipeg Free Press
Our expert customer support staff then act as the liaison between you and the government to ensure you successfully obtain the certificate and maximize the refund for you.