Line 21500 – Disability supports deduction

Individuals who have an impairment in physical or mental functions and have paid for certain medical expenses can, under certain conditions, claim the disability supports deduction.

Who is eligible?

If you have an impairment in physical or mental functions, you may be able to deduct the expenses that you paid in the year so that you could:

  • work
  • go to school
  • do research for which you received a grant


Under proposed changes for 2020 and 2021, the requirements above do not have to be met if you were entitled to receive, in the year, any federal, provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 payments for which you have received a T4A or T4E slip, Employment Insurance benefits, Employment Insurance special benefits, or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan benefits.

Only the person with the disability can claim expenses for this deduction.

If you lived outside Canada for part or all of the year and we consider you to be a factual resident (see Income Tax Folio: S5-F1-C1, Determination of an Individual's Residence Status) or deemed resident of Canada, you can claim the expenses that you paid to a non-resident person for services provided outside Canada.

Which expenses can you claim?

See the list of eligible expenses for the disability supports deduction and any certification from a medical practitioner that may be needed.

List of eligible expenses
Expense Prescription needed? Written certification from a medical practitioner needed?
Attendant care expenses See details See details
Bliss symbol boards Yes No
Braille note-taker devices Yes No
Braille printers, synthetic speech systems, large print-on-screen devices Yes No
Deaf-blind intervening services No No
Devices or software Yes No
Electronic speech synthesizers Yes No
Job coaching servicesFootnote 1 No Yes
Note-taking services No Yes
Optical scanners Yes No
Page turner devices Yes No
Reading services No Yes
Real-time captioning No No
Sign language interpretation services No No
Talking textbooks No Yes
Teletypewriters Yes No
Tutoring services No Yes
Voice recognition software No Yes

What are the amounts you cannot claim?

You cannot claim amounts you or someone else claimed as medical expenses (lines 33099 or 33199) or amounts for which anyone was reimbursed or entitled to be reimbursed by a non-taxable payment, such as insurance.

However, the person with the disability can claim the medical expense on either line 21500 or line 33099. They could also split the claim between these two lines, as long as the total amount claimed is not than the total expense.

How do you calculate your claim?

Use Form T929, Disability Supports Deduction, to calculate your deduction. Do not attach Form T929 or your receipts to your tax return. Keep them in case we ask to see them at a later date.

How do you report the amount on your tax return?

Enter the amount from line 12 of your Form T929, Disability Supports Deduction, on line 21500 of your tax return (Step 3 – Net income).

Expenses must be claimed in the same year they are paid. Unused amounts cannot be applied to another year.

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