Diabetes Canada and JDRF join today in expressing disappointment after receiving a copy of an internal Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) email demonstrating that a decision was made and communicated internally on May 2nd, 2017 to begin systematically denying type 1 diabetes patients who apply for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).
This confirms that nearly all type 1 diabetes applications are being denied by CRA since May 2nd. In fact a number of Type 1 Diabetes applicants have been denied since May 2 even though they were approved for the DTC in previous years.
“We are very concerned about how these changes affect Canadians with type 1 diabetes. It is clear now that a modification was made by the CRA without a formal consultation with patient groups or doctors who have all clearly expressed that it can take 14 hours to manage this disease,” says Kimberley Hanson, Director of Federal Affairs, Diabetes Canada.
As Canada’s leading diabetes organizations, JDRF and Diabetes Canada are demanding the Minister immediately rescind the modification made on May 2nd with respect to the procedures CRA employees are expected to follow for DTC applications from Canadians with type 1 diabetes.
CRA should have confidence in their own system, which has medical practitioners conducting the initial eligibility screening, and restore the process of accepting certifications from doctors and nurses regarding their patients’ individual circumstances.
Type 1 diabetes is a 24-7, chronic, progressive, autoimmune disorder that can neither be avoided nor cured. It renders those living with the disease dependent on insulin injections or infusions for the rest of their life, and puts patients at significant risk of complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, amputation and premature death.
Hundreds of adults with type 1 diabetes who were previously approved for the DTC have suddenly been denied since May 2. These patients have already been told by the CRA that they will have to close their Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP), with the government clawing back up to three quarters of the value in those accounts.
“These vulnerable Canadians stand to lose the funds, in some cases tens of thousands of dollars, that they'd put aside to cover extraordinary medical expenses. This is a major concern for us. The medication and medical devices needed to manage type 1 diabetes can cost
Canadians up to $15,000 out of pocket annually and if the Minister doesn’t commit to reversing course, many Canadians with type 1 diabetes will not have the resources required to manage their disease in the future,” says Dave Prowten, President and CEO, JDRF Canada.
While Diabetes Canada and JDRF welcome a chance for patient groups and medical practitioners to participate in consultations with CRA, both organizations are concerned that the government's planned consultation vehicle, the recently announced Disability Advisory Committee, cannot address the significant increase in type 1 diabetes denials without reversing the May 2nd changes to the DTC made without any consultation.
About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:
- Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
- Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).