Ok, Let's Just See What Happens When I Stand On Your Desk - Uncover Ostomy
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Ok, Let’s Just See What Happens When I Stand On Your Desk

A few months ago I went ahead and applied for the Canadian Disability Tax Credit.

For those who live outside of Canada, or are unaware, The Canadian Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit for individuals who have a severe and prolonged impairment in a physical or mental function, and it is expected to, or has lasted for at least 12 months.

Now, to be clear, I do not consider having an ostomy to be a disability, per se.

I mean, it is obvious that I, and others with ostomies, are able to carry on our daily business while sporting our baggy friend.

The Canadian Government, however, does consider having an ostomy as having a disability. Personally, I know a number of individuals who have gotten the DTC because of their ostomy.

And that’s what should happen.

I don’t believe that the ostomy itself is a disability, but I do believe that the cost of having one, is.

Because the Canadian Government doesn’t cover ostomy supplies in our healthcare, the cost adds up. Personally, I find myself spending over $300 a month just to be able to walk out my front door.

$300/month, just to be alive. 

People with ostomies are allowed to apply for the DTC because one of the major qualifying factors is that you must have a restriction in independently managing your bowel or bladder functions for at least 90% of the time –  exactly what the ostomy bag is for.

Right?

I mean, having an ostomy means having no sphincter and having no control over your waste output.

Right?

So having the ostomy bag is what we need in order to control our bowels/bladder.

Riight?

So that means that those with an ostomy cannot independently manage their own waste output, because they need the help of the appliances.

Riiiight?

Well… SURPRISE.

According to J. Pitz, the lovely case worker who handled my request, he believes that 10% of the time, I don’t need an ostomy.

That’s right. Today, I got my DTC case letter back in the mail and was denied because:

Your restriction in independently managing your bowel and bladder functions is not present all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time.)

looooooooool what.

Ok, Mr/Ms. Pitz, here’s a proposition for you:

How about I spent 10% of my day, in your office, without my ostomy appliances on.

Yeah, let me just. *begins to climb up on desk*

.. get.. up.. *gets on top of desk*

onto your desk… *stands on desk*

Yeah, how about I just stand on your desk and we’ll wait for 10% of the day and you can just see what happens.

Let’s.

Just.

See.

So, needless to say, I am beyond confused by the Canada Revenue Agency for thinking that I have any control, whatsoever, over my bowel function. I mean, hello, if I did, I wouldn’t need an ostomy in the first place.

duh. 

Thankfully, I am allowed to have my request reviewed within 90 days of the decision, if I make the request.

And, yes, I am going to make the request.

Maybe, in person.

——————–

So, dear Canadian ostomy friends – I need some help.

Have you applied for the DTC? Have you been denied? Did you have your request reviewed, and were then approved? What did you have to do?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jessica Grossman
info@uncoverostomy.org
23 Comments
  • Louise BDGG
    Posted at 00:59h, 18 March Reply

    in BC we have to pay for healthcare but we have also FairPharmacare that does covers ostomy supplies. the premiums are adjusted to your income and the % of coverage depends of income also. In my case, what FairPharmacare doesn’t cover, my work insurance does so am lucky. Maybe check into getting insurance that covers supplies or your work might offer coverage also. GL

  • leslie
    Posted at 01:06h, 18 March Reply

    I live in the good ole …usa. that is just crazy….. I pay for my supplies also. that is just crazzzzyyyy what this person has told you…… if I had the money…. I would come stand on that desk with you!!!!!! please keep us updated as to what happens. people just have NO idea what we go through on a daily basis! good luck!!!

    • Ed Maste
      Posted at 20:44h, 19 March Reply

      Earlier today I read your story about Uncover Ostomy at the medical Supply store in Pickering. Arriving home I read the above post about being declined for the DTC. Also today I received a letter from the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency – Canadian equivalent of the IRS) informing that I have been approved for the period from 2012 – 2018. This was the third time I submitted the application first time part of the form was missing, second time they notified me that the surgeon hadn’t signed the application. Third time lucky.
      I keep scanned copies of everything I send. If you’d like I’d be glad to share these with you since these answers did get approval.
      And $600 a year from the Ontario government is totally insufficient. But ordering some supplies from the US helps I ordered supplies which would have cost $280 from online in Canada paid $176 CDN via paypal.
      Given that a box of 5 flanges cost around $55, $280 doesn’t last that long.
      Hope this helps, and keep up the good work
      Ed

  • Emily
    Posted at 01:44h, 18 March Reply

    Ha! I would LOVE to drive a few hours up to Canada and stand there with you; let Ani spew onto his/her desk a while and then we’ll see if he/she still thinks you don’t need your bags! Great post, as always. I hope it works out for you! Keep us posted!

  • Dan
    Posted at 02:04h, 18 March Reply

    I qualified for DTC because my Crohn’s was so bad, but I’ll need to renew it since having my ostomy and I really don’t expect to have problems.

    According to the DTC application form, it states:

    “Your patient is considered markedly restricted in elimination if, all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time), he or she is unable or requires an inordinate amount of time to personally manage bowel or bladder functions, even with
    appropriate therapy, medication, and devices.

    Notes
    Devices for elimination include catheters, ostomy appliances, and other such devices.
    <<>>”

    Now, I don’t know about you, but “normal” people go to the bathroom once a day to a few times a week. I’m emptying my ostomy appliance 7 times a day (7-21x more than the “normal time required by the average person”), not to mention the time to mange my ostomy… if that isn’t “inordinate” enough, then I suggest your case worker spend the day with an ostomate (you decide if that involves 10% without your appliance on!).

    The $600 we get a year doesn’t even cover my travel/hotel/gas spent because of my IBD and ostomy, let alone supplies! The TDC helps to cover some of the associated costs as far as I’m concerned.

    • VeganOstomy
      Posted at 02:07h, 18 March Reply

      Sorry, that should have included:

      ***An inordinate amount of time means that personally managing elimination takes three times the normal time required by an average person who does not have the impairment**”

  • nataliejoan
    Posted at 03:19h, 18 March Reply

    I never did apply, because I was told I would be denied. Honestly, if you want to get a protest going, I am in. The amount of time and moeny spent taking care of an ostomy is ridiculous even when everything is going good. As someone with sensitive skin I often react to adhesives, develop rashes, etc which make it even worse.
    ! get $600 from the Ontario government to offset costs, which my insurance company then DEDUCTS from the 80% they pay. So I am not allowed to apply this to the 20% I pay out of pocket.
    Add that to ongoing direct and indirect costs of living with Crohns… it seriously adds up!

    • Frank Pollard
      Posted at 07:55h, 26 February Reply

      Sensitive skin is a big problem for me. Also it’s criminal how Blue Cross scoops the $600. grant and even declares we have to buy appliances etc. from a “store in Ontario” – not online in Ontario or anywhere else where it is cheaper. I am still trying to think of an objection that will work with Blue Cross to get around this. Why can’t I at least use my $600. to buy anywhere I want vs. through who they want me to buy from! I am going to apply for this tax credit.

  • AidzP
    Posted at 03:48h, 18 March Reply

    I was surprised to hear that living with an Ostomy in Canada cost so much. You are more than welcome to move here to Australia. My Urostomy appliances cost me $50 a year. The quota is for 1 base plate and bag a day per year. I don’t use that many but I am entitled to.

    I hope your review is conducted by someone with sense and the correct outcome is achieved Jess. I admire your ability not to take it on the chin but to stand up and fight. Good Luck and don’t rule out the Stand on Desk plan if it comes to it!

  • Sarah
    Posted at 04:32h, 18 March Reply

    I had a complete colectomy almost 4 years ago as a result of ulcerative colitis. I am now essentially ‘UC free’, so I don’t have any other health issues like some of you (ongoing Crohns symptoms, etc.). But I do have an ostomy and I was approved for the DTC. I am actually an accountant and didn’t even really think about it until my father (the owner of the firm I work at) said I should consider applying for it. My father’s mother-in-law (my step-mother’s Mom) had applied for it under my father’s advice many many years before my surgery and it was disallowed; however, if memory serves me correctly, my father urged her to go to tax court. She went, he accompanied her, and she ended up winning. Despite the embarrassment she had to undergo during the hearing, she was happy with the result.

    So, after that, I figured I should probably apply. Like most, the amount of time that I spend managing my ostomy is exceptional compared to how much time someone without an ostomy spends ‘managing’ their bowel functions. I filled out the forms and took them to my doctor who didn’t seem to think it would be approved but was willing to sign off and see what happened. I had actually kept a log for a few weeks to keep track of my ostomy time and my doctor was shocked. I think that’s what convinced him to sign off on the application and leave it in the hands of the CRA.

    So, needless to say, it was accepted and it definitely helps soften the blow every time I put hundreds on my credit card for my supplies. Good luck with your objection! Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

    • Sandra
      Posted at 14:25h, 18 March Reply

      I think what you said here is the heart of the problem. Your DOCTOR did not realize how much time it takes living with an ostomy. As there is no doubt a doctor somewhere in that system he/she must be of the same opinion… it doesn’t take much time.

      Well time to educate our doctors!! If more people applied and definitely did a little time keeping on how much time you spend ‘caring’ for your stoma this will help.

      Get something we can sign and you will have a ‘butt load’ of signatures!

  • Holly
    Posted at 04:42h, 18 March Reply

    I actually did get it for five years but when they did the review last year they said I didn\’t have enough evidence to prove the 90% time frame. I\’m not sure what evidence they would like. I have had it for 26 years, it isn\’t reversible and is permanently attached to my side which to me means 100% of the time. Obviously there isn\’t anyone working in their office that has an ostomy. Maybe they need to hire somebody new to go over the paperwork. Good Luck!

  • Kelsey
    Posted at 13:31h, 18 March Reply

    I thought about applying for it but was told I more than likely wouldn’t be approved. I would love to go with you and prove your point. Seriously, if I had any control over my ileostomy, do you not think that changing my appliance would be a lot less messy? I couldn’t imagine going for 10% of my day without my appliance on!! Even with an appliance on, we still have to constantly worry about the “what if it leaks” side of things. I don’t like to think of my ileostomy as a disability, because it’s not…it saved my life, but I do think it’s unfair that the government thinks $600 a year adequately pays for supplies. And it’s even more frustrating that that gets taken out of your insurance…so really, why even bother sending me the money, just send it to the insurance company because it doesn’t help me any!! It just helps them from having to pay me. I still have to pay the 10% out of pocket for everything. I’m really glad you brought all of this up because it’s lit a fire under my butt…I’m going to apply!

  • Lisa Gausman
    Posted at 16:44h, 18 March Reply

    Jess

    • Lisa Gausman
      Posted at 16:47h, 18 March Reply

      I was denied the first time I applied as well but my doctor changed one sentence. from empties appliance frequently TO Needs her appliance 100% of the time and empties approx 20 times per day.
      just one sentence change and it was approved
      you have made great points above and if you list them like you did here on the re-app I dont think you will have another issue. i certainly hope not
      loved the article, the visual is great!

  • Karenrap
    Posted at 17:31h, 18 March Reply

    Do it! You go girl!

  • cassandra
    Posted at 21:09h, 18 March Reply

    hey there yea i was told the same thing at first but then i had to go get a letter from my surgeon explaining what was done to me for my loop illo, how long id have my ostomy, any complications and that i have no control over my bowels. i then got a letter from my stoma nurse and my gi doctor saying the same thing it was the only way i got it. but u must have them basically say u can not do anything due to this and that its something that can not be controlled at any given time as well that u need supplies every month that will exceed $300.00 a month.
    its hard to get it but u can just get as much information to give them.
    p.s if this does not work i will go stand on that person desk and show then what a over active stoma is like without a bag is like.
    i swear these ppl get there educations from a cereal box lol.
    also why is it that in Canada if u have a ostomy u must pay for supplies but if u have a urostomy u do not have to pay….so because i poop in a bag and not pee in a bag i have to somehow try to pay for supplies while trying to cover all the other medical bills and medications ………..rant over lol

  • Allie
    Posted at 20:28h, 19 March Reply

    Standing on some jabronees desk with our stoma’s out for all the world (or maybe J.Pitz) to see? I’m in.

  • Ed Maste
    Posted at 20:49h, 19 March Reply

    Note it is not they they deny that you need the supplies it is just that given the information your Surgeon/Doctor provided does not warrant a disability tax credit (about $7500/year). Of course you have to have a significant income in order to be able to use the credit. No income the tax credit is useless.
    And Jess I will mentally support you going to the CRA and stand on his/her desk. I’m afraid I couldn’t do that to anyone. But I’ll be glad to provide the threat to do so. 🙂

    Ed

  • leslie
    Posted at 21:06h, 21 March Reply

    wow!!!! that is great!!!

  • Carlos
    Posted at 02:30h, 26 March Reply

    For about 3 years I rely on the use of probiotic for the treatment of my condition and the use of medications have decline since that. In the past year I have been using Prolabik and i am feeling very happy with the results.

  • Ian David James Besley
    Posted at 19:53h, 25 February Reply

    Hello, here In Nz, you are considered 75% disabled with ostomy supplies but 100% disabled without them.

  • Ed Maste
    Posted at 13:12h, 09 March Reply

    Jessica,
    I just posted the answers from the approved DTC form on the Ostomy Canada site. and have included it here as well.

    Self Assesment
    1Y,
    2N,
    3N,
    4Y,
    5Y
    DTC Certificate Part A
    First Name | Last Name
    Address | SIN
    City | Prov | PO Code | DOB
    Information …. (only if applying for someone else)

    Part B Pg 4
    Walking – N/A
    Elimination – markedly restricted – Yes
    all or substantially all of the time – Yes
    if yes year – (mine was) 2012
    Pg 5
    Feeding – N/A
    Dressing – N/A
    Pg 6
    Mental functions – N/A
    Pg 7
    Life sustaining therapy – N/A
    Pg 8
    1 – Yes
    2 – Yes
    3 – Yes
    4 – Yes
    … certify your patient’s condition – Yes

    (Note: although it requires to tick TWO of the following, as they apply to your patient. my surgeon only ticked the one for elimination)

    Elemination (bowel or …) – Yes
    if yes when – (mine) 2012
    Pg 9
    Describe …(my surgeon wrote)

    Pt has permanent stome and it takes significant time to care for it and eliminate waste
    Diagnosis: multiple colon and rectal cancers

    Duration – Yes
    if Yes …. – No
    Certification Medical doctor
    make sure your doctor SIGNS the form

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