June 23, 2022, Toronto, ON – JDRF is thrilled to announce that the approximately 300,000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) can now automatically qualify for the federal disability tax credit. The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps people with disabilities or their support people/family members reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. This will undoubtedly ease the financial burden caused by unavoidable and necessary life-saving expenses faced by everyone with T1D.
This change is as a result of years of advocacy. From testifying at committee, to meeting with MPs and policymakers, to sending hundreds and thousands of letters, JDRF is extremely pleased with this announcement.
T1D is an expensive disease, often requiring financial assistance to cover the devices and supplies associated with the daily management of this chronic condition.
Since 2017, JDRF has been actively seeking change in the Disability Tax Credit when a controversial new tax directive introduced by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) made it virtually impossible for adults with T1D to qualify for the DTC. JDRF and the T1D community across the country came together in a campaign to demand that the new interpretation be rescinded. As a result, the Government of Canada and CRA announced they would rescind the interpretation, making it possible for adults with T1D to qualify for the DTC again.
However, individuals were still being denied due to the arbitrary and antiquated eligibility criteria, namely, the 14-hour requirement. In 2019, The Fairness for Persons With Disabilities Act was introduced and would reduce the number of hours needed to qualify for the DTC from 14 to 10.
In the same year, the Minister of National Revenue formed the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) who produced an annual report that stated: “Instead of having to submit an account of the number of times and hours per week involved in these therapies, the person needing life-sustaining therapy should automatically meet the criteria”.
The previous requirements for the Disability Tax Credit were rife with inequities in access due to arbitrary and outdated practices. The new amendment will automatically qualify Canadians living with T1D, removing a significant barrier to care.
We want to thank everyone who testified, sent letters, attended meetings, shared stories and advocated for this change.
“This is incredible news for the type 1 diabetes community,” said Dave Prowten, President and CEO of JDRF Canada. “We want to thank the all Members of Parliament and Senators that supported this amendment and know that this will deliver much-needed support to thousands of Canadians living with type 1 diabetes,” he continues.
After many years of meetings with elected officials and policymakers, a budget promise came down in 2021 that would expand the list of activities that could be considered under the 14-hour requirement.
“We celebrated this as a win, hoping this would make qualifying for the DTC easier. However, automatic qualification is what we knew would make all the difference,” says Monica Kocsmaros, JDRF’s Chief External Relations Officer. “So, we decided to push further, lobbied MPs, met with policymakers, and leveraged the Juvenile Diabetes Caucus to get our message across to all decisionmakers.”
In May 2022, MP Jake Stewart introduced an amendment at the Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) that would make automatic qualification a reality for everyone living with type 1 diabetes. Members of FINA across all party lines voted unanimously to pass the amendment.
Over the past couple of months, the Bill went through pre-study, first, second and third readings, and was officially given Royal Assent today on June 23, 2022. This is a historic change that will allow everyone living with T1D to automatically qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.
JDRF is incredibly pleased with this announcement and looks forward to continuing to work with the government to make lives easier for the T1D community.
JDRF works every day to change the reality of this disease for millions of people globally—and to prevent anyone else from ever knowing it—by funding research, advocating for government support of research and new therapies, ensuring new therapies come to market and offering support through connecting and engaging the T1D community.
“Type 1 diabetes is the cause of undue hardship for over 300,000 Canadians living in this country. By automatically qualifying these individuals for the Disability Tax Credit, this bill will provide meaningful support and reduce the amount of barriers they face. It is with great pleasure to work alongside our government and colleagues of the All-Party Juvenile Diabetes Caucus in delivering this important change for the type 1 diabetes community.” – Marie-France Lalonde, MP – Orléans, Co-Chair of the All-Party Juvenile Diabetes Caucus
“As Co-Chair of the All-Party Juvenile Diabetes Caucus, I am delighted by today’s passing of Bill C-19. As a chronic disease without a cure, type 1 diabetes places a significant physical, mental, and financial burden on the individual and their family. I am proud to see all parties united behind this cause to better support the type 1 diabetes community in Canada.” – Carol Hughes, MP – Algoma–Manitoulin–Kapuskasing, Co-Chair of the All-Party Juvenile Diabetes Caucus
“Today we join Canadians impacted by type 1 diabetes in celebrating a change to the Disability Tax Credit. Helping these individuals disproportionately impacted by this disease will not only allow them to afford the supports they need to stay healthy, but it will also go towards helping them live the dignified life they deserve. I am proud to work alongside my colleagues from all parties as the Co-Chair of the All-Party Juvenile Diabetes Caucus to deliver this change.” – Chris d’Entremont, MP – West Nova, Co-Chair of the All-Party Juvenile Diabetes Caucus
For more information contact:
Luka Stevanovic, National Director, Government Relations & Advocacy