Do you know about the disabled child tax credit offered in Canada? There is a tax credit for disabled children and their families that can make a life-changing difference. Keep reading to learn more!
Statistics Canada has reported that more children in Canada have a learning disability than all other types of disabilities combined. Up to 10 percent of children have specific learning disabilities (SLDs). Examples are diagnoses such as ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, autism spectrum disorder, and specific language impairments.
In addition to being othered because of their disability, children with learning disabilities inevitably struggle with school. These struggles can be both in the classroom or the playground.
Unknown Money Waiting to Make a Difference
The trouble that comes with school lessons and being socially outcasted is difficult as it is. Still, the cost of having a child with a learning disability has a substantial effect on their parents and families. They are subject to the emotional and financial burden that follows as a result.
The Canadian government, both provincial and federal, offer a few programs meant to help families with the costs associated with learning disabilities. However, qualifying for assistance is difficult and requires considerable effort and funding.
The Child Disability Tax Credit is a federal program available to most Canadian families dealing with disabilities. It can make a significant difference to their financial well-being.
The Financial Strain of Raising a Child with Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities can comprise of many different impairments. That said, having a child on the autism spectrum is not quite the same as raising a child with ADHD. Therefore the programs, time, and expenses required to raise those children differ substantially.
In comparison to those with ADHD, any SLDs, or other invisible disabilities, children on the autism spectrum are mostly recognized by various provincial agencies. This depends on the severity of their condition or level of autism and functioning. Some help and funding are available to families by way of specialized schooling, activities, and programs, as well as therapy.
Learning Disabilities Qualify
Families with children who suffer from less visual disabilities often pay out of pocket for their child’s therapy and extracurricular activities, with little to no financial support whatsoever.
For example, a tutoring program at Ruth Rumack’s learning space can cost an upwards of $12,000 a year per child. Private special needs schools have annual tuition of $4,500 to $60,000 per year, depending on the disability. Most of these parents pay more than double per year for extracurricular activities. compared to those whose kids aren’t disabled.
Most families of children with disabilities will incur considerable economic costs. Going without any financial assistance only adds significant pressure. Finding adequate treatment and schooling is exhausting as it is. Needing an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional through tests and evaluations to find proper treatment is difficult too.
So, what happens when families are struggling financially and cannot afford the help needed to care for or help their learning-disabled child improve? It may help to seek any financial or government assistance. Fortunately, there are programs in Canada that exist for this purpose, such as the disabled child tax credit.
Disabled Child Tax Credit as a Means of Financial Relief
The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to tax-paying Canadians living with prolonged physical or mental disabilities or impairments. It is for these individuals and their families with financial hardship due to a disability.
The child disability tax credit, a program administered by the CRA, is meant to assist further families who are taking care of their children with disabilities. It’s a supplemental amount provided to claimants of the DTC for minors under 18 years of age. It must be applied for by anyone parent who is taking primary care of that child.
How to Receive the Disabled Child Tax Credit
When an individual applies for a disability tax credit for their child under 18, the child disability benefit (CDB) will automatically apply if they are eligible to receive DTC for their child, which is under certain circumstances or situations. It is important to note that the CDB is separate from the disabled child tax credit. It is reliant on the fact that they are receiving DTC.
The calculation of the child disability tax credit is different, depending on the family or situation. Using the disability tax credit calculator would help determine the approximate amount of funding someone will receive if found eligible for DTC.
The family of a 12-year-old child in British Columbia who struggles with their mental functions, for example, may be eligible to receive a retroactive tax-refund of nearly $40,000, depending on how long they have been dealing with the impairment. This is because the CRA allows those who qualified for the DTC in previous years to request adjustments for up to 10 years in the past. This is only if those credits went unclaimed.
Help Pay for Non-Covered Therapies
This would be a great benefit to families with children that have learning disabilities. In many cases, any therapy beyond medication is out of pocket. Additionally, testing or evaluations for learning disabilities, as well as seeking help from a medical professional, can be a substantial financial burden.
The disabled child tax credit is a means of financial relief for these families. It could help finance therapy sessions, medical examinations, as well as other tools and techniques used to help improve the lives of learning-disabled children. Most importantly, the funding could perhaps go towards getting an accurate diagnosis. This allows these families to understand how to proceed appropriately.
Understanding the Disabled Child Tax Credit
From this, it is clear that raising a child with a learning disability comes with numerous stressors, including financial. Families often incur high economic costs because of learning disabilities, which only adds to the struggle of living with one.
These expenses occur by the accommodation, different forms of therapy, and tests or evaluations that are necessary when dealing with a child with a learning disability. Not only that, these costs come about because many of these parents need to miss days of work to take their child to appointments or provide them with proper care, resulting in lost wages depending on their place of employment or contract.
Fortunately, there are options available to families who struggle financially as a result of caring for learning-disabled children. The disabled child tax credit, for example, is a program by the CRA that could help assist tax-paying Canadian families in this situation. However, the eligible families would experience some financial relief. To learn more about the child disability tax credit, view the guide here.