If you have diabetes, you might be eligible for a break on your tax return. There are a number of credits that people with diabetes can apply for to help offset the day-to-day expenses of living with the disease.
What is the disability tax credit?
The disability tax credit is available from the Canada Revenue Agency. This non-refundable tax credit helps people with disabilities, or their supporting family member, reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. The purpose of the disability tax credit is to provide for greater tax equity by allowing some relief for disability costs, since these are additional and unavoidable expenses that other taxpayers don’t face.
Am I eligible for the disability tax credit?
All Canadians with type 1 diabetes are now eligible to receive the disability tax credit. The Parliament of Canada passed Bill C-19 in June 2022, which stipulates that people who have type 1 diabetes automatically qualify for the credit. Specifically, Bill C-19 removes the previous requirement that people living with type 1 diabetes must prove they spend at least 14 hours per week on activities related to administering insulin.
The process of applying for and receiving the disability tax credit is fairly straight-forward. It Involves completion of a two-part form, available at the Canada Revenue Agency website. One section is completed by the person with type 1 diabetes, the other is completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner. The form can be submitted electronically or by mail.
How much does the disability tax credit provide each year?
The disability tax credit amount can change from year to year, depending on inflation or government funding. For the 2021 tax year, the disability tax credit for adults with type 1 diabetes is $8,662.
Those who are 17 years of age or younger may also claim the supplement for children with disabilities. The supplemental amount is $5,053, for a total disability tax credit of $13,715 (8,662 + $5,053).
Are other tax credits available?
People with type 1 diabetes can apply for the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Similar to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, the RDSP helps people with type 1 diabetes (or their parents) plan for their future. Contributions can be made to an RDSP until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59.
Other tax credits that people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should consider applying for from the Canada Revenue Agency include:
- Medical expenses tax credit: if you paid for healthcare expenses, you may be able to claim them as eligible medical expenses on your income tax
- Travel expenses: If you had to travel at least 40 km one-way to access medical services not available in your community, you may be able to claim public transportation costs or vehicle expenses on your income tax
Contact the Canada Revenue Agency directly to determine whether you might be eligible for any of these tax credits.
What other government programs are available?
A number of communities and provinces have financial assistance programs to help people with diabetes offset the cost of medications and devices. For more information about programs in your area, click here.