Spina Bifida and the Disability Tax Credit


For members of the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Manitoba you know firsthand how Spina Bifida affects your daily living. Many individuals have wondered if they would be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. Some have applied for the credit and been successful while others have been denied eligibility. Still others have not been able to get their doctor to certify their impairments on the tax credit form never mind getting approval. In addition there are many who have never even heard of the tax credit.

The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit implemented to recognize that individuals with severe and prolonged impairments incur additional expenses related to their disability. The DTC originally began as a tax deduction in 1944 designed to help the blind. It changed to a tax credit with wider parameters regarding eligibility in 1988 and undertook a major overhaul in 2002. Yet still many people who could be applying for the credit don’t because of misconceptions about what it is and who it is for.

DTC eligibility is determined by an assessment conducted by a medical professional and the Canada Revenue Agency. While medical doctors can certify all types of impairments, other professionals including optometrists, audiologists, occupational therapists, psychologists and speech language pathologists are limited to certifying impairments in their respective fields. A person will be considered for the DTC only if a qualified practitioner certifies on the disability tax credit certificate that the impairment has lasted a minimum of twelve months and certifies the effects of the impairment on everyday living. The application must then go through its due course of the Canada Revenue Agency process. It is important to know that the intent of the legislation is by no means restricted to people who are bedridden or forced to use a wheelchair. Diabetes, Autism, Aspergers’, Bi-Polar Disorder as well as Fibromyalgia, are only a few examples of ailments that when properly presented to the Canada Revenue Agency are considered.

Susana Scott is the founder and President of Brematson & Associates Inc. The creation of the company was a direct result of her personal experience with disability issues, which she encountered after her daughter was born with Spina Bifida. At Brematson & Associates we understand the nature of Spina Bifida, how the symptoms relate to the criteria and can help you properly submit a claim for the DTC.

Since 2003 Brematson & Associates has been a national leader in pioneering a revolutionary approach in defining and interpreting disabilities. With respect, compassion and understanding Brematson represents individuals, liaisons with the medical community, lobbies the Canada Revenue Agency for change and educates the public to ensure that individuals and their family receives the maximum benefit from the Disability Tax Credit.

For further information call 204-975-3276 or visit the website at www.brematson.ca.