Did you have medical expenses? You may be able to claim them on your income tax and benefit return
Why claim medical expenses
You can reduce the amount of federal tax you pay by claiming a non-refundable tax credit on a wide variety of medical expenses, including hospital services, nursing home fees, and medical supplies.
You may be able to claim medical expenses for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children (under 18 years of age), and other dependants.
Conditions for claiming medical expenses
To claim medical expenses, the expenses must:
* be eligible
* have been paid by you or your spouse or common-law partner
* have been paid within a 12-month period ending in 2016 and not claimed for 2015
Before filing your return, make sure you are claiming eligible medical expenses. If you claim expenses that are not eligible (for example, athletic or fitness-club fees or over-the-counter medications), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may reassess your return accordingly.
Claiming travel expenses
Did you travel at least 40 kilometres (one way) from your home to get medical services? If so, you may be able to claim the public transportation (for example, taxi, bus, or train) expenses you paid. Where public transportation is not readily available, you may be able to claim vehicle expenses instead.
Did you travel at least 80 kilometres (one way) from your home to get medical services? If so, you may be able to claim accommodation, meal, and parking expenses in addition to your transportation expenses.
Did someone accompany you? If so, you may be able to claim that person’s transportation and travel expenses. To make that claim, a medical practitioner must certify in writing that you were not capable of travelling alone to get medical services.
Refundable medical expense supplement
If you have a low income and high medical expenses, you may be able to claim a refundable credit of up to $1,187.
Visit the CRA’s website for more information on eligible medical expenses you can claim on your return or watch Segment 3: Medical Expenses in the CRA’s video series on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities.
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Version française ***The English version precedes***
Avez-vous engagé des frais médicaux? Vous pourriez être admissible à demander leur remboursement dans votre déclaration de revenus et de prestations.
Pourquoi demander des frais médicaux
Vous pouvez réduire le montant de votre impôt fédéral en demandant un crédit d’impôt non remboursable pour une vaste gamme de frais médicaux, dont des services hospitaliers, des soins à domicile et des fournitures médicales.
Vous pourriez demander des frais médicaux pour vous ou votre époux ou conjoint de fait, vos enfants à charge (enfants de moins de 18 ans) ou toute autre personne à charge.
Les conditions pour demander des frais médicaux
Les frais médicaux que vous pouvez demander doivent :
* être admissibles;
* avoir été payés par vous ou votre époux ou conjoint de fait;
* doivent avoir été payées dans une période de 12 mois se terminant en 2016 et aucun remboursement ne doit avoir été demandé pour celles-ci en 2015.
Avant de produire votre déclaration, assurez-vous de demander des frais médicaux admissibles. Si vous demandez des frais non admissibles (par exemple, des frais d’adhésion à un club d’athlétisme ou à un centre de conditionnement physique ou l’achat de médicaments en vente libre), l’Agence du revenu du Canada pourrait établir une nouvelle cotisation de votre déclaration en conséquence.
Réclamer des frais de déplacement
Vous êtes-vous déplacé à au moins 40 kilomètres (en une direction) de votre domicile pour obtenir des services médicaux? Si oui, il se peut que vous soyez admissible à demander le remboursement des frais de transport en commun (par exemple, taxi, autobus et train) que vous avez payés. Lorsque le transport en commun n’est pas facilement accessible, vous pourriez plutôt demander les frais d’utilisation d’un véhicule.
Vous êtes-vous déplacé à au moins 80 kilomètres (en une direction) de votre domicile pour obtenir des services médicaux? Si oui, il se peut que vous soyez en mesure de demander le remboursement des frais d’hébergement, de repas et de stationnement, en plus de vos frais de transport.
Est-ce que quelqu’un vous a accompagné? Si oui, il se peut que vous soyez en mesure de demander le remboursement des frais de transport et de déplacement de cette personne. Pour présenter cette demande, un médecin praticien doit attester par écrit que vous étiez incapable de vous déplacer seul pour obtenir des services médicaux.
Supplément remboursable pour frais médicaux
Si vous êtes un travailleur à faible revenu qui a des frais médicaux élevés, il se peut que vous soyez en mesure de demander un crédit remboursable maximal de 1 187 $.
Pour plus de renseignements sur les frais médicaux admissibles que vous pouvez demander dans votre déclaration, consultez le site Web de l’ARC ou visionnez le Segment 3 : Frais médicaux dans la série de vidéos de l’ARC sur les mesures fiscales pour les personnes handicapées.
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· Regarder nos vidéos sur l’impôt sur YouTube.
The Albert A. Ruel Road to Blindness
A 21 year old man stood on the beach at the Sproat Lake Provincial Park with friends early in May of 1977, and upon gazing across the lake found the Gulf Oil sign missing from the dock-side filling station there. When this fact was shared with his companions they glanced at him with puzzled looks and said, “No Albert, the sign is still there”.
That was the beginning of a road through confusion, anger, isolation, loneliness and discovery for me. It all began with a visit to a local Optometrist who could see that my vision wasn’t right, but that corrective lenses wouldn’t help. He then referred me to a General Practitioner, where I received a clean bill of health and an additional referral. This time to an Ophthalmologist. Immediately upon peering through the dilated pupils, Dr. McKerricher was able to see the problem, Retinal Vasculitis.
Now, you would think that all would start to improve at this point, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, CNIB, from 1918 until 1985 only served the needs of people who were “Legally Blind”, a level of vision loss I wouldn’t reach until November of 1979. The words of Dr. McKerricher still echo in my mind today, “Albert, I don’t know what has caused this and nothing we’ve tried is helping to stop it, and you’re not blind enough for me to refer you to CNIB”!
In the middle of this transition from 20/20 vision to “Legally Blind” came the Motor Vehicle Branch and it’s rules of the road. On August 3, 1978 I drove a car for the last time as my vision had reached the level at which operating a motor vehicle became too dangerous, further intensifying feelings of fear, isolation and anger. Sadly, through this period the only available guidance and support was through family and friends, but not the experienced professionals I needed at the time. Although these support systems are critically important they can often be smothering and facilitating, rather than encouraging and supportive.
With gratitude, and some trepidation I finally was able to access CNIB services in November of 1979, and the world opened up then. There I was able to meet other blind people and receive the daily living and mobility skills required to live independently in this sighted world. I learned elementary braille and began to discover technology as necessary tools of independence.
Thankfully, in 1985 CNIB’s National Board altered the course of service to visually impaired Canadians forever. They added a third prong to their Mission Statement, “To promote sight enhancement services”. This opened the door to all Canadians who were beginning to lose sight, as well as those who had a fear of vision loss to access the full range of CNIB Support and Rehabilitation Services. So now, whether it’s someone’s Mother who is experiencing Macular Degeneration, or an Uncle experiencing the affects of Glaucoma, all have the ability to seek information, guidance and support as all involved deal with the fear and anxiety that accompanies such life altering experiences.
With the help of professional Rehabilitation Workers and Employment Counselors I was able to continue traveling independently within my own community, and even more remarkably anywhere in the world I desired to go. I managed to attend College in Nanaimo and New Westminster, as well as traveling to the Mayo Clinic and to doctor’s appointments in Nanaimo and Vancouver without assistance. All of this while living with some usable vision, but not yet needing a white cane for travel.
During the mid 1980’s I was a stay-at-home Dad and did all that was required of that challenging work, from changing diapers to preparing meals, and from cutting the grass to maintaining our home. I even took a woodworking course through Alberni’s Adult Education program and built and restored several pieces of furniture. Of course the 1958 Chevy Impala in the garage was my pride and joy, and I devised ways to do much of the work it required.
I also joined and participated in many community activities, like the local Car Club, and a disability support group that catered to the needs of people with many different disabilities. Of course, continued participation in family life remained of critical importance through this period.
In 1989 a secondary condition began to extinguish the vision that remained, which set into motion a new stream of professional rehabilitation services and supports. By the spring of 1990 Glaucoma had turned out the lights completely, and the darkness I had feared so desperately was upon me. Strangely though, I found this to be a great relief rather than the tragedy I had imagined it would be.
Through several professional rehabilitation sessions, and by joining peer mentoring and advocacy groups I was able to come to terms with this strange feeling, and to learn additional skills and strategies for living with no visual cues of the world around me. This is also about the time that I decided to explore CNIB as an employer, and to see if I could provide the sort of guidance and support to others that had been my pleasure to receive. Those 14 years were a wonderful experience of ongoing discovery for me, as teaching may be the best way to solidify one’s own learning. In other words, those we assist through this transition in turn help us all as we develop best practices and improved service.
Following a 14 year career with CNIB I also served the blind community as the first National Equality Director employed by the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), and as a Basic Computer Literacy Trainer with the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB). Most recently I have enjoyed coordinating the CCB’s newly launched Get Together with Technology Program in Western Canada, which brings to the fore my passion for assistive technology and the power of peer mentoring.
Without sight I have continued to travel far and wide, with trips to Conventions of and for the Blind in Anaheim California and Melbourne Australia, as well as to many events and activities in Toronto and Vancouver. Of course my work has taken me to many communities throughout Western Canada, and most particularly nearly all regions of BC and on Vancouver Island. None of which would have been possible without the services and support of organizations like CCB, AEBC and CNIB.
For most people blindness generates a fear of extended movement, both within one’s home and community, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Independence comes from personal desire and increased skill. Many community organizations can assist with both through their mentoring and skill development programs. I remember always that life has little to do with what happens to me and 100% what I do about/with it. There is a quote I like to use from the National Federation of the Blind in the USA, “With adequate skill development and opportunity blindness can be reduced to the level of a nuisance”, and nothing could be closer to the truth.
Helen Keller said many years ago, “There is nothing more tragic than someone who has sight, but no vision”. She also challenged the Lions Clubs of the world to become the “Knights of the Blind, and to take up the crusade against darkness”. I too joined a Lions Club in 1992 and continue to work on the crusade that Helen Keller began in the 1920-s.
View all posts by Albert Ruel