Supporting children with special needs – today and tomorrow

Parents start with the expectation that their children will become fully independent one day – but for some parents, that day will never come. They are the parents of children with special needs who will always be dependent to some extent.

Children with special needs include those with physical disabilities, chronic conditions, intellectual disabilities, emotional problems, activity limitations or learning disabilities. 

Your child’s needs are constant and very expensive – for everything from medications, mobility aids and assistive devices, to 24/7 hands-on care. Your child may never be able to earn an income so can’t help out financially. You love your children and would do anything for them – but how can you cope with all the financial and emotional stresses now and in a future when you may not be around? Here is some information that can help.

Disability financial assistance is available from a number of federal/provincial/territorial sources.

Here are some:

  • Disability Tax Credit can be transferred to a parent when their child has severe and prolonged mental or physical impairments and the child cannot utilize the full amount of the credit.
  • Medical Expense Credit can provide some tax relief for parents of disabled children.
  • Provincial Assistive Devices Programs provide assistance for both basic and personalized assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and hearing aids.
  • Provincial Home and Vehicle Modification Programs provide basic home/vehicle modifications for disabled children and adults.
  • GST exemptions or rebates are available for some products and services used by persons with disabilities.
  • Provincial social assistance programs with an income support component, such as the Ontario Disability Support Program, may be available to your child.

Plan for the future when you may no longer be there to help:

A Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is specifically for beneficiaries who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, and provides access to government grants. RDSP contributions are not tax deductible,