Are you eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC)?

Question 3

Does the life-sustaining therapy meet both of the following criteria?

  • The therapy is needed to support a vital function, even if this therapy has eased the symptoms.
  • The therapy is needed at least 3 times per week, for an average of at least 14 hours per week.

You must dedicate the time for the therapy – that is, you have to take time away from normal, everyday activities to receive it. It includes the time you spend setting up a portable device.

If your therapy requires a regular dosage of medication that needs to be adjusted daily, the time spent on activities directly related to determining and administering the dosage does count toward the 14-hour per week requirement (for example, monitoring blood glucose levels, preparing and administering the insulin, calibrating necessary equipment, ketones testing, or keeping a log book of blood glucose levels).

If a child cannot perform the activities related to the therapy because of their age, the time spent by the child’s primary caregivers performing and supervising these activities can be counted toward the 14-hour per week requirement. For example, for a child with Type 1 diabetes, supervision includes:

  • having to wake the child at night to test their blood glucose level
  • checking the child to determine the need for additional blood glucose testing (during or after physical activity)
  • other supervisory activities that can reasonably be considered necessary to adjust the dosage of insulin

However, some activities do not count toward the 14-hour per week requirement, such as:

  • the time a device takes to deliver the therapy, if you receive therapy by a portable or implanted device (such as an insulin pump, a CPAP machine, or a pacemaker)
  • activities related to dietary restrictions or regimes, even when these activities are a factor in determining the daily dosage of medication (such as carbohydrate calculation)
  • activities related to exercising
  • travel time to receive the therapy
  • attending medical appointments (other than appointments where the therapy is received)
  • shopping for medication
  • recuperation after therapy

Examples of life-sustaining therapy:

  • chest physiotherapy to facilitate breathing
  • kidney dialysis to filter blood
  • insulin therapy to treat Type 1 diabetes in a child who cannot independently adjust the insulin dosage

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