There’s nothing worse for a parent, grandparent, or other caregiver than to see a child whom they love ill, injured, or otherwise disabled. It can be emotionally debilitating, physically draining, and can strain the finances of a caregiver or family when you take into consideration medical and other expenses that may be needed to care for a disabled child. The Child Disability Benefit (CDB), also known as the child disability tax credit, may be a perfect solution. It “is a tax-free benefit for families who care for a child under the age of 18 with a severe and prolonged impairment in mental or physical functions” according to Service Canada and is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.
Common Questions about the Child Disability Tax Credit
At Disability Credit Consultants of Canada, we have several years experience assisting parents and caregivers navigate the sometimes choppy waters of filing for and receiving the child disability tax credit. Though it can be an arduous process, our highly trained and compassionate staff is there to help our clients understand the process, and maximize the benefit to its full potential. There are a number of questions people often ask:
1. What is the CDB or child disability tax credit? The CDB is a tax-free benefit for families who care for a child younger than 18 with “a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions.” It is worth up to $2,575 per year, or $214.58 a month.
2. My child (or the child I care for) is disabled. How do I know if she’s eligible? This is one of the most difficult questions we answer, especially when caregivers aren’t prepared for it. Unfortunately, not all disabled children qualify for the disability amount. According to the government, a child must have a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment that has lasted, or is expected to last, more than 12 months. And the child’s disability must be verified by a qualified practitioner using Form T2201, the Disability Tax Credit Certificate, which states the child’s disability meets certain conditions. Filling out the proper forms, however, is not a guarantee the child will be eligible for the child disability tax credit.
3. When is the child disability benefit payment issued? Individuals who are deemed eligible receive a monthly payment from the Canada Revenue Agency.
4. Who can receive the benefit? According to the Canada Revenue Agency, “Families who are eligible for the CCTB for a child will receive the CDB only if the child is also eligible for the disability amount, also known as the Disability Tax Credit.”
5. How do I apply for the child disability tax credit? One of our qualified benefit consultants will be more than happy to help you determine eligibility and, if necessary, help you navigate a path that will make eligibility possible. Applying for the child disability tax credit isn’t necessarily as daunting as it seems, though it may be time consuming. Generally speaking, Form T2201 must be filled out and it’s critical that Part A and Part B are “completed and signed by a qualified practitioner.” When all the forms have been completed and signed, including any supporting documentation, they can be delivered to a tax centre in any one of Canada’s 13 provinces or territories.
Another important piece of information is related to deadlines. Thankfully, there is no set deadline as to when forms for the child disability tax credit need to be submitted; the Canada Revenue Agency accepts and processes the forms throughout the year. Regardless of your situation, we strongly encourage all of our clients to submit the forms to see if the child is eligible for benefits.