The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is an ongoing and important advocacy issue for Diabetes Canada. 

A change in eligibility in 2017

In the summer of 2017, concerned individuals contacted Diabetes Canada about their Disability Tax Credit claims being denied. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had begun denying almost every person with type 1 diabetes, whether they were applying for the first time or reapplying for a credit they’d already been receiving for years. Ultimately, we determined that a procedural change implemented by the CRA on May 2, 2017 effectively blocked all adults with type 1 diabetes from accessing the Disability Tax Credit or Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).

Diabetes Canada immediately began partnering with JDRF, the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism and BC Diabetes to push for change.

By early 2018, more than 500 Canadians told Diabetes Canada they’d been approved for the DTC since December 2017. And the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology conducted a study of the DTC and RDSP, with recommendations expected mid-2018.

Your advocacy worked!

But there’s still more to do.

Diabetes Canada continues to advocate for two major changes:

  1. Permit the time spent on all activites related to administering insulin (e.g. counting carbohydrates [click here for an explanation of carb counting]; treating and recovering from low and high blood sugars; meal planning related to time activity profile of insulin used) to be counted toward the 14 hours per week criteria under Life-Sustaining Therapy.
  2. People with type 1 diabetes should not lose their RDSP just because they cease to be deemed eligible for the DTC. Contributions made to the RDSPs of people with type 1 diabetes while they were deemed eligible for the DTC should not be withdrawn if and when eligibility criteria are changed.  

We'll continue to work with the CRA to get these changes made! 

Tips for health care providers

Are you a health care provider wondering how to help your patient apply for the DTC? Here is a brief document outlining the eligible activities and answering some FAQs. A French-language version is available by emailing

What can I do?

Speak out!

Click here to send your MP a letter demanding fair access for people with diabetes to the DTC and RDSP. And get the word out on social media that your friends can do the same!

Go social!

Social media can be a powerful way to raise awareness and get needed public attention to this issue.

Here are some sample messages to help get you started:


Together we made a difference & saw positive change on the disability tax credit. Now we need to continue with ensuring the criteria is expanded to all ppl with type 1 diabetes #cdnpoli

Including all activities related to insulin therapy within the disability tax credit criteria is consistent with its intent to relieve some of the burden of managing a life-sustaining therapy #cdnpoli

The complexity, effort and time required to self-manage diabetes is significant, involving as many as 600 steps every day – expand the disability tax credit @CanRevAgency

People with diabetes deserve fairness & financial relief. We urge @CanRevAgency to expand eligibility criteria for disability tax credit #cdnpoli


Diabetes management is challenging and expensive, with significant costs that are only increasing. We’re encouraging Canada Revenue Agency and the Disability Advisory Committee to include all activities related to insulin therapy within the Disability Tax Credit criteria.  CRA needs to take responsibility for the inequality and unfair treatment of people with T1D.

Read more about those impacted – and feel free to share your story by getting in touch with us here.

Live a Day with Type 1 Diabetes

Why the Disability Tax Credit Matters to my Family

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