Family caregiver amount (FCA)

There is a new tax credit for 2012 called the Family Caregiver Amount (FCA). It is a tax credit for people who have a child with physical or mental impairments. The credit is worth $2,000 in non-refundable tax credits and may be claimed under one of the following lines:

  • spouse or common-law partner amount (line 303);
  • amount for an eligible dependant (line 305)
  • amount for children born in 1995 or later (line 367); and
  • caregiver amount (line 315)

The child must have an impairment that is prolonged and indefinite and the child must be dependent on you for assistance in attending to personal needs and care when compared to children of the same age.

You must have a signed statement from a medical doctor showing when the impairment began and what the duration of the impairment is expected to be. For children under 18 years of age, the statement should also show that the child, because of an impairment in physical or mental functions, is dependent on others for an indefinite duration. This dependence means they need much more assistance for their personal needs and care compared to children of the same age. For your convenience, there is a sample letter on my Files page, which you can complete before the doctor’s appointment and present to him/her for a signature.

For more information refer to page 33 of the 2012 Tax Guide

For those of you that use Turbo Tax here is a detailed guide on how to apply for the credit:


14 thoughts on “Family caregiver amount (FCA)”

  1. Thank you for posting this information. This website is a very valuable resource that has helped my family many times over the years and we would like to thank you for your work.

  2. What if your child is now an adult of 21 years but is still dependant living at home? And how does this compare with the existing Disability Tax Credit that we already have in place. AND can you claim both.

  3. Hi Kim.

    These are all good questions.

    Yes, you can continue to claim this amount for your adult child, but only if he/she is dependant on you. Please note however that if you are claiming Line 305: Amount for an eligible dependant (this amount is for dependants born in 1994 or earlier who have a mental or physical impairment) , this now includes the $2,000 credit for the FCA.

    This caregiver credit is completely separate from the Disability Tax Credit. You may claim both.

  4. If you have been claiming the Disability Tax Credit (in my case for a child of 15 who was diagnosed with autism at age 3) do they need an additional letter confirming the child’s disability?

  5. Good question.

    At this point the Family Caregiver Amount is not tied to the Disability Tax Credit. To be safe I would recommend that you have a letter from your doctor for the new tax credit.

    Hopefully this is a one off letter which will cover you for subsequent tax years.

    1. i phoned the canada revenue agency 1 800 number and a man there told me i don’t need a seperate letter, i wonder how we can find out for sure??

    2. If you read all the information available online, it does say that a letter is required. Having said that, if you child qualifies for the Disability Amount, I suspect that you would be just fine without one.

  6. hey im pretty knew with this taxes thing i have an accountant that does it, is this something I can only apply for when I do next years taxes? or is it something I can apply for at any time? I have been receiving the disability tax credit already as well for my son, but this would definitely help out. Thanks

  7. Hi Kloee

    You would nornmally apply for this credit when you do your taxes. If you missed out on last years filing, it is a very simple process to request an adjustment.

    Go to the CRA website and search for a fom called the T1-ADJ. This is a one page form and is very easy to fill out (no need for an accountant). Put your request on the form in plain english and CRA will do the calculations for you.

    If you are already receiving the Disability Tax Credit and your accountant did not apply for the Family Caregiver Amount, then I believe it is time for you to find a new accountant or learn to do your own taxes.

    Good luck

  8. hello,
    Thank you for all these helpful information.
    When I fill the T1 ADJ form, should I put any number of our family income, or leave it empty?
    How can I claim FCA for the back dates? It is possible?
    Can I send a letter instead of sending T1 ADJ form?
    Thank you again.

    1. Hi

      You can certainly back date the FCA. The FCA was introduced for the 2012 tax year so that is as far back as you can go.

      Your T1-ADJ does not have to have detailed numbers on it, but it must be obvious what you are claiming. Please ensure that you either have a Disability Tax Credit Certificate which is valid back to the year you are claiming or you have a doctor’s letter covering that period.

      You probably could send in a letter instead of a T1-ADJ, but please make sure that you have all the relevant information such as SIN numbers, full names and addresses, as well as a clear explanation of what you are requesting.

  9. Hi MIlburn
    My twins are 3 years old, both diagnosed with autism, My wife (higher income) applied and received benefits and tax reassessments for the last 3 years.
    I was wondering if I can still apply for my other child for tax credit and FCA, because I have been taking care of them and working part time? CRA done this only for my wife and we have two disable kids.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi

      If your second child qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit you can certainly apply for the back dated DTC and Child Benefits for both children. The credits and deductions are not limited to one child only.

      You may also claim for more than one Family Caregiver Amount if you have two disabled children.

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