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.
It was a perplexing problem that Publicover’s endocrinologist, Dr. Thomas Ransom, says he started noticing for the majority of his patients.
“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.
It’s a question Ransom feels no patient should have to be ‘blindsided’ with.
“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.