If you have applied for Canadian disability, you may have come across one of the many Canadian Disability Tax Credit Companies online offering to get you a sizable return simply for being disabled in some way. I am writing about this because Canadians with disabilities (and Fibromyalgia patients seeking to claim disability) should be aware of the scrutiny this Disability Tax Credit (DTC) has been getting by Revenue Canada. Since at least 2011.
This Disability Tax Credit is entirely separate from your government disability application or the CPP disability application. It is something in addition that you can apply for. The DTC is a non-refundable tax credit that a person with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions can claim to reduce the amount of income tax he or she has to pay in a year.
The problem is that apparently the proper forms and doctor reports required are difficult to get (though this site makes it sound easy and so does this gov’t document – PDF) together. There are companies that claim they know exactly how to get the proper forms and acquire the necessary doctor’s reports necessary to reward you with a favorable outcome – money. For the service, they want but a wee cut of the money you get.
My intent with this post is mostly a buyer beware ALERT. The Better Business Bureau recommends that you “review and understand any material that is provided before making a decision. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what is being offered” BEFORE you enter into any agreement with companies that say they can help you (or a family member) get a large Disability Tax Return. There could be a major reason why not many people know about (or get) this tax credit that has been around since 1988.
Who Are These Disability Tax Credit Companies?
Two Disability Tax Credit companies in Canada that I am aware of are:
- The Canadian Disability Corporation: http://www.canadadisability.ca/
- The National Benefit Authority: http://www.thenba.ca/
For more listed companies (there are a lot!), just search “Disability Tax Credit Companies” in your favorite search engine.
I actually contacted the National Benefit Authority the year I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I got a lot of paperwork to fill out. After reading it all I balked at the 30% cut they wanted to take of any return they could get me. Not that I felt they deserved less, just that it made me feel rather leery of the whole thing. The “what is in it for me” part of their business seemed pretty shady. I never pursued it but often wondered how legit it was. I sure could have used the money in the last few years.
One of the first things I really freaked out over after I got my Fibromyalgia diagnosis was the fear that I could become so desperate for pain relief that I would do or try pretty much anything to get it. I didn’t want to be a Victim of shady snake oil types. Thankfully, I’m a huge skeptic by nature. I’m also internet savvy due to the number of years I’ve been online (since the mid 90’s, good grief!). Even so, my biggest fear (still) is being preyed upon buy those unsavory people who inevitably crop up when there is money to be made by taking advantage of others.
Being in pain 24/7 for years is a very, very terrible thing. Something most people just cannot imagine until or unless they have experienced it. Even for a short time (like after a major surgery). Day after day after day of the same kind of pain that you just cannot ever fully escape from. I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again: There should be no wonder why so many chronic pain patients also have severe depression.
So, if you are a Canadian with a disability and have seen these kind of offers online, please (PLEASE!) take caution and make sure you truly understand what you are getting into. Make doubly sure of the legal aspects of entering into a relationship with a 3rd party to attempt to get you Disability Tax credits that you may (or may not) be entitled to. Take heed that Revenue Canada is very likely to scrutinize the process and that legal ramifications could be very high if this process is not entirely honest.
Have you had any dealings with this type of company or considered using one to get the Canadian Disability Tax credit?