Friday, January 25, 2008

In 2007 Disability Tax Credit are Available for Mental Illness For the First Time

I recently discovered that the Canadian tax laws were changed last year to include (for the first time) mental illnesses as a disabilities in regards to taxes. If you have a mental illness you may possibly be eligible for the Canadian disability tax credit (a approximately $6500.00 tax credit).

Not all people with mental illnesses will qualify as there are stringent qualifying criteria, but it is definitely worth asking you pdoc to fill out the required forms. I have included links to the form and tax information below.

Since I found this out two plus weeks ago I have wanted to ask my pdoc both if he thought I might qualify and if he would fill out the form, but two appointments went by without me asking because I was afraid to do so.

I find the whole act of asking for things I want incredibly difficult to do. When I worked this self esteem problem interfered with my ability to ask for promotions, or wage increases when I clearly was worthy of both. It was so bad that even when I had a physical illness (CMV) that caused hepatitis it was almost impossible for me to ask for a leave to take care of myself. When I did, I went back to work far to early, and immediately to full-time, because I was afraid of how other's would judge me.

This same dynamic played itself out when it took me more than 2 years of Major Depressive hell before I managed to get the courage to ask to take a leave from work due to my depression symptoms. I was suicidal and so sick, but I was unable to broach the subject to take care of myself. It is as though I do not feel worthy of help. So yesterday, I took the tax credit form as an opportunity to try to combat this dynamic. I forced myself to broach the subject in my session.

It was an exercise in asking for help, in approaching an authority figure for help, and in asking for what I wanted. I have been so stressed about this for 2 weeks. In the end, after I asked, it did not seem as difficult as I thought it would be.

Dr. X. was so open to my request. He told me it was important to understand what my rights as a citizen were and that he would be happy to fill out the form. He also said he couldn't see any reason I would not qualify. I asked him if he wanted reimbursement for filling out the form (Canadian health care does not cover these types of tasks). He said he never asks patients to pay to fill out medical forms.

The way he spoke with me about my request and the way he was so kind about filling out the form, made my experience asking for help such a positive experience. I am going to hang onto this memory, so when I need to ask for something I want again, from someone else, this will be the perspective I approach the request from. A perspective that believes a positive outcome is at least possible, and perhaps even likely.

Here are the links to the T2201 Tax form and two other information documents:

T2201 Disability Tax Credit Form:

Disability Tax Credit Info (from an organization that fights for our rights:

Detailed Info from Government re: disability tax credit:



jcat said...

It often surprises me too - something that I have stressed about asking for because of embarrassment and not feeling worth
it - and then when I eventually manage to force it out, normally going bright red and all gawky.....
the person concerned is all cool and regards it as a routine kind of thing.

And every time that it happens like that I go away swearing never to let asking for something build up into such a traumatic event, only to do it again the next time round.

It's not a straight forward self-esteem thing, but I wonder how common it is in people who end up with MDD?

Aqua said...

I thought I was the only person who had such difficulty with these matters. I remember finding out that a really poorly performing employee, at a lower level than me, was about to get a promotion and $5000 more than me. I was livid as my performance reports had been for years about as good as you can get. It took me weeks to even bring this up with my boss. And when I did of course I cried (I hate that!!!!) because I felt so angry and frustrated and mistreated and felt my talents and contributions had been overlooked.

I ended up getting a substanstial raise, but I still felt angry that I had to ask.

I hate asking for help, or consideration, or to be compensated fairly. It is almost impossible for me to do.

Maybe these feelings of being treated , what I perceived as, unfairly, contributed to my lack of self esteem, and eventually to my depression? Who knows.