Minister Lebouthillier works to improve services for Canadians with disabilities, announces Disability Advisory Committee membership
December 8, 2017 Ottawa, ON Canada Revenue Agency
The Government of Canada recognizes that disabilities can have significant impacts on the daily lives of Canadians and their families. Vulnerable people in our society must be supported, including by ensuring they receive all tax credits and benefits to which they are entitled.
On November 23, 2017, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue announced the re-instatement of the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). The Minister is following-up on this announcement today by releasing the names of the DAC’s members and the Terms of Reference that will guide the Committee’s work. This DAC will serve as an important forum for persons with disabilities to have their voices heard as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) works to improve and enhance the way it administers the tax measures designed to support this community.
In addition, the CRA will return to using the pre-May 2017 clarification letter for Disability Tax Credit (DTC) applications related to Life-Sustaining Therapy. This decision will allow the DAC to formulate recommendations on the CRA’s administrative practices, including clarification letters, through broader, more comprehensive stakeholder consultations. As indicated previously, no change has been made to the eligibility criteria for the DTC.
The CRA will also review the applications that have been denied since May 2017, for which the CRA relied on the revised clarification letter to determine eligibility to the DTC. Individuals do not need to submit new or additional information unless they are contacted by the CRA.
“Throughout my career as a social worker and as Minister of National Revenue I have been completely committed to helping the most vulnerable in our society. I have confidence that the expertise of the Committee members will help the CRA better serve Canadians who need and deserve our assistance. Reviewing life-sustaining therapy applicants will provide an added level of certainty that the law has been applied correctly and will allow the Committee to take a broader perspective on its important work.”
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue
"Through meaningful dialogue and consultation, the Disability Advisory Committee will provide the Canada Revenue Agency with a better understanding of stakeholder perspectives and priorities. I look forward to working with the other Committee members to help the Agency make informed decisions about its administrative practices to ensure the Agency continues to improve the services it provides to persons with disabilities."
Dr. Karen Cohen, Co-chair of the Disability Advisory Committee, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
The DAC will serve as an important forum to provide the CRA with feedback on the administration of measures for Canadians with disabilities, including the Child Disability Benefit, tax deductions such as attendant care expenses and allowable medical expenses, measures for caregivers and of adult dependents through the Canada Caregiver Credit.
The Committee is being reinstated to provide the CRA with a formalized means of collaborating with various stakeholders. Enhancing the accessibility of the CRA’s services to persons with disabilities is an ongoing effort, which will be greatly assisted by the Committee’s work.
The Committee will advise the Minister of National Revenue and the Commissioner of the CRA on the needs and expectations of persons with disabilities as they relate to the administration and interpretation of laws and programs administered by the CRA.
The Committee will include persons with disabilities, qualified health practitioners, disability and Indigenous community advocates, and professionals from a variety of fields.
The Committee will meet three times per year. The frequency of meetings will be periodically re-examined to ensure best use of Committee Members’ time.
Other federal departmental representatives will be welcome in the role of observers or resource people.
The CRA will proactively review applications that have been denied since May 2017, for which the CRA relied on the revised clarification letter to determine whether the DTC eligibility criteria as set out in the Income Tax Act have been met. Individuals do not need to submit new or additional information unless they are contacted by the CRA.
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
Canada Revenue Agency
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