Attendant care or care in a facility

What is attendant care and care in a facility?

Attendant care is care given by an attendant who does personal tasks which a person cannot do for themselves. This includes care in certain types of facilities.

You can claim amounts paid to an attendant only if the attendant met both of the following criteria:

  • They were not your spouse or common-law partner.
  • They were 18 years of age or older when the amounts were paid.

An attendant who is hired privately will probably be considered an employee. For more information, see Guide RC4110, Employee or Self-employed?

Who can claim these expenses?

You can claim as medical expenses the amounts you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for attendant care or care in a facility. The expenses must have been paid for the care of any of the following persons:

  • yourself
  • your spouse or common-law partner
  • your dependant

A dependant is someone who depended on you for support and is any of the following persons:

  • your, or your spouse's or common-law partner's child or grandchild
  • your, or your spouse's or common-law partner's parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, or nieces who lived in Canada at any time in the year

What can you claim as medical expenses?

Full-time care or specialized care

Generally, you can claim the entire amount you paid for care at any of the following facilities:

  • nursing homes (full-time care)
  • schools, institutions, or other places (providing care or care and training)

We consider full-time care when a person needs constant care and attendance.

Other places could include an out-patient clinic, such as a detoxification clinic.

Note

Generally, you cannot claim the entire amount you paid for a retirement home or a home for seniors. However, you can claim salaries and wages for care in such facilities (see Salaries and wages).

All regular fees are eligible as medical expenses, including fees for all of the following:

  • food
  • accommodation
  • nursing care
  • administration fees
  • maintenance fees
  • social programming and activities fees

 However, extra personal expenses (such as hairdresser fees) are not eligible.

What is a nursing home? – A nursing home is generally considered to be a facility that gives full-time care, including 24-hour nursing care, to individuals who are unable to care for themselves. Any facility could be considered a nursing home if it has the same features and characteristics as a nursing home.

Salaries and wages

You can claim the fees for salaries and wages paid for part-time attendant care.

Also, you can claim the fees for salaries and wages paid for attendant care or care or supervision in any of the following facilities:

  • self-contained domestic establishments (such as your private home)
  • retirement homes, homes for seniors, or other institutions
  • group homes in Canada
  • nursing homes – special rules apply to this type of facility, see the chart

Expenses you can claim

You can claim as eligible medical expenses the salaries and wages paid to all employees who do the following tasks or services:

  • food preparation
  • housekeeping services for a resident's personal living space
  • laundry services for a resident's personal items
  • health care (registered nurse, practical nurse, certified health care aide, personal support worker)
  • activities (social programmer)
  • salon services (hairdresser, manicurist, pedicurist) if included in the monthly fee
  • transportation (driver)
  • security for a secured unit

If you are receiving attendant care in your home, you can only claim for the period when you are at home and need care or help. For the expense to be eligible as a medical expense, you must either:

  • be eligible for the disability tax credit
  • have a written certification from a medical practitioner that states the services are necessary

Expenses you cannot claim

When claiming the fees for salaries and wages, you cannot claim the cost of any of the following:

  • rent (except the part of rent for services that help a person with daily tasks, such as laundry and housekeeping)
  • food
  • cleaning supplies
  • other operating costs (such as maintenance of common areas and outside grounds)
  • salaries and wages paid to employees such as administrators, receptionists, groundskeepers, janitors (for common areas), and maintenance staff

Are you claiming the disability amount?

There are special rules when claiming the disability amount and attendant care as medical expenses. For information on claiming attendant care and the disability amount, see the chart.

Calculate your net federal tax using Schedule 1, Federal Tax, to find out what is more beneficial for you. You can also see the examples.

If you claim the fees paid to a nursing home for full-time care as a medical expense on line 330 or 331 of Schedule 1, no one (including yourself) can claim the disability amount for the same person.

You can claim the disability amount together with the portion of the nursing home fees that relate only to salaries and wages for attendant care (up to the limit indicated in the chart). However, you must provide a breakdown of the amounts charged by the nursing home showing the portion of payments that relate to attendant care.

For more information on the disability tax credit and how to claim the disability amount, go to Disability tax credit.

What documents do you need to support your attendant care expenses?

Receipts

Receipts must show the name of the company or individual to whom the expense was paid. If an individual issues a receipt for attendant care services, the receipt must include his or her social insurance number.

Certification

You may need to provide a certification to claim amounts paid for attendant care as medical expenses. To determine which type of document you need, see the chart.

Detailed breakdown

To claim attendant care expenses paid to a facility (other than full-time care in a nursing home) such as a retirement home, you have to send us a detailed breakdown from the facility.

The breakdown must clearly show the amounts paid for staff salaries that apply to the attendant care services listed under Salaries and wages – Expenses you can claim.

The breakdown should also take into account any subsidies that reduce the attendant care expenses (unless the subsidy is included in income and is not deductible from income).

Examples of the detailed information we need

Example 1– Statement of account for the year 2018 for Stephen Harris

Stephen's non-eligible expenses include:

  • Rent: $14,909
  • Administration staff wages: $1,242

The total of the non-eligible expenses is $16,151.

Stephen's eligible expenses include:

  • Nursing wages: $4,259
  • Activities director wages: $402
  • Housekeeping and laundry wages: $1,016
  • Dietician and chef wages: $2,851
  • Transportation wages: $365

The total of the eligible expenses is $8,893.

Based on the above statement, Stephen’s eligible attendant care expenses are $8,893.

Example 2 – Statement of account for the year 2018 for Jamie Fitzgerald

Jamie's non-eligible expenses include:

  • Rent: $14,909
  • Administration staff wages: $1,242

The total of the non-eligible expenses is $16,151.

Jamie's eligible expenses include:

  • Nursing wages: $4,259
  • Activities director wages: $402
  • Housekeeping and laundry wages: $1,016
  • Dietician and chef wages: $2,851
  • Transportation wages: $365

The total of the eligible expenses is $8,893.

Jamie's subsidies received include:

  • Rent: $5,000
  • Housekeeping and laundry wages: $1,016
  • Dietician and chef wages: $2,000

The total of the subsidies received is $8,016.

Based on the above statement, Jamie’s eligible attendant care expenses are $5,877. The amount of eligible expenses that Jamie can claim was reduced because of the subsidies received

 

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