‘Grossly inappropriate’: Patients, doctors raise concern over disability tax credit rejections

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‘It’s grossly inappropriate’: Doctor expresses concern over loss of disability tax credit for patients
According to one Halifax endocrinologist, medical supplies for Type 1 diabetics is not only necessary for their survival but it’s costly. A disability tax credit used to help alleviate some of that financial strain but suddenly those claims are being rejected. – Dec 7, 2017

Until recently, Tami Publicover was able to qualify for a disability tax credit that helped her pay for medical supplies.

She, and thousands of other Canadians living with Type 1 diabetes, used it to purchase the insulin they need to survive.

“Having the tax credit helps ease that financial burden. So, I’m not struggling, I’m not choosing between having medicine or food, I’m able to manage that a bit smoother,” Publicover said.

But recently her claims have been rejected by the Canada Revenue Agency.

READ MORE: Liberals hitting diabetes patients with tax grab, Conservatives and health groups say

It was a perplexing problem that Publicover’s endocrinologist, Dr. Thomas Ransom, says he started noticing for the majority of his patients.

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“The last year we started to see them get refused and then it was an absolute refusal and it got to the point where, as a division, we discussed it and said we’re no longer filling out the forms because we do this on the side for free, we don’t charge and we had to decide we can’t do this, it’s too time-consuming,” Ransom said.

Both Ransom and Publicover say there’s no ‘clear reason’ for why the criteria seem to have changed.

In Publicover’s eyes, it doesn’t make sense because she still has the same health issue that qualified her for the credit before.

“I still have diabetes, I’m still in the same position of treating my diabetes and working really hard to be healthy but now for the financial impact of not having the disability tax credit means that I don’t have as much comfort in knowing that I’ll be able to afford all this [supplies],” she said.

READ MORE: Are the Liberals clawing back benefits for people with diabetes?

READ MORE: Moncton man among growing number of Canadians with diabetes denied disability tax credit

It’s a question Ransom feels no patient should have to be ‘blindsided’ with.

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“I really think it is grossly inappropriate. These people were dependent on those funds to help manage their disease to prevent costly complications that if they’re not prevented, the government will have to pay for down the road anyway,” he said.

The Canada Revenue Agency wouldn’t respond to comment because the organization is holding a press conference on the topic this Friday.

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