For those who live with disabilities every day, the Canadian Disability Tax Credit is something to consider. Available to disabled persons as well as supporting family members and full time caregivers, it can be very helpful in offsetting the often-prohibitive costs of daily care. Rather than a regular monthly payment, such as would be received through OSDB or the Canada Pension Plan, this credit is applied against income tax, and when first approved for can be received as a lump sum payment that covers up to ten years retroactively.

The credit amounts to approximately $1165 per year, with an additional supplement of $680 for those under the age of eighteen. It differs from other provincial and federal tax credits commonly filed with a return in that it must be applied for prior to filing, and cannot be claimed until it has been approved by the CRA. Statistically, almost ninety percent of eligible applications are approved, and most candidates will receive their decision within eight weeks.

Offered to those whose disabilities are expected to last or has lasted twelve months or more, the Disability Tax Credit applies to those with physical and/or mental disabilities that have resulted in a marked and severe loss of the ability to perform normal, daily functions such as walking and talking, or for those with severe visual or hearing impairment.

Disabilities that fall into this category could include the following

  • chronic pain disorders
  • paraplegia
  • quadriplegic paralysis
  • hearing loss
  • debilitating mental disorders
  • etc…

In short any condition that gets in the way of performing simple daily tasks such as dressing or feeding oneself, taking medications or using the toilet may qualify. The degree of impairment is considered as well, and is defined as either markedly restricted or significantly restricted. In the case of ‘marked’ restriction, it is assumed that an inordinate amount of time is required to perform basic daily living activities at least ninety percent of the time, or that the disabled person cannot perform these tasks on their own. ‘Significant’ restriction implies that the applicant may not quite meet the definition of ‘marked restriction’ but is still substantially restricted most of the time.

The application form contains a self-assessment quiz that can help determine which category the applicant falls into, and should be completed by anyone who is considering applying for benefits under this program. But one thing you should keep in mind, even if you feel that you might not qualify, you should consider approaching one of the companies from the Association of Canadian Disability Benefit Professionals, National Benefit Authority the Company I founded, is the original founding member of this Association.

The application is in two parts, and it is necessary for a qualified physician to complete and sign the medical portion. Though the process may seem daunting, it is well worth the effort for those suffering with long-term issues. In fact, it is a requirement for certain other disability benefits, including the RDSP (registered disability savings plans), Canada Disability Savings Grants and Disability Bonds.

Those who receive ODSP or disability payments through the Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan or WSIB (workman’s compensation) are not necessarily entitled to receive a Disability Tax Credit, as these programs all have differing criteria, such as the individuals ability or inability to work. The application is available as a printable PDF download or a form-fillable PDF which can be completed on line, and is also available in braille, large print and even MP3 audio for the visually impaired. Access the Disability Tax Credit application anytime by visiting the CRA website.

Consider Applying yourself, but if you feel the need to have a helping hand of a professional you are always welcome to use our free consultation service by National Benefit Authority.

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The decision to purchase life insurance could be the single most important choice you make with regard to your financial security. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your needs will be taken care of throughout the duration of your life is priceless, and being able to leave something behind for your loved ones assures that they will be cared for in your absence. Of even greater importance is making sure you are purchasing the right type of insurance, and that your policy covers your needs. Here are some important points to consider:

  1. Why are you purchasing life insurance? Most are hoping to assure the financial security of loved ones, or looking for coverage to fulfill debt obligation and costs associated with final arrangements and estate costs. Additionally, life insurance is often required when negotiating a mortgage, or as part of a business partnership agreement. All of these factors will contribute to how your policy is structured.
  2. How much life insurance coverage do you need? Know how much is enough to provide for your family in case the unthinkable occurs. Tax considerations, outstanding debt, mortgages, estate costs, and the level of income you want to leave to your loved ones should all be taken into account. Your financial advisor can help you to break down and identify your needs over the long term.
  3. How much can you afford? Life insurance requires that you renew on an annual basis, and is generally paid monthly. Average budget for life insurance ranges from five to ten percent of ones annual income, but depending on what type of coverage is chosen, premiums can change dramatically, especially at the end of term. Plan to have a little financial cushion to allow for premium changes over time.
  4. What type of life insurance is right for you? Term or permanent life insurance are the two main types. The purpose of term life insurance is for support in the short-term, and premiums increase as you age. Permanent life insurance provides lifetime coverage and can include additional benefits. The premiums for permanent coverage do not increase over time, and so may be more affordable in the long run. There are also hybrid plans that combine aspects of both term and permanent life insurance.
  5. Need more flexibility? Insurance riders serve to customize your policy, providing coverage that is specific to your individual needs. Riders can provide the insured with a Plan B to assure peace of mind in case of unforeseen events. Examples of common riders are waiver of premium, which covers your payments in the event you are unable to work due to a critical injury, or guaranteed insurability, which allows the insured to purchase additional insurance at a later date, without being obliged to undergo further medical. Other riders include critical illness, accidental death, child protection, return of premium, and accelerated death.

There is no cookie-cutter answer to what the ‘right policy’ is, as needs differ greatly from person to person, and it is never too soon to consider getting started. Prepare for the unexpected, and give yourself some peace of mind, knowing that you and your loved ones are taken care of in any event. Consult your financial advisor today to discuss your options.

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Dr Benjamin Burko, our resident pediatrician, assistant professor of pediatrics at McGillUniversity and Medical Director of the Tiny Tots Medical Centre talks about Summer Prevention!

Everything you need to know to keep your kids safe outdoors this summer – from West Nilevirus, to swimmer’s ear and avoiding food poisoning, Dr Burko has easy tips and practical advice for parents.

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Lianne Castelino of is interviewed live, in-studio on The Lynne Russell Show on NewsTalk 1010 on June 5, 2010.

Lynne and Lianne talk about how to keep the kids occupied in the summer, cost-effective summer fun, parenting tips and advice, working in a male-dominated field so much more!

A former anchor on CNN Headlines News, Lynne hosts a weekly show, Saturdays from 1-3pm on NewsTalk 1010.

Learn more about Lynne:


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Cyberbullying Special

Cathy Wing
Co-Executive Director, Media Awareness Network

Cyberbullying Special

Bill Belsey

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Teaching Kids Empathy

Mary Gordon
Author, Educator

Parenting at Work

Aimee Israel
CEO Life Speak

9-year-old on the Subway?

Lenore Skenazy
Newspaper Columnist


Jen Singer
Author, Mom

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Kids & Gardening

Charlie Nardozzi

Kids Under Pressure?

Carl Honore
Author, Journalist

Car Seat Safety

Dr. Charmaine van Schaik


Jen Singer
Author, Mom

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Occupational Therapy for Kids

Sharon Rosenthal
Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Safe Sun Awareness

Dr. Ian Landells

Pet Adoption

Steve Carroll
Cdn. Fed. of Human Societies