Over the past several months CADDAC has been receiving increased calls from families and individuals with ADHD upset that they have been denied the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). It seems to have become more difficult, if not impossible, for those with neurodevelopmental disabilities to be approved for this government benefit. While we encourage those who are applying to include detailed information on how ADHD causes continuous impairment, providing specific individualized examples and outlining additional financial hardships, even when this is done they are most often denied.
A recent article in the Globe, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-cra-makes-life-more-difficult-for-people-with-disabilities/ by Andre Picard does an excellent job of summarizing the issues of inconsistency, unfairness and a lack of transparency. Government personnel are vetoing the decision of medical professionals who have deemed their patient to be “disabled” enough to qualify.
Mr. Picard also points out that those with an obvious physical disability have a much better chance of being approved for the DTC. This makes perfect sense when you understand that those making the decision on eligibility have no additional training or knowledge of neurodevelopmental or mental health impairments and would have the same lack of awareness and understanding of these disabilities as the general public. Certainly everyone with ADHD would not and should not qualify for the DTC since impairments caused by ADHD are on a continuum, however those with ADHD on the more sever end of the spectrum certainly should. For change to happen those with these invisible disabilities need to let their voices be heard. Unfortunately the very disabilities for which they require support are the ones that often impair them in their quest to be heard.