The basic principle behind the Canadian Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is that it allows for greater tax equity by making some allowances for the costs associated with disability. The reason is that these extra expenses are not something that taxpayers without disabilities have to deal with.
It is important to note that having insurance that covers the cost of your medications does not affect your eligibility. Refunds are based on your taxable income, or that of a supporting family member/spouse - not the costs of your medication.
Read this article for a full review of True North Disability Services to decide for yourself how, and if you should apply for this non-refundable tax credit.
What Is True North Disability?
Insurdinary gathers information that matters on taxation and insurance to its clients as a public service, as is the case with this review.
True North Disability Services Ltd is a private company that specializes in assisting you to determine whether you are eligible to receive the DTC. They will ask you for all the details on your medical condition and how it impacts your daily life. They will work with you and help you complete the forms, liaise with your healthcare professional and submit your application to the Canadian Revenue Agency.
Is True North Disability Services Legit?
As a tax consultant, True North Disability Services is accredited to the Better Business Bureau®, or BBB. While the BBB does not endorse any particular company, True North has a Customer Review Rating of 4.75 out of 5.
If you read the True North Disability Services Reviews from customers, you will note a common thread in their comments. Many say that True North made the process of applying for the DTC easier. They remark on their in-depth knowledge of the relevant taxation regulations enabling them to pinpoint the grounds for customers' eligibility.
Others refer to True North's ability to get doctors to understand what it is that the CRA requires from them so that their patients can submit the necessary information. Many are grateful to True North for dispelling their often experienced confusion when trying to get the benefits they are entitled to.
In the FAQ section on True North's own website, they readily admit that yes, you can file all the paperwork for the DTC on your own. True North does mention that many people have their claims denied, often because they did not submit all the information the CRA needs in the format required.
As tax consultants with thorough knowledge about how Disability Tax Credit works, True North is well-positioned to guide you through the completion of all the steps in the process of making your DTC application.
What Is Their Mission?
True North Disability's tagline is "Helping is our passion!" The company says that it is founded on the priority of truly helping others. This is the commitment they make to every one of their clients while recognizing the need to earn their trust.
One further commitment True North makes is to keep their clients updated throughout the entire process of compiling the application documentation. True North pledges to advocate for their clients, particularly given the lack of advocacy in this area.
In the "Why Choose Us?" section of their website, they state that they believe the transparency they strive for is a catalyst for change in the way Canadian doctors and patients view the Disability Tax Credit.
It was personal experience with the DTC that prompted the founders of True North Disability Services to begin the company. They have been proactive in lobbying for fighting for fairness on behalf of those entitled to the DTC. As testimony to their involvement in the community, True North was invited to join the Disability Tax Fairness Alliance, an invitation which they readily accepted.
In a demonstration of the excellence of their service and their integrity, True North guarantees that it will not charge any client if they are unsuccessful in getting them a DTC refund. Invoices on successful applications amount to 20% of that refund, while tax credits on future years under the DTC belong entirely to the client and are not factored into the invoice calculation.
True North Disability tells all clients this right from the start.
Do I Qualify for the Disability Tax Credit?
The CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) has a wealth of detail that you can wade through to discover whether you are eligible for the DTC. There is even a video to watch on its website that could orientate you a bit better.
True North Disability Services have gone one step further, and have made the process even simpler to understand. The fact is that because many people misunderstand what the term disability means from a tax credit perspective, there are countless individuals who do not realize that they would qualify for the DTC.
If you are a Canadian of any age or income level who has a disability or medical condition that you have had, or are likely to have, for longer than 12 months, then you may be eligible for the Disability.
There is a certain lack of clarity surrounding the Disability Tax Credit partly because there is no single resource listing all medical conditions that would qualify you to receive the Disability Tax Credit. As True North plainly states, the fundamental question is how your impairment, whether physical or mental, affects your daily life.
True North lists conditions that have conferred eligibility for the DTC on applicants in the past.
Is There a Definitive List of Disabilities?
There is no definitive list of disabilities to refer to, partly because every individual case is different. The list mentioned above on the True North website is a long list, which we have replicated here as a quick reference:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Bipolar Disorder
- Celiac Disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Chronic Asthma
- Chronic Pain Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Difficulty Walking / Dressing
- Eating Disorder
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Learning Disabilities
- Memory Problems
- Mental Illness
- Mobility Issues
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscle Dystrophy
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Speech Disorder
- Spinal Cord Trauma
- Tourette Syndrome
Clicking on the individual medical conditions listed on the True North website will take you to further information. As you can see from the list, there are a few surprising conditions that may qualify you to receive the Disability Tax Credit. One surprising example is that eating disorders may be considered a qualifying disability.
There is, as mentioned above, no exhaustive list to refer to. True North Disability Services excels in uncovering a lot of possibilities that are not immediately clear from the CRA online resources, even though the CRA describes various disability scenarios on its website.
True North has the experience of working with thousands of Canadians who have a host of different medical conditions. They know the Disability Tax Credit program from back to front. By discussing your specific case with them, True North will be able to determine whether you would be eligible to receive the Disability Tax Credit.
They will consult with you or your caregiver to collate all the relevant information needed and guide you through the process.
Can My Doctor Help Me?
Yes, your doctor can and will help you. But it is worth noting that the medical definition of disability and eligibility as a person with a disability qualifying for the Disability Tax Credit are two different things.
The metric used by the CRA to determine a disability is whether, on account of your condition, it takes you three times as long as someone without the condition to perform a daily task. That, of course, needs to be verified by a medical professional. And that is where True North Disability can help you.
Differing criteria is also the reason why sometimes medical or health insurance categories relating to disability do not match the ones from the tax authorities.
True North will liaise with your doctor to explain what is meant by disability from the perspective of taxation law governing the CRA regulations. Your doctor will then be able to verify your level of disability based on the taxation parameters laid out for them by True North on your behalf.
You will have to visit your doctor and take the relevant forms with you. But at least when you have your consultation, your doctor will have a clear understanding of the precise nature of your request, thanks to True North's intervention before your visit.
This is the part of the process that applicants for the DTC find most helpful. True North understands how vital this aspect is in succeeding in receiving any rebate that is due to you and any future benefit to which you are entitled in the form of a Disability Tax Credit each year after that.
How Much Does True North Disability Services Charge?
True North works on a 20% contingency fee basis of the retroactive fund they are able to obtain for their clients. This fee includes the completion of reassessments as well. Simply put, if True North Disability doesn't recover a refund from CRA or your application is unsuccessful, they do not charge for their services. If the CRA denies your DTC application, there are options to appeal their decision. Feel free to discuss these options with your True North Representative.
Once you receive the refund under the Disability Tax Credit program, True North Disability Services will invoice you 20% of the amount of that refund.
What About the Years Before I Applied for the DTC?
It is worth noting that at the time of your application, you will already have a disability — which is the reason you are applying for the Disability Tax Credit in the first place.
If you were eligible for the DTC for previous years but did not claim the disability amount when you submitted your tax return, then you can request adjustments for up to 10 years under the CRA's Taxpayer Relief Provision. You can ask CRA online for a reassessment if you wish to claim the disability amount for those prior years.
What If I Don't Work?
You can apply for the Disability Tax Credit if you are a citizen or permanent resident in Canada. Since it is an income tax refund, you ordinarily have to work.
If your disability means that you cannot work, you can still get the credit. In this case, you will need a parent, spouse or caregiver who does work to apply for the DTC. They will need to prove that they supported you during the years in respect of which you are applying for the credit.
How Long Does the DTC Application Process Take?
THE CRA aims to issue its notice of determination of eligibility for the DTC (or a letter indicating the reason for the delay in processing) within eight weeks of receiving your Disability Tax Credit Certificate, also known as Form T2201 (your DTC application).
To that, you need to consider the time it will take to gather all the necessary information for the form, as well as your visit to your doctor. The process is by no means automatic, but the staff at True North as well as successful applicants agree that applying for the DTC is well worth the effort.
Is the DTC the Same as Disability Insurance?
No. Disability insurance is commercially available coverage typically taken out either by your employer, or by you, or by both at any time after you start your first job. This is insurance against the event that you might become disabled as a result of an accident or injury.
If you are the breadwinner, this is very sensible insurance to get. Most policies cover the risks of both short-term and long-term disability and will pay out between 60% and 85% of your monthly income in the event of a claim.
Working for Your Benefits
True North Disability Services works with you, your doctor and the Canada Revenue Agency to maximize your benefits under the Disability Tax Credit program. They make it their business to ensure you get the help you need when making your DTC application. Their knowledge and experience make it easier for you to successfully navigate this complex terrain.
Contact True North via phone or e-mail, no matter where you live in Canada, and they are sure to help you.
Similarly, Insurdinary guarantees they will get you competitive quotes on disability insurance to point you in the right direction from the moment you start working. Because there's more to life than tax credits!