British Columbia

Many unaware they're eligible for disability tax credit, MP says

New Democrat MP Rachel Blaney is holding meetings around her North Island-Powell River riding to help constituents with disabilities and their caregivers claim a tax credit that can be worth more than $1,000.

North Island MP urging eligible constituents to claim credit that can exceed $1,000

The disability tax credit can provide savings of more than $1,000 a year. (Shutterstock)

A Vancouver Island MP is urging constituents to check whether they're eligible for a tax credit that could save them more than $1,000 a year.

Rachel Blaney, the New Democrat MP for North Island-Powell River, said the Canadian Disability Tax Credit goes unclaimed by many.

Blaney held information sessions in the riding this week to discuss who can receive the tax credit and how to apply for it.

"The disability tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit that helps people with disabilities or their supporting persons to reduce the amount of income tax that they have to pay every year," Blaney told On the Island host Gregor Craigie.

She said the application for the credit can be submitted at any time, not only at tax filing time.

NDP MP Rachel Blaney is holding public information sessions in her riding of North Island - Powell River to advise constituents about the disability tax credit and how to apply for it. (CPAC)

"Last year we did this tour across our riding and we actually had several people who got multiple years back and in one case the full 10 years back," she said.

Blaney said insufficient public education by the Canada Revenue Agency might be part of the reason so many eligible Canadians do not claim the tax credit.

"One of the problems is people who don't have as much resources often don't understand all the benefits," she said. "Whereas people that have a lot of resources … can afford a well-trained accountant (who) will be able to tell them about every resource that may help them out."

The tax credit is not refundable, meaning only those who earn enough to pay income taxes can benefit. 

However, Blaney said she also urges constituents with disabilities or their support people about other programs, such as the registered disability savings plan, in which individual contributions can be matched by the federal government, depending on income level.