Disability tax credit eligibility confusing

In recent weeks, my constituency office has received a large number of inquiries concerning the Canada Revenue Agency’s Disability Tax Credit Certificate.
The question about eligibility may be a confusing one.
If you receive Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or other types of disability or insurance benefits, it does not necessarily mean you are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit amount.
These programs have other purposes and different criteria, such as an individual’s inability to work.
Individuals who have an impairment in physical or mental functions that is severe and prolonged may use the Disability Tax Credit Certificate application to apply for this non-refundable tax credit.
This credit is used to reduce income tax payable on a personal return.
The form is separated into two sections: a detailed introduction and the application form.
The introduction includes a self-assessment questionnaire that specifically asks if your impairment in physical or mental functions lasted, or is expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
It also asks if the effects of your impairment cause you to be markedly restricted in one of the basic activities of daily living, such as speaking, feeding, or dressing.
If you meet the conditions as described, you may be eligible for the disability amount.
The application form then must be taken to a qualified practitioner who can certify the conditions of the impairment. The applicant is responsible for any fees the qualified practitioner charges to complete this form.
The Canada Revenue Agency will review the form and send you a letter to tell you if you are eligible.
This form can be completed at any time during the year; however, sending it before you file your tax return may prevent a delay in your assessment.
The Canada Revenue Agency will review this application before they assess your return. The CRA must validate the certificate for the applicant to be eligible for the disability amount.
Once a certificate has been validated, you may wish to have previous tax years reassessed, as well.
I encourage you to visit the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/disability or contact it at 1-800-959-8281 for information about this and other medical and disability-related information.

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