Disability Tax Credit…What now?

Disability Tax Credit next steps for people with diabetesLast week, CRA decided to reverse its policy on adults living with Type 1 diabetes and the Disability Tax Credit. If you are in India here is the pan card application online, this is a unique card for taxpayers. This probably has many people wondering..what now?? Here are a few next steps for adults living with type 1.

If you have had your application rejected since May of 2017, CRA has said that they will be re-examining all denied claims for people living with type 1 diabetes.

This means that if you would have previously qualified for the DTC based on pre-May guidelines, your application status will be changed to approved.

If you haven’t made your application yet, you can now do so with some confidence of approval.

If you live with type 1 diabetes and are intensively managing your diabetes, then you could qualify.  As per before May 2017, you will have to show the time you spent.  That time will have to be more than 14 hours per week.  It cannot include time spent on exercise, carb counting or recovering from a low.

Follow the Disability Advisory’s Committee’s actions and calls for action.

The Disability Advisory Committee is made up of professionals and advocates.  They will be working to see the DTC fairly applied to all qualifying individuals.

If you are interested in seeing the credit properly reflect the needs of Canadians and more specifically, Canadians with type 1 diabetes, I would suggest that you follow the activities of this committee. They will be looking for submissions and information from Canadians.  Send in your letters and continue to help them inform Ottawa of why people with diabetes who intensively manage their diabetes qualify for this credit.

Keep the pressure on your MPs.

Make sure that your MP understands that the Liberal government’s recent actions surrounding the Disability Tax Credit are not acceptable.  Let them know that we do not appreciate being lied to.  Ensure that they understand what is involved in diabetes care on a daily basis.  Work to educate them on how people with type 1 diabetes spend over 14 hours on life sustaining therapy.

If you have any more questions or would like someone to review your application before submitting it to CRA for approval, I am always just an email away!

The North and The South

For years, those of us living with diabetes in Canada have looked to the south and drooled.  Because of the much, much larger market share, the US gets all of the “good stuff” long before it comes to Canada. In fact it took us so long to get the Navigator, that they stopped making it before the product ever crossed the border!

Our American cousins have had the DexCom for years giving them a choice when it comes to CGM technology.  They had OmniPods before us and now will be looking at yet another pump choice in the Tandem TSlim in the coming months. We got the Medtronic Veo pump that they want first but that seems to be where our advantage ends. 

In talking with a friend recently, we also noted that there seems to be a big difference in attitude between US pharmaceutical companies and those working in Canada.  In the past two years with  Roche Summitt and Lilly Diabetes having their own Blogger Summitt in 2012, these companies have invited people living with diabetes to get together with pharmacy and discuss technology, needs, and direction.  This was a huge thing in the diabetes world–big companies wanting to know what patients want? Sadly, despite the increased number of diabetes diagnosis in Canada, we are not seeing the same sort of engagement here. 

Don’t get me wrong, some companies in Canada do reach out to the consumer.  Animas just did a great PR event in May showcasing people with diabetes across the country.  Roche invited bloggers and their readers to get engaged and give away free cash in the spring. Despite that, there still seems to be a feeling of isolation and we just don’t matter. 

As my friend noted, “A few years ago, we would get a newsletter or an invite to a workshop, special speaker, etc two or three times per year.  Now…nothing.” She is not alone in this.  Are the major players that intimidating and confident that they do not feel that they need to engage the market? Do the other littler known players not have the budgets to do it at all? It makes you wonder and personally, it makes me sad. 

Not only are we not getting to do the “fun stuff”, not only are we not getting access to the best technology, we are also forgetting about the other players on the board.  If you ask Canadians what pump companies are out there, they will most likely say Medtronic.  Some will know Animas but then things get fuzzy.  They may know that OmniPods are now available north of the border but chances are that they have completely forgotten that Roche even makes a pump.  This makes me sad because it is so important for consumers to make an educated choice in their diabetes care. They can’t do that if they don’t know that the products exist. 

I wonder how many people realize the vast choices in glucometers or that they have a choice of infusion sets or rapid acting insulin? Again, it  makes me sad and leads to me ask, is it really all about the money? Does our Canadian perspective and the needs of those of us in the northern part of the western hemisphere not count for as much? Is it bureaucracy? Does the Canadian government and various legislations make it difficult for pharmaceutical companies to be as engaged as their American counterparts? I wish I knew the answers. Some days I think it would just be better to move south…