While some people think of disabilities as physical impairments, others understand the impact of mental struggles like depression. Depression is often misunderstood and thought of as little more than a feeling of sadness. The truth is that depression, once it takes hold, can have a severe and devastating effect on your life and the lives of your loved ones. This is one of the reasons why depression has made it onto the list of impairments that qualify for a disability tax credit.
What is depression?
The first important thing to learn and understand is the real definition of depression. We all experience our fair share of emotional ups and downs. Sometimes we are feeling depressed but many life experiences can cause emotional upsets. These low moments are not to be confused with major depression. Major depression is extremely serious and it can even have fatal results. It does not only affect the mind, but the body too. Some of the most common physical symptoms of depression include stomach upsets, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, constipation, diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, as well as headaches. There are many different causes of depression. The most common of which being a triggering event such as the loss of a loved one, abuse, or similar traumatic events. Sometimes depression manifests almost immediately after the event and, in other cases, it takes time for symptoms to become evident.
Symptoms to Look for
As far as behavioural or emotional symptoms are concerned, there are a number of symptoms. These include feelings of loss or sadness, restlessness, anxiety, loss of motivation, lack of interest in sex and activities previously enjoyed, withdrawal from society or friends, and even thoughts of suicide. You don’t need to experience one or more of these symptoms constantly. Your symptoms can progress over time if your depression goes untreated. For example, you might lose your motivation before withdrawing from society, and suicidal thoughts are usually the sign of your depression has seriously progressed.
Important Depression Facts
Learning the facts is a good way to gain a better understanding of depression. One in seven adults (13%) in Canada meet the criteria for mood disorders at some stage in their lives. In fact, 12.2% of the population meet the criteria for major depression at some stage in their lives, while 2.4% meet the criteria for an even more severe condition called bipolar disorder. According to several studies, women are at a greater risk of suffering from depression. The female-to-male ratio when it comes to depression is about 2:1.
Depression and Disability Tax Benefits
If you or a loved one is experiencing at least five depression symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. A trained professional needs to be notified so that the appropriate steps can be taken. A physician can diagnose depression based on your symptoms. A mental health professional can help begin the treatment process through programs or they can refer you to a doctor who can treat your symptoms. Psychiatrists can treat depression with medication if needed. There are even measures in place to help family members, and loved ones, deal with the challenges that come with helping somebody manage their depression. The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a tax-free benefit for children diagnosed with a chronic disorder. The Disability Tax Credit for Depression helps those with depression and their loved ones cope with all the additional expenses.
Just like claiming tax credits for other disabilities, when you claim for depression, you will need to go through the same process. This means that you will need to complete the appropriate form and submit all relevant supporting documentation. As such, you will need your doctor to complete part of the form and submit any, and all, relevant evidence. Those with depression can claim tax benefits for themselves. If you are supporting or caring for somebody with depression, you could also claim tax benefits on their behalf. Either way, your tax credit benefits will help cover the extra costs of treatments and any therapy that might be needed.
All cases are evaluated individually and your case will be assessed by a professional who will check that everything is in order. In some cases, additional information or documents might be required. They may contact your doctor to confirm your condition and its severity. It’s important to establish how much your depression impacts your daily life. The application process can be tricky, especially the first time you apply. Which is why it’s important to have an expert in your corner. At Tax Benefits Canada, we are experts in applying for disability tax credits. Not only do we take the time to answer all of your questions, but we also pay close attention to detail in order to ensure the best chance of success. Contact us today at +1 (855) 413-6971 to get the ball rolling.