Since May 2004,
Canadians using an insulin pump have been eligible for a tax credit.
Announced as part of the recent federal budget, the criteria for the
Disability Tax Credit will be expanded for 2005 to include Canadians
with diabetes who inject their insulin, in addition to those who use
an insulin pump.(1)
"People with diabetes can face annual medical costs ranging up to $5,000 a year to manage their disease, so this federal assistance to ease some of the financial burden of diabetes is a most welcome first step," said Karen Philp, Director, Public Policy and Government Relations, Canadian Diabetes Association.
In May 2004 the
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirmed to the Association that under
current legislation, Canadians whose type 1 diabetes cannot be controlled
with multiple daily injections of insulin, and for whom insulin pumps
are a medical necessity, were eligible for the disability tax credit.
However, as the
CRA only considered the time actually spent administering the insulin
to be included in the 14-hour requirement for 'life-sustaining therapy,'
individuals who used a syringe to deliver their insulin (and not a pump)
did not generally qualify.(3)
The Canadian Diabetes
Association argued strongly that it is the insulin that is the life-sustaining
therapy, and encouraged the inclusion of medically-necessary activities
such as blood glucose testing and injection preparation as part of the
are insulin-dependent are just that - they require insulin to live,"
said Philp. "For Canadians with diabetes, this disease requires
monitoring and adjustments of insulin requirements on a 24-hour basis,
whether they use an insulin pump or a syringe. We welcome this extension
of eligibility criteria to include insulin injection by syringe as well
as by pump."
The Canadian Diabetes Association has offered to work with the CRA to develop guidelines to assist individuals with diabetes and their doctors to determine whether they would be eligible for the disability tax credit under the proposed changes. The Canadian Diabetes Association also will continue to encourage greater federal and provincial government assistance to help ease the financial burden of Canadians living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Tax relief for Canadians with diabetes
diabetes who are eligible for the 2005 disability tax credit could see
a federal tax credit of up to $1,055, as well as tax relief at the provincial
level.(4) Parents of children who are eligible
for the disability tax credit may also claim the disability tax credit
supplement for children, which provides additional tax relief of up
to $616. They may also receive assistance from the Child Disability
Benefit, which is paid as a supplement of the Canada Child Tax Benefit
to low- and modest-income families caring for a child with a disability.
The recent federal budget increased the maximum Child Disability Benefit
to $2,000 beginning in July 2005.
Canadians with type
1 or type 2 diabetes may also be eligible for tax relief for their above-average
medical costs by claiming the federal government's medical expense tax
credit. This credit recognizes the cost of insulin, needles or syringes,
insulin pumps, and blood glucose testing devices.
People with type
1 diabetes produce little or no insulin and require daily insulin injections
to stay alive. It is estimated that up to 40% of people with type 2
diabetes (usually managed with lifestyle modifications and medication)
may eventually need to move to daily insulin injections.
The Canadian Diabetes
Association works to prevent diabetes and improve the quality of life
for those affected, through research, education, service and advocacy.
With a presence in more than 150 communities, the Canadian
Disability Tax Credit and People with Diabetes
What are the proposed changes to the Disability Tax Credit for the 2005 tax year (next year)?
How much is the Disability Tax credit worth?
Why is there a 14-hour per week time commitment criteria and how was it arrived at?
What is considered life-sustaining therapy?
I have diabetes but do not use insulin. Managing my diabetes is very costly to me personally. Am I eligible for the Disability Tax Credit?