by
Bruce C. Kruger, M.B.; SBStJ.
Detective Inspector, (ret) –OPP

Having suffered the tremendous effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for many years, a friend who is an accountant recommended that I submit for the “Disability Tax Credit” from Canada Revenue.  He suggested that the effects of my PTSD and associated anxiety attacks were significant to justify such a relief on my income taxes cataloged under the specific section of disabilities for “mental illness” on the T2201 Form.  (See http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2201/t2201-fill-12e.pdf)

After a brief discussion with my psychiatrist, he fully supported such a request knowing that my quality of life is affected considerably due to this injury.  When completing the form, however, it clearly questions my intellectual capacity rather than my mental disability created by PTSD.

In my particular case, I’m unable to sit without my back directly against a wall and away from aisles, windows or drapes were anyone can get behind me.  This creates vast difficulties for me when attending dinner functions, theatres, or travelling on trains, planes, buses, etc.  This is in addition to the awful affects of PTSD such as nightmares, flashbacks, depression, anger, etc.  Please keep in mind that each of us affected by PTSD/OSI has many different variances and unusual reactions to Operational Stress Injuries that may be considered a “disability” for the purpose of the Canada Revenue Disability Income Tax.

The tax credit form defines that the mental illness refers to,

“Mental functions necessary for everyday life… all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time)… even with appropriate therapy, medication and devices.

Form T2201 goes on to ask specific questions about your abilities to socially interact, remember simple instructions, or know your name and address, solve problems, make decisions, complete simple transactions, etc. It also asks if you can express needs or anticipate the consequences of your behaviour.

As can be noted, most of these questions refer to one’s intellectual abilities rather than focusing on how PTSD/OSI are mentally disabling to living a normal life.  Since I am not intellectually challenged, I was therefore prohibited from this tax credit on my initial and secondary follow-up request for a review.  It made no difference to Revenue Canada that I was affected by other aspects of PTSD including hyper vigilance that greatly interferes with my normal living.

I asked the Revenue Canada representative for a detailed written denial to my claim, stating that I would present this matter to Canada Human Rights. I believed the criteria for the federal tax credit discriminated against me from an intellectual capacity vs. mental disability.  The RC spokesperson was quite understanding of my concerns. She readily acknowledged that the claim format was clearly restricted to intellect capabilities rather than anything pertaining to other disabilities created by a mental illness.  After presenting my viewpoint of discrimination, the agent asked me to resubmit my application requesting that my doctor be very specific on how PTSD has greatly reduced my quality of living.

In view of the above and with the resubmission of my application, I have now been granted the entire Disability Tax Credit for mental illness.  This has permitted me to receive a retroactive award of the tax credit for the previous ten years plus for the next five years prior to another reassessment.

I emphasize that a diagnosis of PTSD is not the sole criteria for this benefit but rather it is the considerable impairment on a permanent basis (“severe and prolonged”) for one’s quality of living that is judged.  I encourage those First Responders and soldiers that feel they meet such criteria to submit for your rightful tax relief to Revenue Canada.

Kindest regards,

Bruce

Bruce C. Kruger, M.B.; SBStJ.
Detective Inspector, (ret) –OPP

84 Beaumont Drive
Bracebridge, ON  P1L 1X2

705-645-5814 Res.
705-706-2834 Cell

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Bruce Kruger has offered to share this information pertaining to the Canadian Disability Tax Credit as he thought it may be of interest to others who may have no knowledge of the “Disability Tax Credit”. The above text was copied directly from the document that Bruce sent to Badge of Life Canada. You can find the PDF document in the Badge of Life Canada library in the Helpful Document section.

Please see Disclaimers