Some suggestions for what to do when denied for the disability tax credit

Having just received word that after somewhere between 18 months to two years, my application for my son's disability tax credit has finally been approved, I wanted to share a few things I found helpful in navigating through the process of appealing.    My son clearly qualified based on their own definitions as stated on the Revenue Canada website.  The psychologist who filled out the form and had done his assessment was also baffled by the rejection, as individuals with his diagnosis clearly qualify for the credit.

After, the initial denial, I asked for an internal review, and was denied again.  I then asked for a second internal review, providing more information from the psychologist as requested, and was denied again, with the stated reason being that it was not severe enough, despite evidence to the contrary.  I then spoke with my  MP's office for help, as they can sometimes be of assistance. I have found that this depends on your MP, but it is worth a shot.  With increasing frustration, I requested a formal appeal to the decision, as well as submitting a second application.  From what  I understand, the second application made the difference, as I had the family doctor fill out the form, even though it was the psychologist who did the assessment and made the diagnosis.

Some suggestions from my personal experience:

  1. Be persistent.
  2. Be patient.  Just  like the initial application can take months, I have found each stage of fighting this has  taken time.
  3. Use their language back on the application, and/or supporting documentation. (ie-severe and prolonged affect, etc.).
  4. Contact your MP's office for assistance.
  5. Keep contacting CRA.  Ask to have the first line agent you are speaking with consult with their manager.  I found this to be the most helpful.  I couldn't speak with them directly, but the first line agent relayed questions back and forth, and this was helpful.
  6. Re-apply for as many times as you can.  Sometimes it takes a few times to receive an approval.
  7. Request a formal review, also called filing a formal objection.  You need to send this to your designated tax centre.  if you are not sure, call and ask which one to mail this to.  This stage I was told has to mailed to the tax centre and cannot be submitted through their electronic documents option.
  8. File a second application, perhaps with another medical professional filling out the form.  For example, in our situation, I had our family doctor fill out the disability tax credit form , attaching the psychological assessment that the psychologist had produced after his diagnosis.  For some reason, the family physician filling out the form made the difference.

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