STATEMENT: Senators question Minister Lebouthillier on rejected disability tax credit claims

Ottawa, Ontario – Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Larry W. Smith called on the Liberal government to come clean about recent clawbacks in benefits for disabled Canadians.

Conservative Senators questioned Revenue Minster Diane Lebouthillier Thursday at the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology about changes to her department’s administration of the Disability Tax Credit.

While the Agency recently reversed its decision to deny benefits to Canadians with Type 1 diabetes who previously qualified, a growing number of disabled Canadians are denied access to the tax credit each year.

“Minister Lebouthillier must explain any changes to its internal processes for assessing claims, and assure Canadians that the Canada Revenue Agency is respecting the spirit and the letter of the law,” said Senator Smith.

Conservative Deputy Chair of the Committee Judith Seidman highlighted witness testimony that information provided by CRA about the number of people who claimed the Disability Tax Credit is “vague” and “obfuscating”.

“Minister Lebouthillier must respond to stakeholders’ requests and release information about the number of Disability Tax Credit applications accepted and rejected based on diagnosis, age, and gender in order to accurately assess the effectiveness of the program,” said Senator Seidman.

Senator Seidman also called on Minister Lebouthillier to move quickly to regulate the fees charged by so-called promoters, who may charge as much as 30% of the value of the claim to prepare Disability Tax Credit claims on behalf of applicants.

“The Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act was passed unanimously by Parliament in 2014, yet four years later, CRA has still not introduced regulations to protect the most vulnerable Canadians from predatory consultants.”

For more information, please contact:

Karine Leroux
Office of the Honourable Larry W. Smith
Leader of the Conservative Senate Caucus
(613) 996-7068

Gabrielle Berard
Office of Senator Judith Seidman
(613) 996-4033

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