Applying for the Disability Tax Credit Is Winning

October 19, 2021 Natasha Tracy

Last week I applied for the disability tax credit (DTC). The DTC is something we have in Canada for people with severe disabilities that still pay taxes. It doesn't just allow for a tax credit; it also allows for access to extended medical healthcare, special retirement savings benefits, and more. If you have been reading Breaking Bipolar for a very long time, you might recall that I previously applied for the disability tax credit and was rejected. Well, last week, we entered round two of applying for the disability tax credit.

It's Hard to Apply for the Disability Tax Credit

To apply for the disability tax credit, you basically have to get a doctor on board with signing off on you having a severe, ongoing disability that meets certain legal requirements. It's challenging to do this. You have to explain your disability to your doctor in a way that makes it clear just how disabled you are. You have to lay yourself bare in front of this doctor. And then, your doctor has to agree. This is no mean feat psychologically. No one likes to lay bare in front of someone who may then not be on your side.

On top of that, though, to apply for the disability tax credit, you have to be okay with declaring yourself as a person with a disability. This isn't easy either. Embedded ableism tends to make use believe that people with disabilities are somehow "lesser than" those without disabilities. And as I've said before, even I, an advocate with more than a decade and a half of experience, still have a hard time talking about my bipolar disorder as a disability.

Applying for the Disability Tax Credit Tends to Result in Failure

If you're applying for the disability tax credit specifically and solely for a mental illness, I can almost guarantee you will fail (note this doesn't mean that you shouldn't try, though). This is not right in the slightest, but it's the experience people have. There are a host of reasons for this: the government doesn't appreciate the severity of mental illness, the rules are against those with an episodic illness, and more. What's more, it seems they reject most people the first time they apply for the DTC, no matter what. It's just policy, it seems. (It's similar to what many insurance companies do in the US.)  

In my case, I'm applying for the disability tax credit for mental and other illnesses. This gives me a better case. Nonetheless, I wouldn't be surprised if I was rejected. As I said, it seems like it's policy. I'm pretty much expecting rejection.

When Applying for the Disability Tax Credit Results in Rejection

Not surprisingly, there is an appeal process that is available if you've been rejected for the DTC. I didn't do that last time. I was too sick and disabled last time to handle it. If I were a cynical person, I would suggest that's what they're counting on. They're counting on people not making it through the appeal process because they are so sick. It saves them money.  

But this time, I have steeled myself ahead of time. I have supportive healthcare providers, and I plan on appealing if necessary. 

If you're thinking of applying for the disability tax credit for any reason, I recommend having your ducks in a row with regards to diagnosis and treatment, documenting everything you can, and getting a healthcare provider who is on your side. That is what will help you the most. And then settle in for the long-term. It could certainly take a while. 

And remember, just applying for the disability tax credit is, in and of itself, a win. You've taken a huge step forward in doing something powerful and beneficial for yourself. That's a positive. You might get it, you might not, but at least you care about yourself enough to try.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2021, October 19). Applying for the Disability Tax Credit Is Winning, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

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