Autism Canada calls for greater equity and transparency in Disability Tax Credit procedures

Autism Canada is calling on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to apply the existing criteria for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) equally, consistently and transparently across the board for all applications.

“We want fair and equitable access to the Disability Tax Credit for Canadians who have autism,” said Dermot Cleary, chair of Autism Canada.

Autism Canada is adding its voice to concerns raised by other disability advocacy organizations regarding inconsistencies in the evaluation of applications for, or renewals of, the DTC. 

“Our organization is hearing too many stories from Canadians across the country about the difficulties of applying for, or keeping, a Disability Tax Credit for their children with autism, including adult individuals who have had a Disability Tax Credit for decades only to see it withdrawn by CRA.”

Autism Canada is calling on the federal government to review the fundamental procedural inequities that appear to be hampering access to the tax benefit. 

Autism is one of the most commonly diagnosed neurological disorders in Canada. According to the latest estimates from March 2014 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 68 eight-year old children in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Prevalence rates in Canada are currently being investigated. At this time, they are believed to be comparable. 

Research suggests that, on average, autism costs a family $60,000 per year to access necessary supports not included in existing social and health services. The DTC is an essential mechanism to help offset that financial burden.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurological condition that impacts brain development leaving most individuals with marked social, behavioural and communication challenges. Despite the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments and therapies, there is no cure for autism. It is a life-long disability with often-significant impacts.