The government of Canada should institute a system of enhanced tax credits wherein people with diabetes would be eligible for consideration for a non-refundable tax credit or a refundable payout specifically designed to reduce the burden of higher medical and treatment costs.
The Disability Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit applied to reduce the amount of income tax owing. Eligibility includes individuals with severe and prolonged disabilities or those who need life-sustaining therapy on an ongoing basis.
Background and rationale
Canadians with diabetes, as well as other chronic diseases, face very high costs for medical care and treatment. An enhanced tax credit to assist with these costs would directly contribute to the health of Canadians and ultimately alleviate long term costs to the health care system. For those with diabetes, such a credit would reduce the financial burden of supplies and medication needed to manage diabetes and possibly prevent or delay the onset of complications.
Unlike the Disability Tax Credit, the enhanced tax credit would specifically address the economic burden of living with and managing a chronic condition, regardless of whether or not the condition has actually created a disability.
The current Disability Tax Credit is limited to people who meet specific eligibility criteria based on severe physical and mental impairments. Most people with diabetes do not qualify to receive the Disability Tax Credit; however, they still face very high medical costs. As a result, some people with diabetes are forced to make decisions about their illness based on financial considerations rather than on the best care for their situation. With a disease such as diabetes, additional financial support can be the critical factor that may prevent or delay the development of potentially disabling complications.