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Filing Your Return  ->  Disabilities -> Disability Supports Deduction
Income Tax Act s. 64

Line 21500 Disability Supports Deduction

Note: Before tax year 2019, line 21500 was line 215.

Starting with the 2004 tax year, disability supports expenses (including full-time attendant care expenses) may be claimed as a deduction from income on the personal tax return, for taxpayers who have incurred the expenses in order to:

bullet earn employment or self-employment income,
bullet attend an educational institution, or 
bullet do research for which a grant was received.  

Re COVID-19, for 2020 and 2021:

The above requirements do not have to be met if you were entitled to receive, in the year, any federal provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 payments for which you have received a T4A or T4E slip, Employment Insurance benefits, Employment Insurance special benefits, or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan benefits.

Earned income for the calculation will include:

bulletany federal, provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 payments received in the year for which you have received a T4A or T4E
bulletunder changes for 2020 and 2021, Employment Insurance benefits, Employment Insurance special benefits, and Quebec parental insurance plan benefits

This measure is included in Bill C-30, Budget Amendment Act 2021, No. 1, tabled April 30, 2021.

Claiming the Deduction

This deduction reduces net income, which helps if the taxpayer receives income-tested benefits.  The tax reduction for these expenses will be at the taxpayer's marginal tax rate.  Unused expenses cannot be transferred to your spouse.

Another option is to claim these expenses under the medical expense tax credit.  When claimed under the medical expense tax credit, the tax reduction is at the lowest tax rate.  Medical expenses can be claimed on the tax return of either spouse.

See Folio S1-F3-C3 Disability Supports Deduction for more information on eligible expenses and the conditions under which the expenses are eligible.  The CRA form to be completed to claim the disability supports deduction is T929 Disability Supports Deduction.

Details on the expenses that qualify for this deduction can also be found in the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) information on Line 21500 Disability Supports Deduction, and their publication RC4064 Information Concerning People with Disabilities, which no longer includes Form T2201, disability tax credit certificate (which can now be certified by a nurse practitioner for forms completed on or after March 22, 2017).

The disability supports deduction includes qualifying expenses, less reimbursements not included in income, and less any of the expenses that were claimed under the medical expense tax credit.  The expenses claimed are limited to the amount of income earned from employment, self-employment, scholarships, bursaries, fellowships, and research grants (earned income), and additional inclusions (see above) for 2020 and 2021, re COVID-19.

Tax Tip:  Expenses can be split between the disability supports deduction and the medical expense tax credit.

When the taxpayer has incurred the disability supports expenses in order to attend an educational institution, an additional amount may be claimed.  This amount is limited to the lesser of:

  1. $15,000
  2. $375 times the number of weeks in the year that the taxpayer was in attendance at the educational institution, and
  3. the amount by which the taxpayer's income for the year exceeds the income earned from employment, self-employment, scholarships, bursaries, fellowships, and research grants.

Because of iii above, unless the taxpayer has income besides "earned income", there will be no claim for the education portion of the disability supports deduction.

TaxTips.ca Resources

Disability tax credit

Persons with disabilities - links to all information on TaxTips.ca

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources

Folio S1-F3-C3 Disability Supports Deduction

Line 21500 - Disability Supports Deduction

Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1 Medical Expense Tax Credit

Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C2 Disability Tax Credit

Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C3 Disability Supports Deduction

RC4064 - Disability-Related Information

Form T2201 Disability tax credit certificate

Tax Tip:  You may be eligible for the refundable medical expense supplement.

Revised: June 19, 2021

 

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