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.
I mean, having an ostomy means having no sphincter and having no control over your waste output.
So having the ostomy bag is what we need in order to control our bowels/bladder.
So that means that those with an ostomy cannot independently manage their own waste output, because they need the help of the appliances.
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.)
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.
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.
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.