A key group of Canadian’s that qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) are the Hard-of-Hearing (HOH). BMD recognizes that the majority of Canadian’s who are HOH are likely not receiving the DTC. Being that the DTC can provide these people with as much as $20,000 in a lump sum benefit, as well as up to $2,000 per future year (at income tax filing time) for many future years, these amounts can substantially help with the cost of hearing aids and provide access to important hearing resources. The DTC then is a very important benefit for the hearing impaired.
BMD understands that doctors and Audiologists have historically demonstrated that they find the qualifying rules of the DTC for the Hard-of-Hearing to be confusing and stressful. What is most important however, is that the HOH do qualify for the DTC, and as such should be supported in their claim efforts. That is why BMD has taken more recent efforts to best help the hearing impaired qualify for the DTC. Being that they qualify, every effort should be made to help them to receive their due benefits.
The Canadian Hearing Society and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association have also recognized that the DTC is a very important benefit for the hearing impaired and that the qualifying rules can be confusing for claimants and medical practitioners.
According to the Canadian Hearing Society’s “Position Paper on the Disability Tax Credit as it pertains to hearing loss” they are concerned. On their website they state the following:
“The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit available to Canadians with permanent hearing loss where the hearing loss has been determined to markedly restrict an individual from performing functions of daily living, even with the use of their hearing aids or cochlear implants. The existing statutory deduction, as discussed more fully below, is itself unfair and overly restrictive. However, the interpretation given to the statute by the Ministry of Finance has compounded the problem significantly by providing information which is ambiguous, overly restrictive and ultimately discriminatory.”
According to the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, “Hard of hearing individuals (are) being unjustly denied the Disability Tax Credit”. They post the following on their website. “Ottawa, June, 2011 – The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA), a national organization representing millions of Canadians who live with hearing loss, urges the Government of Canada to amend the words contained in the eligibility criteria under the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) as it applies to individuals who are hard of hearing. The present criteria, particularly the words “quiet setting”, have caused a great deal of uncertainty amongst physicians, audiologists and other qualified authorizers of the Disability Tax Credit Certificate. This uncertainty has led to many hard of hearing individuals being unjustly denied the Disability Tax Credit, and brought to the forefront its discriminatory nature.”
BMD acknowledges the above, and proactively supports the Hard-of-Hearing to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit and has helped many to receive their full DTC (and associated) benefits. Recently BMD has helped a father and daughter with reduced hearing qualify for over $40,000 in DTC and Child Disability Benefits based on their hearing restriction. These people matter, just as all do, and these amounts of benefits can make a huge difference.
In 2015 BMD has been actively involved with key governing bodies of Canadian Audiolgists to help improve upon their current DTC Certificate completion guidelines. At this point in time, their current guideline version is arguably the key source of information Audiologists use when attempting to complete the DTC Certificate.
If you, a loved one, or someone you know, is Hard-of-Hearing within any of the last 10 years, or has a health condition within that time that causes daily restriction, be sure to ask about the DTC, and to contact BMD for more information. We are here to help.
Barry M. D. Ho
President, BMD Services