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ADHD and Disability: What’s the Situation in Canada?

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People with specific severe or prolonged physical or mental impairments are eligible for a specific program in Canada: the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). Is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) considered a disability? Does the DTC cover people with ADHD? Find out with Neuroperforma, your clinic specialized in Neurofeedback.

3 Key Facts About ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, affects 4 to 7% of the population, including both children and adults. With nearly 40 million inhabitants in Canada, this disorder could affect about 2 million people.

  • What is ADHD?

This neurodevelopmental disorder affects cognitive and behavioural functioning. People with ADHD have difficulties with attention and executive functions, such as organization and time management, which can compromise achieving desired goals. Impulse control can also be challenging and impact daily life.

  • What Are Its Manifestations?

Children and adults with ADHD face various challenges in attention or learning, including different psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression. This disorder can prevent a person from focusing on a task or subject and cause significant distraction by external stimuli.

  • How is It Managed?

ADHD is a complex disorder that affects each individual uniquely. Effective management may require a multi-faceted approach, including brain activity training and mastery through Neurofeedback. Based on the principles of neuroplasticity and learning theories, this method is non-invasive and does not require specific medication. It uses the brain’s self-regulation abilities to balance its electrical activity. It can be implemented alongside medication and other traditional clinical approaches like psychoeducation or psychotherapy.

DTC: A Tax Credit for People with Disabilities

The Disability Tax Credit is a federal program that provides financial support to offset some additional costs associated with a physical or mental impairment. This program can help reduce your income tax by recognizing the additional challenges related to your condition. If you have a severe and prolonged impairment resulting from ADHD, you may be eligible for financial support through the DTC.

How to Qualify for the DTC?

According to Canadian government guidelines, people with significant and long-lasting physical or mental impairments that cause considerable restrictions in their daily lives are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. The eligibility conditions are governed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Individuals with ADHD must meet these specific criteria defined by the CRA to be eligible for the DTC. The evaluation of impairments, especially those related to executive functions, plays a crucial role in this process. ADHD can affect essential functions such as organization, planning, emotional regulation, and decision-making. Depending on their severity, individuals with these difficulties may be eligible for the DTC.

  • How to Apply?

To apply for the DTC, you must submit Form T2201 or the Disability Tax Credit Certificate. The person concerned or a family member fills out part of the form. A physician or health professional completes the other part based on the nature of the impairment.

  • What Does the Evaluation Involve?

The evaluation in the context of ADHD involves a psychological or psychoeducational examination conducted by a qualified professional. This process is essential to determine if the DTC eligibility criteria are met.

This evaluation aims to accurately confirm the ADHD diagnosis and rule out other conditions that may present similar symptoms. It also explores the impact of ADHD on the individual’s daily functioning, examining aspects such as attention, concentration, organization, and impulse control. This examination can also identify necessary accommodations in various contexts, such as work, school, or family life, to support the person with ADHD.

The role of the healthcare professional is crucial in this process. By completing the form, the qualified physician certifies that the person meets the DTC criteria based on the conclusions of their psychological or psychoeducational evaluation.

What Can the DTC Bring to People with ADHD?

This financial aid and the recognition of the disability improve the quality of life for disabled individuals by helping them better manage their condition and live more independently. The DTC is a federal program aimed at offsetting some of the additional expenses related to a disability, possibly including those associated with ADHD. Financial assistance can be provided to disabled individuals through this tax credit.

People with ADHD can use it for their therapy, personal assistance, or medication costs. Benefiting from the DTC also represents official recognition of the disability, potentially facilitating access to other governmental or provincial support programs and services. As a non-refundable tax credit, it reduces the amount of tax the applicant has to pay.

Conclusion: Is ADHD Considered a Disability in Canada?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be considered a disability under certain conditions. This disorder is equivalent to a disability when the impairment is sufficiently severe, meaning that people with ADHD may be eligible for accommodations and support, such as the DTC, if their condition significantly and prolongedly impacts their ability to perform daily activities. The DTC eligibility evaluation is not solely based on an ADHD test for adults or children but includes the effects of the impairment. Individuals with ADHD causing significant functional limitations in their lives are considered to be living with a disability and may benefit from the DTC.