In order to qualify for benefits, your child has to be declared disabled
This is the place to start. In order to qualify for benefits, your child has to be declared disabled. This is done by submitting the Form T2201. The form must be filled out by a medical practitioner. I would suggest your family doctor if he is sufficiently versed on autism or preferably a Pediatrician or a Psychologist who has assessed your child.
What should I know before submitting the form?
You should review the form before it is submitted to the government. To save you grief down the road, this form should be filled out correctly the first time. If the form doesn’t read sufficiently “badly”, then don’t send it in. You should take responsibility for sending in the form, not your doctor.
Ensure that everything on the form is filled out. Missing information will cause the request to be delayed or denied. This includes the boxes that should be filled out by the doctor. I have talked to parents who have been denied because the physician did not fully complete this form.
To get the name of a good practitioner in your area who knows how to fill out the form, post a message with the Autism Support Network. There are many parents on their private Facebook page who are ready to help out.
I have put together a detailed list of questions and procedures regarding the T2201 form. Click on the link to download the T2201 Guide (pdf).
A useful phrase for the doctor to use is “a lifelong neurological disorder from birth”.
What should I do after it has been sent in?
Wait. It’s tough at this point. People get all excited and want to start claiming everything. Relax and wait for the response. The information contained in the letter will guide your next actions.
Do I have to file a T2201 every year?
You don’t have to submit the Form T2201 every tax year. The government will respond to your submission and advise you on the time frame to resubmit the form. In the case of my son, I don’t have to submit the form for another 15 years. Don’t throw out the letter as you will forget the expiry date. You will thank yourself years later for keeping good records.
What if it is not approved?
- Firstly, determine why. Was the information not complete or did the child not meet the bar for a “severe and prolonged impairment”?
- Add additional information from your doctor for your tax office to review
- Ensure you file an objection within 90 days
- Asking the tax office to review your file does not extend the 90 day period
- Instructions for the appeal are on the T2201 form
- Keep the instructions until after you are approved
There are many internet based sites that will submit your information to the government for an outrageous sum. There is no need to pay anyone to perform these services for you. It’s easy to do it yourself. Read the instructions on this site and the CRA website. There is nothing an agency can do for you that you cannot do yourself.
Be confident in your abilities and you will be fine.