How do you apply for the Disability Tax Credit?
There are four steps in applying for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
- Download the DTC Form here (also called the T2201) – *Note that the DTC form was shortened in late 2015; there is no longer a Part A of the form for you or your family member to complete.
- Depending on your disability, take the form to one of these people: your family doctor, optometrist, audiologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, nurse practitioner or speech/ language pathologist. Ask them to fill out the form. You may need to pay for this. When you call to make an appointment, let the receptionist know what it is for and ask how much it will cost.
- Get the signed form back from your practitioner. You want to be the person to send it in. If you don’t agree with what the practitioner has written, or feel they have missed information, you can then choose to take it to another practitioner or get some professional help.
- Mail the signed form to a Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre— You can find a list of locations or call 1 800 622-6232 to find the one nearest you. Or if you prefer, you can now send Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, and any supporting documents using the secure online tool “Submit Documents” in My Account or Represent a Client – a quick way to send your form and get confirmation that the CRA has received your documents. (www.canada.ca: About My Account)
Talking to your Health Practitioner
Your practitioner has an important job to do. They must fill the form out right for you to get the DTC. If they don’t include enough information, or miss anything, this could be a problem. If you are unsure about your practitioner or do not know them very well, you may want to get professional help to apply for your DTC—such professionals will help the practitioners to fill the forms out correctly.
When you see your practitioner, make sure your practitioner understands what your challenges are. Also, tell your practitioner how important the DTC is for your future. Many practitioners will not know about the RDSP and the difference it will make to your life. If they know more about it, they may take extra care in filling out your form. We have included a brief outline of the RDSP on page 7 of our Step by Step guide that you can give to your practitioner, so they can learn more about it.
What can I do if I don’t have a doctor?
If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can ask your nurse practitioner to fill out the form. It is best that your medical professional knows you and your disability personally. If you don’t currently have a regular doctor or nurse practitioner you should start looking for one and begin that relationship. You should see your doctor or nurse practitioner at least three or four times before asking them to fill out the T2201 form for you.
Can I ask my local walk-in clinic doctor to fill out the DTC form for me?
While you can do this, it would be best for you to choose a doctor that knows you fairly well. If this is the first time you’re seeing the doctor, wait for a few visits before asking for them to fill out the form. You’ll want them to know you and how your disability impacts your life really well so that they can provide a detailed response.
My doctor refuses to sign and fill out the form – what next?
If your doctor refuses to fill out the form for you, ask them why. Once you have this clarification, you may need help from an advocate to get your doctor to fill out the form. You can call our Disability Planning Helpline to receive free one-on-one support with the DTC: 1-844-311-7526
What happens after you submit the Form T2201?
You wait. On average, it takes 6-8 weeks to hear back from the CRA. If you are rejected, you will get a letter explaining why you were turned down. You can either send the form in again with another practitioner or make a formal objection. If you would like to launch a formal objection, look at the CRA website on how to do this or ask a professional DTC provider for assistance.
Note to families & friends: Getting the DTC form filled out by a doctor is the most important step. If at all possible, attend the appointment with your friend or relative to help explain the importance of the RDSP and getting the DTC. If the practitioner does not seem receptive, do not submit the form. Also, be sure to take the form with you when you leave (do not have the practitioner send it into the CRA directly) so you can double-check what was written and confirm that the details of the disability was captured correctly. If you see mistakes, you can have the practitioner revise it, or go to another practitioner. If you are rejected, call our Disability Planning Helpline at 1-844-311-7526 for support.
How often should I check the status of my DTC?
When you receive the letter confirming your eligibility for the DTC, it will tell you what years you are eligible for. You should save this and make a note somewhere you won’t forget. At least six months before your DTC is set to expire you should engage in the renewal process. You can apply to renew your DTC up to 1 year before it expires.