Mr. Speaker, the disability tax credit, DTC, is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities, or their supporting persons, reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. To qualify, an individual must have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions, as defined in the Income Tax Act and as certified by a medical practitioner.
More detailed information is available in the CRA publication Tax measures for persons with disabilities - Disability-Related Information 2015, RC4064(E) Rev. 15, which is available on the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4064/rc4064-15e.pdf.
With regard to parts (a) and (b), eligibility for the disability tax credit is not based on a medical condition or diagnosis, rather on the effects of the impairment on a person’s ability to perform the basic activities or daily living, or whether the person is blind or requires life-sustaining therapy. For this reason, the CRA does not collect this information.
With regard to part (c), the CRA determines eligibility for the DTC based on the criteria set out in section 118.3 of the Income Tax Act. These criteria are not based on a medical condition or diagnosis, but rather on the effects of the impairment on a person’s ability to perform the basic activities of daily living, or whether the person is blind or requires life-sustaining therapy.
To be eligible, a medical practitioner must certify that a person has a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions and describe its effects on one of the basic activities of daily living, or provide information indicating the individual is blind or meets the criteria for life-sustaining therapy.
Applications for the DTC are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A person with the same medical condition as another may not experience the same effects. In addition, there may be other factors that contribute to the severity of impairment, such as other medical conditions or circumstances.
With regard to part (d), the information being requested, by diagnosis, is not captured by the CRA as there is no requirement to do so under the ITA.
With regard to part (e), the average amount for expenses related to phenylketonuria is not captured by the CRA.
With regard to part (f), CRA assessors receive extensive training to make eligibility determinations in accordance with the legislation set out in section 118.3 of the Income Tax Act and by consulting with registered nurses, or RNs, employed by the CRA, who serve as resources for all of the tax centres. When required, the RNs will also contact the medical practitioners who have certified the forms for additional information.
CRA assessors all refer to the procedures manual, and quality reviews of eligibility determinations are conducted on a continuous basis to ensure consistency in the administration of the DTC program.