Last week we were invited to attend Hot Topics in Mental Health, an event put on by the UBC Departments of Psychiatry and Family Practice in order to update primary care physicians and other mental health care professionals on important psychiatric topics.
Our Access RDSP team members, Judit and Justine, attended the conference hoping to connect with physicians about the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), a prerequisite for the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), and one of the main obstacles for people wanting to open an account.
We have seen time and time again that people who should be eligible for the DTC are being denied only because the form is not filled out properly or lacks information.
The goal of the Access RDSP project is to increase uptake of the RDSP in BC and find ways to reduce barriers and make it more accessible for eligible individuals. Since we started the project, we have consistently found that there is plenty of confusion surrounding the DTC; the form is long and can take a long time to fill out, and it can be hard to get answers to questions. All this leads to some people being denied who may otherwise be eligible.
The challenges are mainly for individuals living with mental health disabilities or who have health conditions that are episodic in nature. It is a common misconception that you can only qualify if you are “completely disabled” and meet all the of 10 disability categories on the check list. However, in fact, you must only meet one of the categories to be eligible, such as a restriction in vision, walking, or mental functioning.
With this in mind we feel it is important to support both people eligible for the DTC, and physicians in the process of applying for the DTC.
By reaching out to physicians across BC in order to find ways to support them, we can help reduce some of the confusion and misconception about the DTC, potentially reduce unnecessary time spent on the application, and help more people get approved for the DTC thus allowing them to access benefits, including the RDSP.
To find out more about the Access RDSP project and the free services provided, click here. If you would like information or support with the DTC, contact Disability Alliance BC (DABC) at 604-872-1278 or 1-800-663-1278, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.