Caring for a loved one with a disability or illness can be very draining: physically, emotionally and financially. Our tax system is designed to help you with this burden in certain ways. For example, you can claim certain tax credits when you file your tax return.
On this page, you'll find information about the amounts you can claim for someone who is:
- An eligible dependant
- An infirm dependant age 18 or older
- A caregiver.
If you are caring for someone with a disability under age 59, you may also want to look into opening a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). The government created this savings plan to help parents and others save for the long-term financial security of a disabled person. Learn more now.
Learn more now about these new rules.
Amount for an eligible dependant
Are you a single taxpayer - either unmarried or divorced? You can claim this tax credit for a dependant. The amount is equal to the tax credit you would claim for a spouse or common-law partner. You must support and live with the dependant in your home and the dependant must be:
- your parent or grandparent
- your child, grandchild, brother or sister who is either under 18 or mentally or physically impaired.
Whether or not you can make this claim depends on the dependant's net income. Also, even if you have more than one dependant, each household can only claim this amount once.
Amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older
A special credit is available for each of your or your spouse's or common-law partner's dependent children or grandchildren who are:
- 18 or older, and
- physically or mentally disabled.
Whether or not you can claim this amount depends on that dependant's net income.
You can also claim this credit for other family members who are:
- 18 or older
- physically or mentally impaired
- dependent on you for support, and
- residents of Canada.
This includes parents, grandparents and siblings.
You can claim this tax credit if you care for:
- an elderly parent or grandparent (age 65 at the end of the year)
- another disabled dependant (mentally or physically impaired) age 18 or older
- and they live with you in your home. The amount of this credit is based on the dependant's net income.
Tip: The tax rules discourage multiple claims for the same person. So, if you have made a claim for an eligible dependant, no one else can claim another tax credit for the same dependant. This includes the amount for infirm dependants or the caregiver amount. Also, if you file an eligible dependant claim, any claim you make for the caregiver amount will be reduced when it's for the same dependant.
Learn more now about the dollar amounts of the tax credits described from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Remember: caring for a loved one who is ill or infirm can be hard – and it's even harder if you are on your own.
To get help financially, make sure you claim all of the tax credits offered to caregivers. You may want to talk to a tax planning expert to go over your situation with you. Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.