If you have aging family members who need help physically, financially, or need someone to care for them, you may need to consider having attendant care.
The level of care may range from full-time care in a facility or part-time assistance. Whether it’s part-time in-home care or full-time nursing home care, the expenses can escalate to thousands of dollars and other medical expenses.
That said, when a person is injured in an accident, there are several ways of getting recourse to help recover from the injuries. One of these avenues is obtaining attendant care benefits to cover attendant’s care services.
In many cases, injured people are forced to hire an attendant to help them in their daily living. For example, an attendant care worker can assist with services like bathing, food preparation, and laundry services. A dedicated personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and how to pursue care expenses if it makes sense in your situation.
What is Attendant Care?
Attendant care is the care offered by a person who performs personal tasks that a person cannot do for themselves. These services may include meal preparations, transportation, cleaning, and personal services like shopping and banking. However, if the attendant is employed only to provide a single service, such as cleaning, the service rendered will not be taken as attendant care or eligible expenses.
As defined in the Income Tax Act, an attendant cannot be the spouse of the payer or a common-law partner and cannot be under 18 years during the time of remuneration. However, the spouse or any other relative of the patient who is not the payer can be an attendant, they must simply be over 18 years of age.
What you can Claim as Medical Expenses
You can claim the total amount you paid for the services in the following facilities:
When a patient employs a certified healthcare aide at home, the entire cost of full-time attendant services may be eligible for the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC). It allows you to claim medical expenses you incur or that of your spouse, your children under 18 years, and those dependent on your support.
The court defines the remuneration paid to a full-time attendant as total remuneration paid to any number of attendants as long as the claimed amount only covered the services of a single attendant at any specific time.
Retirement Home Care
If a person lives in a retirement home, the salaries and wages of attendants who perform services like housekeeping of the resident’s personal living space, health care, food preparations, and transportation can be claimed as attendant care expenses as long as the person qualifies for the disability amount. However, other expenses like food, rent, salaries and wages paid to administrative employees do not qualify as medical expenses.
Nursing homes provide full-time care for patients who cannot take care of themselves. When an individual is in a nursing home, it means they need attendance and constant care because of severe and prolonged impairment.
To claim medical expenses, a person should qualify for the disability amount, or a medical practitioner has certified in writing that they are dependent on others for personal care. Eligible medical expenses in a nursing home include accommodation, nursing care, administration fees, maintenance fee, regular food fees, and social programming and activities fees. However, extra personal expenses like hairdresser fees are not eligible.
An individual may claim fees for the salaries and wages paid for attendant expenses or supervision either in:
- Retirement homes or homes for seniors
- Group homes
- Self-contained domestic establishments
- Nursing home or assisted living facility
Claiming Attendant Care Costs
It is important to note that attendant care costs can be claimed for individuals eligible for the disability amount and, in some circumstances, for the persons who don’t qualify for the disability amount.
A disability tax credit or disability amount is a non-refundable tax credit available for a person with Form T2201 (a Disability Tax Certificate). This form is generally completed by an authorized medical practitioner or nurse indicating a person has a severe and prolonged physical or mental impairment and approved by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
You can claim certain attendant care expenses for amounts paid by you, your spouse, or your common-law partner. The claim covers the care of:
- Your spouse or common-law partner
- Dependent child under 18 years (including those of your spouse or common-law partner’s child)
- Other eligible dependents include a dependent child aged 18 or over, a dependent grandchild, parent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece, and nephew if they resided in Canada during the taxation year.
You can claim attendant care expenses for other eligible dependents as medical expenses. However, payment receipts issued by the attendant need to have their social insurance number. Also, if a parent was dependent on you because of physical or mental impairment, you may claim the Canada Caregiver Credit.
Attendant care costs for individuals who qualify for the disability amount
If you are eligible for the disability amount, you can claim attendant care expenses for:
- Full-time attendant care in a nursing home
- Full-time or part-time attendant care in a self-contained domestic establishment. You can claim part-time attendant care as a medical expense only.
- Full or part-time care in an institution, school, or other establishment types, but the doctor should confirm the need for the facility or equipment.
- Care provided in a group home in Canada
The disabled person can claim the attendant care expenses as part of the disability tax credit or by the disabled person or any supporting relative as a medical expense tax credit.
Attendant care expenses for individuals not qualifying for the disability amount
Suppose a person does not qualify for the disability amount. In that case, a qualified doctor must certify in writing that the person needs full-time care due to impairment of physical or mental functions impairment and that they will be dependent on others for the foreseeable future.
Attendant care expenses can be claimed as part of medical expenses for full-time attendant care in the person’s home, in a nursing home. It also includes full or part-time care in an institution, school, or other establishments.
Two options are available when claiming attendant care expenses for a person who qualifies for the disability amount.
Option 1: claim the disability amount and attendant care cost as medical expenses up to $10,000 per year and $20,000 in the year of death.
Option 2: Don’t claim the disability amount. You claim the entire amount of attendant care expenses claimed as medical expenses.
Getting the Help of a Personal Injury Lawyer
In case of an accident, you may need someone to be there always for supervision, safety, and monitoring. The amount paid for attendant care services is much disputed. That’s why you need to work with a disability lawyer to consider the severity of the injury and the type of care needed.
When insurance adjusters underpay you, your only alternative is to file a lawsuit. Our legal team at Wynperle Law Firm will gather all the necessary records and evidence to win your wages and give you professional advice.
Contact us today, and let’s get started.