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Extend disability tax credits to mood disorders, committee recommends.

OTTAWA -- The federal Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities in a letter to the appropriate Ministers supports the extension of the eligibility of the Disability Tax Credit for persons with mood disorders, learning disabilities and episodic conditions.

In its December letter, MP'S Sherri Torjman and Robert Brown, the committee's co-chairs, note that the committee is currently examining the legislative changes needed along with associated costs of extending the DTC while looking at the scope of daily living activities used to determine eligibility.

Further, the committee believes that the government must undertake a major effort to communicate the availability of tax measures for disabled persons, and "to increase fairness and transparency in responding to the needs of persons with disabilities." To that end the committee is reviewing possible mechanisms to promote awareness, including targeted information to qualified professionals and to groups representing people with disabilities.

As well, the committee notes that "at the very least" the government needs to promote awareness of the Medical Expense Tax Credit and its application to certain disability-related expenses.

Other areas under investigation by the committee include the need for a different policy other than the DTC to offer tax relief for an aging and disabled population, tax measures for caregivers, removing income tax from grants for the purchase of disabled supports and reviewing other policy measures to help low-income disabled persons who do not qualify for the DTC, including Aboriginal people, whose incidence of disability is more than twice that of the Canadian population.
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Title Annotation:General
Publication:Community Action
Date:Jan 19, 2004
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